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Starting FALL GARDENS 2011 in Zone 8 - Part 2

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

We came from here: http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1206730/#new

Old thread getting too long!

Are you challenged with not knowing WHEN to sow or plant your veggies? Well, this is the place for the veggie growers who already know what they'd like to plant for their 2011 Fall/Winter veggie gardens, but don't exactly have the sowing/planting timeframes down!

If you are a veggie grower who's putting your fall/winter garden down NOW, and you have the sowing/planting time frames down to a fine science, please share with us who desperately want to learn from you! Help us by posting WHEN you're doing the next thing toward growing your fall/winter veggies. We're not asking for a minute, day-by-day report, but if you could update us within say a week of each progress activity, we'd only be a week behind you!

Your tutilage would be so appreciated. We look forward to learning from and growing along with you in this Fall/Winter 2011 veggie season!

^^_^^

This message was edited Oct 5, 2011 1:06 PM

Thumbnail by Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

To date, the cabbages, cauliflowers, broccoli and Brussels Sprouts that have been outside for about 3 weeks have exhibited very slow growth, while the seedlings remaining inside are getting crazy huge in the cool.

It's a heat issue still going on, and nothing I do is going to change that...

Patience is the only remedy I have right now. So far, have 25 free-draining buckets planted, and am about to construct my very first RAISED BED, finally!

I'm considering pulling the bucket plants again, when the bed is built, and putting them all in there...

Linda

Eatonton, GA(Zone 8a)

Congratulations on your upcoming raised bed Linda! Sorry I've lost track of the thread - went out of town, yada.

I am picking beans, beans, and more beans. I seem to have timed my fall bean plantings right this year - put most seed in the ground the third week of August and I have beautiful beans growning - rattlesnakes (pole green snap), fagiolo (gold roma type), hildas (romano), rocdor (yellow bush), bountiful (green bush that thinks it's a runner), provider (green bush), winged beans (wierd bean), and the kentucky wonders I planted way back in April are now producing beans. Also, the limas and black jungle butter beans are growing along. I've been harvesting lots of beans, have nearly filled my freezer.

I planted arugula starts in a half-shady spot in mid August and they're growing along with radicchio. The lettuce and chard are dragging their feet - not sure what's up with them. Peppers are still growing strong and the tomatoes are putting out new fruit, but it's kind of pitiful looking. I think I'll be pulling them this weekend.

A second round of new tomato plants are finally growing - I hope to have some Nov. Cherokee Purples. Cross your fingers! Broc and cabbage are all growing nicely - have to confess that some are from the store - I grew plants, but then they got a bit too leggy. We'll see if the ones I planted produce at all. The carrots and beets are small sprouts - they are still not liking the heat here despite cool nights.

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

Cindy,
Could you post a pic of your "bean" patch, so I can get an idea of how much space they take up? My fence finally is up, and I'm putting the press on to put growing areas into place.

Hugs!

Linda

Thumbnail by Gymgirl
Richland, WA(Zone 7b)

Linda, are you going to have your beds go right up against the fence? I would advise against it for the simple reason the plants growing too close to the solid fence will be short on both air circulation and sunlight. After having mine that way for 1 year I brought it out and put a 15" space between the soil and the fence- much better this year. You have probably seen my posts showing the walkway behind the beds.

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

No, Joe.
Straight ahead of the tree (toward the top of my pic) is south. The first of two parallel 3x10' beds will run N-S, and sit 3' from the west fence and 14' from that south fence.

Houston, TX(Zone 9a)

Hey, Linda. They need to redo your fence. You forgot to tell them to put the pretty side facing IN. hahaha--just messin' with ya! Your raised bed plans sound great. 3' is a good width--you can reach everything from either side. My first bed is 4' and is a bit harder to reach things in the middle.
As for my winter garden. It does not exist. Unfortunately, I am having major back problems now. Had an MRI and Xray today and need another MRI with contrast tomorrow--NOT GOOD. May have a herniated or bulging disc and I have the pain to go with it.
The good news it that my okra, some eggplant, cucs and peppers are still producing! I'm cooking them (except the cucs) right now, along with bacon, onion, garlic, celery, a bit of green onion. Smells divine!
Cindy, I'd love to try some of those interesting beans you're growing. They sound yummy! I want to see a pic too.
Good luck with the veggie growing. Don't despair if things are slow right now. Every year when I plant in Oct., the beets take till the spring to get going (forEVER). The turnips do great as well as chard, kale, leaf lettuces, snow peas and arugula. That's what I usually plant. I have even more seeds this year but I'll have to see if anything gets in the ground... Janet

Richland, WA(Zone 7b)

linda, sounds real good- They will be beautiful gardens!

Eatonton, GA(Zone 8a)

I have pix! I had to harvest beans this morning, so decided to do a bit of "bean art" with them. The photo is taken in the garden (too bright will try again later) on top of my "work table" which is a kludgy thing made of cinder blocks, a metal bird cage panel and some leftover ceramic tiles. But it works to show off the beans. The lineup:

Bountiful - a bush type, they are small beans, but very productive. Not well behaved tho, they climb any and everything.
Hilda - a pole Romano - my favorite for taste and easy growing. This bean keeps going through the heat and even produces in very early season for me. I have plants I started in March still producing.
Fagiolo - a yellow pole Romano - not as tasty as Hilda, but quite good and pretty. They don't like it hot tho. Spring planted beans never grew until this fall. New plants from August planting are producing sooner than May planting.
Provider - good bush green snap. Tasty and very determined to grow. Still not fond of our hot summer tho.
Black Jungle Butterbeans - Received these from Harry, a gardener in Texas. They're apparently a rare butterbean and lots of folks on GW are growing because of his generosity. Very long season. They don't like it super hot in my garden - perhaps due to raised beds and insufficient rain. But they're producing now. Tasty - but the lima wins the taste test.
Lima? - I think this is Henderson, can't find my seed packet, but will search. Bush Lima that seems to be the favorite of nasty aphids and ants. But the beans are tasty. Still searching for a better lima.
Pinkeye Purple Hull - A cowpea that did much better than my CA Black Eyed pea. Superior in taste. But they are not good eaten as "snaps" the BE'd peas were much better for that.
Rattlesnake - A pole snap bean that is probably our favorite. Easy to grow, reasonably heat tolerant, produces lots of beans when it's happy, they lose their purple streaks when cooked. Much easier to find for picking due to the streaks.
Rocdor - My all time favorite yellow wax bean. It's a bush which makes it a hassle to pick, but it's vigorous, very tender and tasty even when a bit mature. I wish these came in a pole variety.

I'll post some garden bed photos next. :)

Thumbnail by Cindy_GA
Eatonton, GA(Zone 8a)

For Linda - these are bean plot photos. Keep in mind that I am not as orderly as I should be! I garden like I cook, start with a plan, then edit, tweak, add along the way and it becomes interesting! It also causes problems like having to stand in your raised bed to harvest the beans because I didn't think through the plan of putting the limas in front of the poles...

This photo shows DH picking beans - bush beans are limas. The poles that he is picking are Rattlesnake beans - our best producer. The fence that all are growing on will be abolished next year - it is not tall enough (only about 5 feet nylon) and it's been collapsing through the season. The beans flop over and grow, but they do better on a really tall trellis. In the foreground right is the Black Jungle Butterbeans trellis - a cattle panel bent into an arch and set into the raised bed. A better pix of that to follow...

Thumbnail by Cindy_GA
Eatonton, GA(Zone 8a)

This is a wide shot of the garden (this morning). On the left is the bean bed shown in the previous photo. The "kudzu" effect on the left is the Black Jungle Butterbeans. They are also on another trellis in the center of the garden. Photos in the early Oct. light are a challenge! The main bean bed on the left is ~28 feet long and 4 feet wide. The jungly beans in the left foreground are limas. On the right next to the flamingo are 5 foot tall eggplants.

Thumbnail by Cindy_GA
Eatonton, GA(Zone 8a)

This is a shot of the center bed (mentioned above in the center of the wide view). I planted these beans in August (after ripping out my bug-ravaged cukes) and they are producing well now. There's BJBBs on the back side of the trellis (two pieces of a completely rusted out tomato cage that was cut in half and twist tied at the top to make an upside down "V". It's supported by some hunks of bamboo - the beans don't mind that it's ugly). There are Rattlesnake beans on the front of the trellis. I planted some of my fall brassicas and lettuce under the trellis to give them a bit of shade. The red flowers are salvia.

Thumbnail by Cindy_GA
Eatonton, GA(Zone 8a)

And here's some late bush beans - these are Provider, Rocdor, and Bountiful. This was taken in mid Sept in my first cinder block bed. They are about 3 weeks old in that photo - I think I may have added too much nitrogen in the fertilizer that I used, the leaves are huge. This bed is producing nicely now - been picking beans for about 2 weeks.

Thumbnail by Cindy_GA
SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

Janet,
Several good friends advised me to install the fence "inside out," for security purposes. Anyone who really wants in will get in, but, at least they won't have the rails to help them scale it. By the time it came to installing it, I was so anxious for my fence to just be UP, I'd have let them install it "any which way" they wanted to!

And, I'm really glad I did it this way, this time. There are endless possibilities for utilizing the rails to hang garden art, and other useful, neat stuff!

Cindy_GA
You have got it going on! I would blow that bean grid pic into a poster at Sam's/Costco, shellac and/or seal it somehow, and use it as garden art! It is a beautiful photo you took! Cudos on the growing and the photo-ing!

I love how you've used bricks in your garden. I bought 55 cinder blocks to build my raised beds, but since I've seen how nice my fence turned out, I'm feeling a different direction. I'm a conflicted designer. I think my true style is eclectic/can't-make-up-my-mind. Now, I'm feeling like a New Orleans, courtyard-y, whimsical feel. Which means lots of bricks: cobblestones/brick pavers, wrought iron, lanterns, etc.

Pray I make a move soon, 'cause those Late Dutch Flat cabbages seedlings inside have leaves as big as African Violets, and they need to go into the ground, YESTERDAY!!!

Keep posting your forward progress here, 'cause this is where the folks who are starting fall gardens are sharing information. Again, great stuff you posted. Thanks a bunch!

Linda

Thumbnail by Gymgirl
Irving, TX(Zone 8a)

Cindy_GA thanks so much for sharing pictures of yoru amazing garden.
You are doing a great job. Thanks

Eatonton, GA(Zone 8a)

Linda - Thank you! I love that idea of the bean photo as a poster. Then my family will really think I'm around the bend. LOL! I would love to put it in the garden tho - have a huge back of shed to cover with something.

The bricks are excellent. I bought two 16x4 beds worth of cinder blocks - a lot. And they were so expensive. Then I lucked into finding a Craigs List ad for the red bricks - they are the size of a cinder block (most anyway) and cost me 50 cents a block. Had to load them myself (with DH) and get them here, but they are so interesting.

You fence is beautiful - in a previous life I had a fence like that at the back of my garden and loved it for the shady space it made right next to the beds and how I could trellis things on it. It's really exciting to watch you pull things together for your garden. I documented our digging, building, fencing, then expanding. Do that for you - you'll love to go back and look when you're feeling exhausted!

Dr_Thor - thank you for the nice words! I really love the garden - it's art for someone who doesn't have time to do regular "art". And I love your photos - so carefully documented - I wish I were as disciplined. :)

Gainesville, FL(Zone 8b)

Quote from Gymgirl :
Janet,
Several good friends advised me to install the fence "inside out," for security purposes. {snip} There are endless possibilities for utilizing the rails to hang garden art, and other useful, neat stuff!


Trellises on standoffs! Vertical space rules!

-Rich

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

Rich, I just KNOW you're gonna show me how, right?

Gainesville, FL(Zone 8b)

Quote from Gymgirl :
Rich, I just KNOW you're gonna show me how, right?


It depends a lot on the budget.

Personally, I would buy some thick pieces of treated wood - lumber yards and home improvement centers often have "seconds" (excessively knotty, twisted or split lumber) that they sell for almost nothing. You can also find sections of preformed trellis sections in various lengths - nowadays mostly plastic, which seems to last a very long time. I would cut the lumber into short 3-4 inch sections, then pre-drill the lumber pieces and screw them into the fence at regular intervals - not critical, maybe 6-8 inches apart depending on the weight you expect to support. (The pre-drilling is to keep the pieces from splitting when you put the screws through). Then pre-drill and screw on the trellis pieces. Use deck screws to attach them - they're a little more expensive but will last a LOT longer outside. than anything else except stainless steel screws (which are a LOT more expensive). The stand-off pieces will make it easier to get *behind* the trellis pieces to clean or weed or retrieve fruit or flowers (or dropped tools ;o).

Well, that's the "quick and dirty" approach, minus the precise measurements. Use of a power drill/driver is recommended, and a circular saw (and knowledge of it's proper use) would certainly be helpful.

A less expensive short term approach would be to buy thin strips of lumber and use them (with screws or brads) to hold woven plastic netting in place. The modern plastic net material will last several seasons, especially if it is not in full sun all day. I use it for my snow peas in winter, then use the same net for yard-long pole beans in summer.

-Rich

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

Do you know how glad I am that, at the end of each of the 4 days of my new fence installation, after the workers left, I painstakingly collected most all of the various cut off pieces of the pressure-treated lumber, 6 blocks of 6x6, scores of 2x and 4xs of various lengths, and all the extra cedar pickets?

I doled out my Deckmate screws and collected the extra boxes before they tried to load them up.

I fired up my saw and drill Monday, beginning to build a cedar covered raised bed....

Thank you, Bubba_MoCity, for teaching me those surplus chunks of wood would be handy one day...

Thanks for the "down and dirty" Rich!

Tucson, AZ(Zone 9b)

This is from the other thread, but I want to be sure I reply to Podster. :-)

>>>>>Mindyrecycles wrote:Mary Washington asparagus. Started from seed, then I had it outside in a pot for many weeks and I finally transplanted all three. This is the only one that looks like it MIGHT survive this heat.

Mindy ~ tell me about germinating these seed please?

Thumbnail by Mindyrecycles
Tucson, AZ(Zone 9b)

My reply went away, oops! I tried to say:

I started them under a grow light. They aren't the fastest sprouters but they came up as scheduled and did just fine until I put them in the ground. The jury is still out on their long-term survival.

I'm sure I have more seeds left than I could use, if you'd like a few.

The grow light is above; here are the asparagus seedlings. As you can see they make very cute babies.



Thumbnail by Mindyrecycles
Tucson, AZ(Zone 9b)

Cindy -- wonderful! I pinned your green bean art on pinterest. LOL

Mindy

Tucson, AZ(Zone 9b)

Oh yes, as far as my fall garden progress...I'm harvesting cukes and beans so far. Tomatoes haven't flowered yet and I'm still too chicken to pick my biggest watermelon. My only real failure lately is that the black berry bush shriveled up in the heat and is now dead.

Thumbnail by Mindyrecycles
Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

Thanks Mindy ~ I have the same seeds but didn't have a clue as where to start.
I do appreciate your assistance and offer of seed.
I just need to decide if I should start it now or later in spring... and where I am going to plant them.

San Antonio, TX(Zone 8b)

Cindy your beans and other things look great! Thanks for posting the pics. I'm also very glad you posted your comments on what performed well for you. I definitely want to try that bush wax bean.

Eatonton, GA(Zone 8a)

Mindy and LiseP - thank you for the nice words! I am so in love with my beans... But after picking another 3 and a half pounds this morning, I'm getting really overwhelmed with beans. Trying to find someone to come take some! I'm out of freezer space! LOL!

Mindy - what is the purple bean? That is beautiful!

Tucson, AZ(Zone 9b)

Thanks Cindy, it's Royal Burgundy. It is definitely beautiful on the bush but upon cooking it turns green.

http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.2234546710185.2133060.1443475978&l=7ff203096e&type=1

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

Here's my fall-wtr veggie garden update. This is one-half of my free-draining bucket garden. There are broccolis, Brussels sprouts, and cabbages.

I still have to plant out some cauliflower plants I cut back to only one leaf each. They took a beating in a rainstorm after I had just set the community tray out to start hardening them off.

Then they sat in the flooded tray til I rescued them and attempted to untangle and pot them up. A total mess! And, they looked horrible. I managed to save 30 plants from that tray.

Thumbnail by Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

Here are the pitiful cauliflowers after the storm.

Thumbnail by Gymgirl
San Antonio, TX(Zone 8b)

Poor cauliflowers! And a downer for you, after you've put such loving care into them. But hey, the rest of your bucket garden plants look fabulous.
I'm headed out of town for 4 days -- hoping hubby will water my newly planted beds and a few other things. If not, I get a re-do on Monday. I'm glad temps have cooled, it will help keep my garden hydrated and happy.

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

Uh, LiseP, by the time you get back, I'll have posted the REST of the drowned cauliflowers story!

Stay tuned!

P.S. Have a great time! ^^_^^

San Antonio, TX(Zone 8b)

Thanks, Linda, I'm back now and I did have an awesome time. So what happened to your cauliflowers?

Me, I was happy to see that hubby did a fine job on the garden in my absence and left the picking for me, so I came back to two large zucchini, a handful of beans and radishes and a little leafy stuff. And, the seeds in the new boxes are now sprouting. Seems I should go away more often, lol.

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

LiseP,
Out of the approximately 30 cauliflowers I managed to rescue from the drowned tray, I gave 8 away. These are the 8 I kept for myself.

Thumbnail by Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

Here are 7 more I'm nursing along under lights. There are about 4 still in that tray that need to be potted up. Therein lies the challenge. Will continue updates on those.

Linda

This message was edited Oct 26, 2011 9:04 AM

Thumbnail by Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

Oops! Those are the same set of seedlings. Here are the other 7 refugees.

Thumbnail by Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

And, here are the ones left in the tray. They refuse to die!

Thumbnail by Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

Here's a one-week growth comparison. This pic is the same as in this post (7 days later):
http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/p.php?pid=8856545

Thumbnail by Gymgirl
San Antonio, TX(Zone 8b)

My goodness. You know, I have a couple cauliflowers in buckets too, but they don't look as healthy as yours. I'm thinking mine need some more fertilizer. Yours look great!

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

LiseP,
The bottom-most row #1 is three Arcadia Broccoli.
Row #2, (L-R) is: a Brussels Sprout, and 2 cabbages.
Row #3 is more cabbages
Row #4 is (L-R) 2 okra drying out, and a cabbage
The top-most row #5 (orange buckets out of view) are three Calabrese broccoli

I haven't planted out any cauliflowers yet. They're still in the cups and the drowned tray!

That's the weekend goal...

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