Things are really starting to grow. I now realize that I have picked up a majority of Indeterminate tomato plants, so a vine hanging framework trellis is in the cards for tomorrow. Update pics:
Hopefully I'm not derailing the thread too much or getting too far off base from what P&S is all about, but thought I'd share some of my harvest from the garden today. I used to pick up arrowheads all the time in the fields and garden as a kid, and they were much more intact. Seems like they're few and far between in my AO now. Reminders that while we've come a long way, we're just passin' through. Just thought I'd share. Stay safe out there fellas.
Thought id give an update since it has been a while.
I learned a lot during this time: better planning, crop selection, maintenance, preserving.
Most of the beds were built early March and had seed around mid March. Germination and sprouting went on as expected.
The one thing i underestimated was pests. In particular, moths are a PITA ( specifically the larva). They were highly attracted to the broccoli and to a lesser extent, kale. Lost pretty much all the broccoli and the kale has many holes and bite marks ( not a problem since you can wash off the caterpillars and we eat the kale either in shakes or chopped in salad).
* Corn is a wind pollination plant- it does best when there is a large amount/ high density populated area of corn.
i only planted five in a row and received one ear each with about 3/4 of the kernels pollinated.
* Companion panting hasnt been all that important. The tomato planted with basil exhibited no significant difference than the tomato planted with broccoli.
* broccoli isnt a South Central Texas summer crop
* heat sensitive plants like tomato will be greatly hindered in these elevated temperatures
* Grow what you eat and eat what you grow. Yep i had no interest in growing some weird okra cultivar so the garden is pretty basic but thats exactly what we eat and it proved to be a good decision. ( Tomato, jalapeno, kale, corn, cucumber were the main crops)
* Pollinator plants are often overlooked. these aid in fruit production and some may help ward off pests or at least make the garden pleasant to look at.
* Pruning- knowing how to thin out the weak sprouts , sniping the suckers off of tomatoes , harvesting to increase in fruit setting. this is as much about keeping the plants healthy as it is ensuring a strong and continuous growing season.
* Pests: this is a fun one. i really should have looked caterpillar control because manual removal of larva is just not sustainable. stink/shield bugs seem to pop up out of nowhere and attack the fruits. Rabbits dig and rip up young plants for food or nesting ( short of trapping im still looking for ideas although they havent been too destructive.... yet).
*Water - its hot here if you didnt know and we're pretty much a drought region so i have to water daily before the sun rises above the tree line. On the 100+ days i have done sub surface water dripping.( the bottle with holes in the cap to keep the plants from drying out too much. That leads me to rain barrels . when we do get rain i need a way to store as much as i can. )
* so far the only crop to produce enough to surpass our consumption is the cucumber and in second place is jalapeno.
i took a crash course in pickling ( via Google) and have about 4 mason quart jars of pickles and a couple pint jars of relish. these have been the best tasting pickles my family has ever had. im sure it has to do with freshness since the cucumbers taste better than anything we have bought at the store. as for the jalapeno when ever i harvest more than what we can reasonably eat i fire up the grill and make stuffed jalapeno to o along with BBQ.
ill try to get pics that will satisfy the file size reqs.
I am planning to start one in the spring. I'm going to try to come up with a plan in the next month or two so that I can have some supplies stocked up and a schedule for what can be done before the weather warms up after winter.
I'm also going to work on compost piles for the end of summer and fall of this year so I will hopefully be setting myself up for success come spring. Thanks for the updates and lessons learned.