my little fall garden

scotty66(8 Hutto TX)August 24, 2011

The first weekend of Aug I started a fall garden. a bit rushed, but I started small. big plans for the spring though :)

Aug 6 I got two raised beds in. I bought a couple small cherry tomatoes and a jalapeno. the 2nd bed will get cucumber and watermelon seeds.

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scotty66(8 Hutto TX)

in the following weeks I bought a few more tomato plants and jalapeno plants and added some basil and spinach seeds. I also built a trellis for the cucumbers. once the tomatoes started flowering, i put up a fence to keep the dogs out of the tomatoes (they like them as much as we do).

Trellis

cucumber sprouts

corn (needs to be thinned out)

view of tomatoes and jalapenos (and my drip irrigation)

one the dogs playing around the compost heap

    Bookmark   August 24, 2011 at 11:24PM
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scotty66(8 Hutto TX)

fall garden:
2 pepper TAM jalapeno
2 jalapeno grande jumbo
papper pequin plant to be planted soon.
2 large red cherry tomatoes
2 sweet cherry tomatoes
burpless beauty cucumbers
seedless watermelon (homedepot seeds)

the spinach and basil seeds haven't shown after 3 weeks (too hot?)

hopefully these will be tomatoes soon.

pepper pequin (she is ready to be planted!)

    Bookmark   August 24, 2011 at 11:38PM
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scotty66(8 Hutto TX)

hopefully i will be able to update soon with harvest pictures.

walking from house to the garden... just around noon, when the garden emerges from the shade into the full sun (and heat) of central tx.

opening the gate and checking that all the drip houses have prepared the plants for the 107 degree day to come (I put ice water in the bucket sometimes).

    Bookmark   August 25, 2011 at 1:57AM
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PKponder TX(7b)

That is just so organized and neat! How did you attach the drip hose to the bucket?

    Bookmark   August 25, 2011 at 5:55AM
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scotty66(8 Hutto TX)

3/16" drill makes the hole just the right size. the 1/4" hose is fairly flexible and it takes some wiggling to get threaded into the hole, but once it's in, it is water tight.

For a filter, I cut up a piece of pantyhose, covered the open end inside the bucket and zip tied it. You don't want any debris getting into the hoses and clogging stuff up!

I also put a big hunk of cement in the bucket so the bucket wouldn't get blown into my plants, when empty, and damage anything.

Here is a link that might be useful: The online instructions I followed to build my

    Bookmark   August 25, 2011 at 6:11PM
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roselee z8b S.W. Texas

That's really a nice set up you have there. Thanks for showing us how you did it.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2011 at 9:32PM
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pjtexgirl(7b DFW)

Nice! Can't go wrong with homegrown food. I like your little helper in the mulch pile :).

    Bookmark   August 26, 2011 at 12:44PM
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annnorthtexas(8)

The drip system is cool. I have a similar sized raised beds and have been hand watering with wafer from the rain barrel. Water tends to run off. I'd think the drippers would eliminate that problem.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2011 at 7:26PM
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daninthedirt(Cent TX; HZ10, Sunset z30, USDA z8a)

Just out of curiosity, Scotty66, where did you get the small cherry tomatoes? This time of year I never see any in the garden stores, and the ones in the bigbox stores, if they're there at all, are old, leggy and sickly.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2011 at 9:58PM
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scotty66(8 Hutto TX)

My theory (and it's just a theory), is that the slow drip from the irrigation allows the water to penetrate deeper at the base of the plant and encourages the roots to grow deeper and hopefully stay cooler (which is why I sometimes put ice in the bucket as well - not too much mind you).

A 5 gallon bucket with 8 drippers takes about 2 hours to empty. I don't fill it all the way up and figuring in the displacement from the rock, it's maybe 4 gallons of water. The drippers are rated at 1gph (gallon per hour) but that rating is based on a hose with a pressure rating of 25psi.

Also some drippers are slower than others, one of them I have to actually blow into it before it will start dripping (should be replaced soon).

It's a lazy way to water, and that suits my style. I just fill up the bucket and I'm done. I can then play in the garden with less mess because the only water/mud is at the base of the plants. :)

    Bookmark   August 26, 2011 at 10:16PM
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scotty66(8 Hutto TX)

@daninthedirt - I got my tomatoes and jalapenos at a nursery in round rock, tx on hwy 79 (aka sam bass road) just west of I35. (name might be, round rock nursery?).

They had some large tomatoes, already blooming last time I went, but I opted for the smaller (less costly) ones.
Also, red barn nursery in austin (183 and mcneil) has some too, but they are bit out of the way for me. but both are really great nurseries with well cared for plants.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2011 at 10:33PM
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daninthedirt(Cent TX; HZ10, Sunset z30, USDA z8a)

Thanks. Good to know about. I'm guessing that's "Round Rock Gardens". But Red Barn is a bit closer to me, so I can look there. Veggie seedlings in midsummer have always eluded me.

I have managed to keep my cherry tomatoes (barely) alive this summer. Water them every other day. They've bloomed profusely in the last few weeks but, well, the heat just won't allow for any fruit set. Would be pretty nice if I could make these indeterminates give me a fall crop.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2011 at 10:01PM
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scotty66(8 Hutto TX)

All my tomato plants are full of flowers... but if what you are saying is true, then I shouldn't expect these to fruit? that is truly bad news. Arrgh!! (at least until it cools down).

I have been watering these girls in the morning, checking them in the afternoon before work and again with a flashlight when I get home late-late at night. talk about a "watched pot never boils"!

BREAKING NEWS:
News8austin website says there is a chance we WON'T break a 100 degrees on Wednesday, and there is a chance for rain everyday after (till Monday). whoop!!!

Here is a link that might be useful: will it rain?

    Bookmark   August 29, 2011 at 10:32PM
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daninthedirt(Cent TX; HZ10, Sunset z30, USDA z8a)

Sad to say, tomatoes won't set fruit unless the temps are lower than they are now. I had a LOAD of fruit from these same plants in May through early July. Then just flowers. My understanding is that cherries are a bit more forgiving than big ones about temperature, but it's still going to be several weeks before I see any more fruit, I think. I believe they want nighttime temps below 70F and daytime temps below 95F. So do I!

Fruit set is strange. I have banana peppers that just shut down completely, fruiting-wise, during the heat last summer. This year, they're setting fruit like crazy. The peppers are smaller than early in the summer when temps were more moderate, but there are loads of them, and they just keep coming.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2011 at 3:49PM
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carrie751(z7/8 TX)

Daninthedirt, my Spring tomatoes are still hanging on and setting tomatoes........I pick a few each day, albeit, not as large or as good as they should be, but they taste great in salads. Don't ask me why as I, too, thought they would not set in this heat. I do have a lot of bees working them, so maybe they can't help themselves.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2011 at 10:20PM
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scotty66(8 Hutto TX)

If my eyes don't deceive me... the weather forecast is calling for overnight temps in mid 70's. and highs ONLY in the upper 90's :).

maybe fall is coming?

Actually fall is only 23 days away.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2011 at 2:34AM
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daninthedirt(Cent TX; HZ10, Sunset z30, USDA z8a)

Carrie751, I would sure like to have your tomatoes. You're lucky. But it isn't bees. Tomatoes self pollinate. I think what happens is that when it gets too hot, the pollen is too sticky to fall where it needs to fall in the flower.

Anyone else out there with tomatoes still setting fruit?

    Bookmark   August 31, 2011 at 5:53PM
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scotty66(8 Hutto TX)

As is obvious from the corn picture (picture above)... I misread the planting/sowing directions on the seed packet. I placed to much corn in a very small area, 19 plants in a 2' x 3' space.

since my spinach never came up I now have a 1.5' x 10' row available in front of the cucumbers and watermelon. Instead of thinning the corn, I thought could carefully dig up and transplant the the corn, moving them where the spinach should have been.
At first it looked successfull, so I decided to do the same with my cucumber and watermelon hills. I set up new hills, in a new area where I plan to new raised beds next spring, and carefully thinned the cucumber and watermelons and moved the transplants to their new home.

This morinig all the transplanted corn is very sad looking (couple might make it) and all but one of the transplanted cucumbers and all the transplanted watermelons are dead.

It was worth a try, and if that one little cucumber makes it, it will have been worthwhile. I went and put new corn seeds in this morning at 1 seed per sq. foot in the old spinach row, the original corn was planted about 4 weeks ago.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2011 at 11:24PM
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equinecpa(4)

It's not too late to try seeding spinach again is it? I know it likes the cooler temps.

Nice garden.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2011 at 11:09AM
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scotty66(8 Hutto TX)

we MIGHT have our first day of sub 100 degree weather on labor day... but not our last day of 100 plus weather.

maybe i can plant the spinach in between the corn?

    Bookmark   September 1, 2011 at 6:56PM
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carrie751(z7/8 TX)

Look at the low temps beginning on Labor Day.........

    Bookmark   September 2, 2011 at 10:17AM
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scotty66(8 Hutto TX)

I saw :), I'm really hoping the lower temps will encourage my fall plants to put on some growth. The tomatoes are actually doing good and maybe they will start producing now (fingers crossed).

    Bookmark   September 2, 2011 at 5:28PM
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scotty66(8 Hutto TX)

Cooler temps seem to have done the trick :)

I now have a half dozen tiny green tomatoes on two plants... hopefully in week I can update this post pictures of four fully loaded cherry tomato plants.
The other plants seem to be growing at a snails pace, I'm hoping the cooler weather helps them along as well.

Here is a link that might be useful: my jalapeno question on the hot pepper forum

    Bookmark   September 7, 2011 at 12:18AM
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scavengingangel

Corn is a heavy feeder, maybe give the transplants a little fertilizer boost to get them going? I haven't grown corn in Texas yet so I hope I'm not offering erroneous advice :) I read the cubed-foot gardening book some time ago and I believe he had some advice on transplanting corn and fertilizing if you have access to that book? (I inter library loaned it or I'd look it up for you, sorry)

    Bookmark   September 9, 2011 at 9:56AM
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scotty66(8 Hutto TX)

Fall garden is about to start producing... in volumes hopefully. Basil and spinach never sprouted and I don't think the corn will produce much if anything, but the tomatoes, cucumbers and watermellons are looking great.

I was only getting 1 or 2 cherry tomatoes at a time, from my 4 plants, but it's looking like a lot more are coming! All the plants are loaded like this!

I have 6 Cucumber plants and they are growing up the trellis nicely, (though maybe i didn't need to build a 8 foot tall trellis).

the few cucumbers I harvested so far are mighty tastey and there are tons of flowers and bees all over the vines.

Heres a shot of my Watermelon plants spilling out of the garden (as designed).

and 1, of about 6, baby watermelons on the way

Almost forgot, I bought a couple new jalapeno plants and they are doing nicely.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2011 at 1:56AM
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annnorthtexas(8)

It does look great. You might try the spinach again. It likes cooler temps to germinate.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2011 at 8:07PM
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