Our annual end-of-summer contest is here, come on down to the Dave's Garden County Fair!


BUda, TX(Zone 8b)

This thread's starting to look like the Rocky movie saga... LOL... But let's keep it going, there has been some good information contained herein....

Continuation link will be set up shortly...


Alba, TX(Zone 8a)

I gave my onions their last fertilizing for the year as they are really starting to look fat--but not bulbing yet. It is raining cats and dogs here so the fertilized should sink in nicely. Many of the onions have ten leaves on them but no lucky 13's right now. They probably won't get the ultimate 13 as I received my shipment late this year, but they still look nice and healthy!

I planted out the rest of my sweet corn bed this past weekend, and the watermelon/melon bed. Now I need to find room for my pepper and eggplant transplants.

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

It's supposed to get in the 30s tonight, but from here on out the temps are low but not near freezing. This weekend I hope to get a lot of transplanting done. The Eggplant and peppers are going to wait until it gets warmer.

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

My indoor eggplants have leaves that are a full 10" long, and both they and the bell peppers are setting blooms (again, in the case of the peppers...).

The outdoor eggplants shot up to 8" almost overnight, with the 3 days in the high 80s we just had. Tonight's going down to 40...

My onions are bulbing slowly, and are back to leaning over in the Earthboxes. They need a feeding this weekend...

I have tomatoes on all the vines, and most are cherry tomato or tangerine size. Most of them are Mule Team or Kimberly varieties. One looked like it was blushing on the underside, and no sign of BER on any, PRAISE GOD! First time no BER!!!

I'll have to remember that I forgot to mix the Dolomite into the new soil when I topped the beds. I made "wells" in the soil over the roots of each plant, sprinkled the Dolomite in each well and watered it in from the top. It looked like milky cream in a pool, but, it soaked into the soil right over where the root balls were...I might do another application of Dolomite lime this weekend, just to be sure...

Mustard & beet greens holding on, spinach finally took off, and the carrots are getting fatter and fatter.

Still have two empty raised beds waiting to be seeded with something, ANYthing.... Not too unhappy they're empty, with the crazy weather and all...hoping the buggies will bypass my yard for one that's up and running nearby, LOL. And, I can start later without all the munching going on.

P.S. I encountered a bug yesterday I've never seen before, caught up in the tulle. It was flat like a wooden toothpick, and about as wide. About 1/4" long. 2/3 of its flat body was black, and the head was a dull orange color with two little curvy antennae. Anybody know what this might be? I smashed it before I took a picture...



BUda, TX(Zone 8b)

Have given up on my peppers & eggplant also. With the impending trip, and these cold & erratic temperatures, I've just chucked the whole season. Talked with a couple people I've given tomato plants to and they say they are looking real good, so at least somebody's having success.

I do actually have some blooms on the Cherokee Purple & Aunt Ruby's German Green has just shown several of them. Going to be upset since they won't re ready before I have to leave for Florida. Would love to take it with me but it doesn't look like there is going to be room.

The only thing I've got left in seed trays is some Red Okra, so maybe I'll have some more okra to give away.

Madison, AL(Zone 7b)

Looking at the long range forecast, middle of next week we are going to be in the 40's for a while. This has been a pretty frustrating spring so far.

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

P.S. I encountered a bug yesterday I've never seen before, caught up in the tulle. It was flat like a wooden toothpick, and about as wide. About 1/4" long. 2/3 of its flat body was black, and the head was a dull orange color with two little curvy antennae. Anybody know what this might be? I smashed it before I took a picture...

Linda ~ look at the larva on this link and see if that is what you squished.

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

Thx Pod,
But that's not it. HoneybeeNC taught me all about ladybug instars! I have a herd that's safe and sound!

I'm gonna Google n c f I can spot it.

Charlotte, NC(Zone 7b)

Gymgirl - the only insect I can think of from your description would be a "stick insect" but I think they are much longer. Maybe it was a baby stick insect?

Irving, TX(Zone 8a)

It will be nice to see some picture ... any pictures of all the vegetables you are growing outside?
It is hard to believe that spinach "finally took off" now ... or do you mean that they are bolting? ... just like mine.

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

Nope, they "finally took off" and are growing.

Given, I have not yet found out what's munching holes in them, they have grown twice as large as they were. It's the cold. I was expecting them to go ahead and bolt, but, our weather was down to 40 this morning, and after this weekend, we're expecting temps down to 42 next week. All I need is 55 days of moderately cool temps to bring in a spinach harvest.

So, now, it's a game to see who wins -- the weather, or that elusive bug muncher!

I'll take some pics this weekend. One of the advantages I have is the natural wind currents that constantly blow through my yard. The beet greens stay perky because of the steady wind blowing through the leaves, and when the temps drop at night, it's a cool breeze.

I have Marty's broccoli plants indoors under lights, and am trying to decide where I can grow them that won't be too warm. Last season, I grew broccoli in my eBuckets along the west fenceline. It gets bright light, but not direct sunshine and, again, there's an almost fierce wind tunnel along that fence.

I'm thinking that, if all else fails, I might actually be on my way to an early fall crop, LOL!

Madison, AL(Zone 7b)

Here's what I have going on. Mostly just greens and garlic and herbs. (And a feverfew plant up front getting ready to take over the world.)

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

That's a great veggie garden you have there! Couple of questions:
1. Are your boxes angled for leveling, or to have a deep and a shallow end for growing different things?

2. What size pvc pipes are you using, and how are they anchored in the boxes? Just braced up against the sides, or do you have pipe clamps affixed inside the boxes?

I wish I was brave enough to cover my grass like you did....


Madison, AL(Zone 7b)


1) My land is sloped, so the boxes are recessed on one end to have a flat(ish) growing space. It doesn't really show in the pic, but in parts it drops 12" for every 10 feet, which is enough to make your melons roll downhill. :)

2) The PVC hoops are 1/2" ID. In the ground are sockets of 1" ID PVC that go down about 18" so they are very secure. The hoops can come in and out easily and can be reconfigured as needed. While in theory they are for frost protection or shade, I get the most mileage out of them as a way to hold down trellis' and tomato cages to keep them from blowing over when it's windy! One downside: the sockets hold water which the snails like... but the birds are learning to check in the holes. :)

I didn't really just cover the grass. The first summer I was here I tilled up lawn. That winter I built half the boxes and the next year tried to cover the pathways with mulch. Well, not only did the mulch vanish every few weeks, it was an ideal haven for slugs and snails and weeds. So I repeatedly dug out and killed weeds and last spring I put down the heavy duty nursery fabric and started killing off the weeds and grass in the area marked for a garden extension. This winter I put in the other half of the garden.

I do get weeds around the edges and poking up through the cloth, so weeding isn't eliminated, but it's easier to manage and is great to walk on compared to 12" of matted straw or pine needles. I am hoping it lasts for at least 5 years, but I've already recouped my costs versus continually buying replacement mulch when it can't be had for free. I have a good bit of of my original 300' roll left for patches, too.

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

Thanks, Nicole!

Irving, TX(Zone 8a)

you have a fantastic vegetable garden set up. Thanks for the picture.

New Orleans, LA(Zone 9a)

It was a chilly, wet, dreary day in New Orleans. I realize now that it's 6:30 in the evening & I haven't been in the garden once today.

Fort Worth, TX(Zone 8a)

It was in the upper 30s last night. I just didn't have the energy to get out and cover the plants in the garden. They all survived and are doing well.

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

Mine are covered from last night but I'm going to start to plant this weekend. I'm tired of this weather. Lol the stuff I do have planted is growing so slow.

Irving, TX(Zone 8a)

yesterday I was enjoying my front garden and I spotted a LEAFFOTTED BUG laying on one of my Sunflowers leaf !!
I cannot believe they are already here ... ohhhhh

Enterprise, AL(Zone 8b)

And I just planted the majority of my sunflowers, cucumbers and squash yesterday! I did plant a half dozen sunflowers earlier. One is looking great, two look fair, the others not so good.

Irving, TX(Zone 8a)

I harvested my first cucumber from Corinto plant.
Also I keep harvesting greens and onions.
Artichokes are making a bulb, finally.

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Irving, TX(Zone 8a)

Cucumbers and eggplants are growing well. Peppers are making fruits.
This Sunday I will transplant out everything: more cucumbers, watermelon, okra and long beans.
I am so tired this year ... in and out of the house ... ahhh
I am leaving in a week, so everything must be planted outside !

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Madison, AL(Zone 7b)

We had some late, patchy frost here last night so I feel justified in having held off on planting, and with temps in the 40's at night for the next week I guess I'll keep waiting.

Circle, MT(Zone 3b)

after the recent rains, tiny black worms I've never seen before are chewing holes in my maters and chard. Any ideas what they are, and what to do with them before they eat everything? I found a few brown wooly ones too, but they're easier to see, and not as prolific.

Irving, TX(Zone 8a)

Yes, I did have those fluffy caterpillar last year too in my Swiss Chard and other flowers. I just squeeze them when I can (just don't touch them with your hands)

New Orleans, LA(Zone 9a)

I got my first bed of corn planted today. I'm trying Honey n' pearl in one bed and will plant some Bicolor Mirai in 2 weeks. The onions are bulging up, both the Texas Supersweets & the Creole reds. I'm starting to get peppers & have lots of small tomatoes. I think I'll have an over abundance of zucchini & summer squash (again). I may have accidentally hit the long beans with glyphosate earlier this week. If so, I have plenty of time to replant. Everything is in the ground now, except for okra, which really needs warmer weather. All in all, a good week.

Hutto, TX(Zone 8b)

I replanted cucumber seedlings and finished securing my tomato cages. Still have yellow squash seedlings to transplant tomorrow. I hope to get some green beans planted tomorrow. I'm still far behind the curve on everything, still!

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

Nichole, I'm with you we got into the 30s last night and the 40s are in the forecast. The plants I have out aren't thriving. I feel justified for waiting too. The plants in the GH look better then the ones in the garden.
I just don't know if I'll ever catch up now tho.

My squash and cukes that I direct seeded, don't look as good as the ones started in the GH almost 2 weeks later.

I'm going to try to spend most of tomorrow outside gardening. I have some eggplants that are beautiful, I'm afraid to put them outside.

David, what happened to your cukes? With this weather how could you be on time?

Fort Worth, TX(Zone 8a)

My Texas Legend onions are starting to get nice and fat and showing signs of bulbing!!

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Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

When did you plant your onions?

New Orleans, LA(Zone 9a)

stephanietx, your onions look like about the same as mine. I planted on 01/13, and have been fertilizing every 2 weeks with blood meal. I checked the Dixondale site, and it says to stop fertilizing when bulbing starts, so I've stopped. I calculate that they've been in the ground 98 days.

Those Texas Legends are delicious! My DH pulled one about a week ago to "see how big it is" so of course we had to eat it. It was about a little larger than a tennis ball. It was so sweet and tender! We also pulled one of the belle reds and it was great also!

This message was edited Apr 21, 2013 7:11 AM

Fort Worth, TX(Zone 8a)

Lisa, I planted on 2/3 following the directions from Dixondale. We've been side dressing with fertilizer from Dixondale every 2 weeks and then sometimes I've tossed some bone meal on them in the weeks we didn't fertilize. I must say, though, that these onions were much bigger in diameter than the short day sampler we also planted.

Irving, TX(Zone 8a)

Peacevine Cherry tomato will be the first tomato of 2013 .. .it is starting to turn red.
First time growing this variety. It is so robust and full of fruits. So far the best in the garden this year.

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Irving, TX(Zone 8a)

#1 Amy's Sugar Gem
#2 Black Cherry
#3 Black Plum (stunning plant - I found this plant bent in half ... repaired with scotch tape and now is a gorgeous plant)
#4 Black Zebra
#5 Blond Kopfchen

This message was edited Apr 21, 2013 5:33 PM

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Fort Worth, TX(Zone 8a)

I went to a RU today and come home with 2 more tomatoes. Just call me crazy.

Irving, TX(Zone 8a)

#1 Chocolate cherry
#2 Coyote
#3 Gold Nugget
#4 Golden Gem
#5 Grappoli d'Inverno

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Monte Vista, CO(Zone 4a)

Wonderful tomatoes! Great idea with the scotch tape...I had thought of doing that on one of my corn plants with which a kitty played, and now I know it works. Thanks.

Irving, TX(Zone 8a)

you cannot ever have enough tomatoes ...
#1 Jaune Flamme
#2-3 Juliet
#4 Lollipop
#5 Red Fig

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Irving, TX(Zone 8a)

#1 Sweet Million
#2-3-4 Tigerella
#5 some tomato plants. They are still so small compare to the previous years !!

Now they need to slow down production because I will be gone until mid May ... ahhh

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