What's the biggest challenge to gardening in southern tenn.?

novice_2009(zone 6b)April 4, 2009

Just wondering what you all have found to be the biggest challenge to growing in our area. Clay soils? Best way to break them up- will sand and tilling work? Weather changing quickly? The seasons? Please let me know any area specific problems you've faced, and, if u can, how u fixed them. Thanks!!!!!

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For us, definitely the hard clay soil. We moved here from Wisconsin, where no matter where you dig a hole, the soil is rich and black. Last year we tilled 4 beds, but as soon as the rain hit it, it turned back into red cement. So I tilled the areas again and put raised beds there instead. We're on top of a hill, though, and the people across the street apparently have good soil. I guess when they built this subdivision, they shaved all of our topsoil off to use as fill for the houses that sit lower.

Other than that, (and bugs & grubs, which ya' get everywhere) the only other problem is the June-August period when you can have some really hot, dry patches. The aforementioned raised beds were about 300 feet from the house, so it made watering... inconvenient.

So, for us anyways, the soil was the biggie, so now we just make raised beds (and closer to the house). :)

    Bookmark   April 4, 2009 at 8:56PM
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Water weeds!!!!! If they take off you fight them forever! The clay soil we amend with compost and lots od working.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2009 at 10:15PM
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The hot summer months, July and August. Last year we were afraid the city may stop us from watering gardens (vegetables and flower). We save all the water we can, rain and rinse water from washing off vegetables, etc. Hopefully this spring the rains will bring the water tables up for everyone.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2009 at 2:05PM
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novice_2009(zone 6b)

Yea, late July and August get so hot and humid. Hopefully, this year we won't have droughts, and if all this spring rain is an indicator- i'm hopeful!!!! I like your conservative methods columbiastock!

    Bookmark   April 5, 2009 at 4:31PM
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Spider Mites are The Devil! lol

    Bookmark   April 5, 2009 at 9:01PM
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ladybug37091(z7 Tennessee)

The rock! I have been picking rock for years! You can amend the clay but when you have to hook up a tractor and chain to pull out rocks it is a drag.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2009 at 11:10AM
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Well, today I'm thinking the biggest challenge is having warm weather in March and the big zap freeze in April!!

    Bookmark   April 6, 2009 at 1:57PM
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hahaha...yea, I was wearing shorts yesterday & today i'm wearing jeans and a hoodie. Luckily, for gardening sake, all of my plants are still portable in their 16 oz cups and spent the night indoors. Only my Garlic Chives stayed out and they can handle the cold quite well.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2009 at 2:54PM
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Yeah, nights like last night are for sure one of the biggest challenges! Do I cover, what should I cover, when should I cover.

Clay soil, yep, that's another one. Man, at our other house our front bed consisted of the gummiest, chunkiest, solid red clay you ever saw. Seriously, it was the consistency of dried chewing gum. AWFUL! Had to replace every bit of the dirt in that bed.

Other than that, though, I really think we live in a pretty good zone for gardening, don't you guys? :) I can grow most things I want to, it seems like...

    Bookmark   April 7, 2009 at 2:30PM
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