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

Our veggie gardens are revving up! Some are harvesting, some are planting, some are waiting, and some are still trying to figure it out!

Whatever stage you're in, the Spring/Summer Veggie Gardens are underway. Jump on in!

We came from here:

Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

This is so I can keep watching along ;
#1 Romanesco Pantano I don't know if they are really as big as yours dr.. About 30inches tall this one , and it way ahead of the others.
#2 salad bowl lettuce
#3 A semi happy Borage plant
#4 Leeks already going to seed ,, zoom ,, Do these like cold weather , anything warm . poof to seed they go !!
Easy grow plants ,, you know ..

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

That lettuce is absolutely gorgeous!!!! Not a bug hole in the pic!

Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

Thank you , it is kind of crunchy too ,, unusual .
The lettuce next to this group got destroyed ,, Put thistle as mulch and stinging nettle as mulch around the ones in the pic .. working ?maybe...

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

That was a good accidental strategy with the nettles and thistle! Some bugs really don't like crawling around in scratchy stuff!

Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

Indeed and thank you again Gymgirl !!! It was meant for cats and voles and rabbits to start with , Then I read someplace that a lot of insects and small animals won't cross nettle (stinging) .. Seems to be partly true anyway , best kind of accidental ..!! saves my vegies.!!!
Likely the hares on the nettles , besides other plants take a fluid booster from nettle ..(or so I have read)

Wonder if that works on critter bugs like SVB and so forth? , The bean beetles, a few small ones Is all have seen (so far) this season .
I think I am going to give the mulch idea a try around some of my melons ?

The beetles do get bad here ,, sometimes ..

Richland, WA(Zone 7b)

Seems like I have read that some bugs will stay away from coffee grounds- any info on that? I have 2 huge containers full of Starbuck's!

Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

Dryland Herbs love the coffee grounds My catnip love'em ... That is about the only experience I have I am sure of . When I get more Lavender and yarrow I will try some more on them .. I think I used some a few years ago on my yarrow and it was working pretty good , but I don't remember for sure..
Black fly are drawn to wet coffee grounds or as they spoil . so if you use them in a mix , mix well with something to repel the buggers ,, that also is from experience ,,

Irving, TX(Zone 8a)

Just make sure you will buy the garlic from California and not from China at Sam's.

Magnolia, TX(Zone 8b)

I borrowed my sisters garden for pictures, she doesnt grow a lot, but 35yrs as RN she just cooks once in awhile now

San Antonio, TX(Zone 8b)

Thought I'd show a few pics of my backyard and what's growing:
Photo 1: Sweet 100's in RB#1. Look at all of them! Apt name!
Photo 2: Beefsteak tomatoes.
Photo 3: My first full-sized tomato (Solar Fire) of the year -- a bird or squirrel got the very first one!
Photo 4: Long view of side yard leading to backyard. Beans on left (nearly finished), and on the right are yellow squash, cantaloupe, watermelon, cucumber and strawberries. RB#1 is at the very back.
Photo 5: Two RBs, one in full sun (same one as in photo 3), and the other part way under a tree. I had cooler crop stuff in there when the tree's branches were bare, now I recently stuck in a couple tomatoes and peppers to see how they would do. They are far behind their neighbors, but they may do better when summer gets really cooking. We'll see.

This message was edited May 23, 2013 11:31 AM

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

You've got a wonderful setup! Glad to see more beefsteaks being grown.

Which variety? I'm harvesting Mule Teams (not beefsteaks) and Beauty Beefsteaks. Two Kimberly patios about ping ping size.

I'm about to sow cuke, squash, and carrot seeds in EBs, and set out more Eggplants and bell peppers to harden off.

The flat of Broccs stalled at 9". They haven't grown an inch for three weeks. Just standing there, tall and green as you please. So, if they're willing to stay alive until fall, I'm willing to wait, and see what might happen.

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

Looks fantastic! This is my first year with Solar Fire. Have you grown it before?

Fort Worth, TX(Zone 8a)

Everythng looks great, Lisa! Glad your tomatoes are going and you've already got your first ripe one. Woot!!

I also have the tomato jungle going on after the recent rains. Every year I tell myself I'm not going to let this happen. Maybe one of these years, I'll listen and be more proactive! LOL

The blackberries are ripening. I've probably harvested at least a pint already. I love how red they get before they turn "black".

I'm thinking the onions are ready for harvest! I harvested a Texas Legend earlier this week to have with our hamburgers and it tasted so good! I harvested another onion, Early Texas White, to have with my lunch and it was tasty as well.

The garlic's just about ready for harvest as well. My harvest will be smaller than last year because I didn't plant as much, but I'm still using cloves from last year's harvest!

Volunteer Hill Country Red okra plant. :)

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Fort Worth, TX(Zone 8a)

Homestead 24 tomatoes.

Pantano Romanesco tomatoes

Beefsteak tomatoes

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

How're ya'll dealing with the birds? I finally got rid of the tiny green worms, and the birds moved in on the large worms. But, now they're pecking holes in the tomatoes.

Never had this problem before.

Madison, AL(Zone 7b)

Sometimes birds peck tomatoes to get water. If there isn't a water source close by, put out a bird bath and keep it full.

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

Great pics Stephanie. How could you avoid the tomato jungle? I haven't even put cages around most of mine. That part isn't as fun. They grew so slow at first now they are going nuts. I can't believe you have a volunteer okra, I have one volunteer tomato that is 3" tall. Can't believe it showed up so late. By the look of the leaves I think it's Thai Pink Egg.

The only plants I have left to plant are dwarf tomatoes, hot and sweet peppers, Roselle, tomatillos, ground cherry, and Cape gooseberry. Still have seeds to sow. I can't decide if I should put the plants in the ground, in root pouches or pots. If I put them in containers I can keep them out of the direct sun, if needed, on my covered deck. I even have a kids plastic pool so they can stay wet. I grew some dwarf tomatoes on the deck last summer and they did great even tho they never where in direct sun until late in the summer hen the angle of the sun shifted. I should add this is about 70 plants and if I could decide where to put them they would be planted. suggestions are needed and will be greatly appreciated. I would like to get this done this weekend I just need you guys to tell me what to do with them.

Magnolia, TX(Zone 8b)

Finally back to a signal. pix that wouldnt load...

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Magnolia, TX(Zone 8b)

She says she doesnt like squash, but has cukes started. Tomatoes are Celebrity, those are pvc pipes she planted in...

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

Put the tomatoes in the full sun with cages since they're dwarfs. Should stay a manageable size.

Put the semi-sun lovers where you can move them around easily, if necessary. The bells just need bright to do ok. Or put them on the patio. That direct sun angle is about to change real soon.


St. Simon's Island, GA(Zone 9a)

Some veggie pictures from the garden. My first batch of tomatoes are 6 feet tall and loaded!

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Fort Worth, TX(Zone 8a)

Beautiful, Happy!!

Lisa, most of mine are caged, but just with the smaller round cages. We need to put up some larger square cages (or something!). I still haven't sown okra or cukes. Not sure I'll get to the cukes, but the okra can be planted all summer long.

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

The cukes can be planted all summer long too. I haven't made pickles in years I am going to do it this year! I need to get mine in cages of any kind! Since it has warmed up I feel like I need to do everything NOW!

I have grown the Dwarfs on the deck without direct sun. Ohhhhh....decisions.

San Antonio, TX(Zone 8b)

Thanks, guys.

This is my first year for Solar Fire. No idea how it tastes, yet, but it was the winner as far as timing.

Linda, I had bird trouble last year, and lost my very first tomato this year to bird pecking. Then as I was washing dishes today, I looked out and saw a bird hopping down into the tomatoes. I shot out there and shooed him off! Then I grabbed whatever tulle I had handy and threw a little over the top of the hoops and wrapped two of my tomato cages that had some tomatoes starting to turn. And then I filled my birdbath to brimming. I do think that helps.

New problem today on the tomatoes though -- saw a branch with NO leaves left. Some voracious tomato worm has been at it. I couldn't find it, but will get up early tomorrow and see what I see, and sprinkle some Dipel around. It's always something.

Stephanie, your onions looks great. (Well, everything does).

Kitriana, nice property. Great idea on the PVC pipes, too!

1lisac, I'll let others advise you, but -- what is a root pouch? I've never heard of that.

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

Thanks for the bird tip!

Great gardens, Happy & Kitt!

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

Just so there's no doubt in anyone's mind, the answer is "yes," it is possible to ripen a tomato indoors under fluorescent lights!


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San Antonio, TX(Zone 8b)

Cool, Linda! I'm picturing our garage completely done over in fluorescent lights! ( I might have an opposing opinion on that idea, though!). LOL

Irving, TX(Zone 8a)

Fantastic pictures of your vegetable garden.
Thaaank you ... y'all just needed a little "push".
I love to look on "how" everybody is growing their vegetables. Even if we are growing the same one, it seems we let them grow and stand in different ways.|
I am impressed from y'all and thanks again.

Here is yesterday harvests. Yes two zucchini ... weee
I am hand pollinating the flowers .. but so far I had just a few females ... lots of male flowers which I will cover in a batter and fry this weekend .... they are the best !!
Two old fennel bulbs ... maybe I will just use them in a fennel soup
A few okra pods and still lettuce.

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Hutto, TX(Zone 8b)

The second planting of corn is FINALLY growing. Planted different seed, and only 3 types this time. Now, only two months until I can start picking corn! Haven't tested the older seed, so I don't know if the problem was the weather or the seed.

Tomatoes are starting to grow, but I wouldn't say "taking off" just yet. Most plants are between 2-3 feet high and have a few blooms. One or two have a couple of marble-sized fruit. Normally at this time of year The plants are at least 5 feet high, with many fruit set and a few that are starting to ripen. WAY BEHIND.

I will be pulling onions and garlic this weekend. At least one crop has been successful.


Pembroke Pines, FL(Zone 10a)

Hi Gymgirl -- Happy to see you shareing your expertise with others. Good news on my part! Although my legs are basically shot I will be able to purchase a power scooter with a swivel seat and the Earthbox people now have stands for the EBs so I can sit in my swivel seat and grow my tomatos etc.( ) hopefully by the autumn season. Where there is a will there is a way.

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Colorado County, TX(Zone 8b)

Been a weird year here too... certainly not our best showing, but not our worst either. Onions did fantastic, many in the 1.5-2 lb. range.

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Colorado County, TX(Zone 8b)

A few more...

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San Antonio, TX(Zone 8b)

w_r_ranch -- gorgeous stuff! I think you'd better give tutorials on onion growing. I haven't checked our onion thread in awhile, but I hope you have shared your "how I did it" advice on there. (If not -- go do it!! Or do it here! LOL).

dreaves - glad you're back in the game on the corn, and tomatoes as well. My onion crop was pretty pathetic, nothing got larger than a ping pong ball, so good on ya for having a nice onion crop.

drthor, thanks for the reminder about hand-pollinating. I've been sort of waiting and waiting. Pulled one zucchini that we ate a few days ago, but nothing else much on the horizon. I'll get busy pollinating (being a *busy bee* in quite a literal sense!) Nice pics. Amazing you are still picking lettuce, the last of mine has bolted, but then I'm south of you.

Final note: raining like cats and dogs here. I LOVE that, but of course, I just dusted Dipel on my tomatoes. It must be like washing your car.

Colorado County, TX(Zone 8b)

Quote from LiseP :
I think you'd better give tutorials on onion growing. I haven't checked our onion thread in awhile, but I hope you have shared your "how I did it" advice on there. (If not -- go do it!! Or do it here! LOL).

Growing onions are not really much different that growing any other vegetable. The majority of a person's success is directly attributable to their soil. After that, it is just basically proper irrigation & applying the correct fertilizer.

Veggies prefer fertile, loose, friable soil that is well-drained and has lots of organic matter. Sandy loams are ideal garden beds especially if you till in generous amounts of compost yearly. I also apply 3" of mulch each spring to shade the soil, converse moisture & help suppress weeds. It will break down over the course of a year & thus further increase the fertility/structure of the soil.

I also apply side dressings of 10-20-10 fertilizer once per month, as I have raised beds & usually have to water frequently at times due to the heat. The biggest problem I see is folks that go overboard on nitrogen (which will produce lots of leaves but little in the way of fruit/bulbs).

Lastly is irrigation. Don't water unless the garden needs it (preferably in the early morning). Many folks over-water, which is why their plants turn yellow & are susceptible to fungus. I stick my finger 2" into the soil to check the moisture level. The idea is to encourage the plants to establish deep roots.

Other than those 3 'biggies', it is just weed & pest management... until harvest time, which is when the real work starts.

This message was edited May 24, 2013 1:24 PM

San Antonio, TX(Zone 8b)

Thanks so much for that. I think I can spot my problems -- the soil. I hilled up bagged veggie garden soil on top of an existing border garden (NOT a raised bed, and there's probably limestone about 2" below the surface). When I put it down I tried to make the best ridge and valley situation I could, planting the onions on the top of the ridge, and threw in a bit of my own compost too, but I don't think it was enough -- not friable enough, not sandy enough, not deep enough.

I figured that of all the veggies, onions probably needed the least soil depth (they seem to sit right on top of the soil!), so that's why they got the least desirable spot in the garden -- but they probably still need more than I've been giving them. Watering was okay, I think. Might have been a little slow on keeping it fertilized.

But yep, think it's the soil that's the biggest issue to work. Thanks for that.

Hmmmm, side note. I did put one onion into a pot, because I wanted to see if depth of soil would help. (My onions did poorly last year too). The pot onion didn't do well either. But I still think it was the soil -- not sandy at all, not good enough drainage, not enough compost.

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

Hey, Paw!

I'm sharing all of YOUR expertise, LOL! You were one of my very FIRST garden teachers! You, and UBER Shoe!

Glad the EB folks are so accommodating to you. They shouldn't outfitted you years ago as their one-man spokesperson!

Great to see you back un the saddle. I know it would take an act from God Himself to keep you from growing tomatoes, LOL!



Irving, TX(Zone 8a)

the lettuce I am harvesting now is almost at the end ... but I never had lettuce for so long this year.
Last year I did two planting of lettuce seeds: mid August and mid November = PERFECT !!
I will do the same this year !

thanks for sharing those amazing pictures. You are way ahead of me ... what a fantastic gardener you are !

St. Simon's Island, GA(Zone 9a)

My onions did great this year too. And my peppers are already bigger than they ever got last year. My tomatoes are over 6 feet, but I have been pruning the suckers off. Got my first two Better Boys last weekend.

Enterprise, AL(Zone 8b)

Got my first two squash harvested today, a few carrots and some Banana Peppers, and pulled my first onion, still no tomatoes. Onions from plants did not do very good, I think they are in way too much shade, I am surprised by the ones I grew from seed. They are not that far behind the ones grown from plants. If the Armadillo had not dug so many of them up I think they would have done much better. Even the ones he did not dig up he disturbed the roots on them. I have two tomato plants that wilt very badly when the day gets hot, so far they have come back in the early morning, but not sure how long that will continue. The plants look healthy otherwise, I am not sure if it is too much water, not enough water, or exactly what the problem is. At least so far, if is only the two plants, and they are side by side.

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