The Texas seasons are great, but it can cause gardening to get overwhelming trying to keep straight what can be planted and when. The unique seasons cause the time for gardening to differ from that of other areas. Keeping track gets even more complicated, due to the fact that many plants will have two growing seasons. Use this seasonal guide to follow what to plant and when in the Texas seasons.
This shorter season has optimal temperatures for producing results in the garden. The fall season brings slightly cooler weather but still enough warmth for growing plants and vegetables. The key to successful growth in the fall season is time. It can take longer for crops to grow in this season, and it is best to get them planted in July/August meaning you have to get the crops to overcome the heat to enjoy them in fall. Until seedlings are established, lots of water is crucial to crop survival. Broccoli and cabbage are two of the most successful fall crops. Green beans, carrots, and squash are also ideal for Texas fall. This will be the second growing season for cucumbers, beans, peas and corn.
Herbicides and Insecticides: What, When, Why, and the Alternatives
by Carrie Stark
When you spend hours on your hands and knees toiling in the dirt to produce crop, you don’t want the aggravation of watching your plants wilt away or be eaten by other creatures. There are various methods to deal with both problems. The most popular method is to treat soil or plants with herbicides and insecticides. The key to solving any problem is to research possible solutions and to determine the best one.
What are Herbicides and Insecticides?
One common solution is to purchase an herbicides and insecticides from the local grocery store. Herbicides and insecticides are part of a larger group called pesticides. According to the Washington State Department of Agriculture a pesticide is a substance that is used to “prevent, destroy, control, repel or mitigate any insect, rodent, snail, slug, fungus, [and] weed.” Some pesticides are specifically designed to eliminate a certain species.
Herbicide is a pesticide that is designed to target weeds that are growing in your yard or garden.
Insecticides are pesticides that are designed to kill, suppress or stupefy insects. They are meant to prevent the insects from eating or destroying plants.
Why Use Them?
Two more Citizen Gardener events for the spring 2013 season:
1- Teacher Training Class
WHEN: Friday March 29 – 1:00pm to 4:30pm
WHERE: Ft Worth (email for details)
PREREQUISITE: Citizen Gardener class completion
RSPV to firstname.lastname@example.org
2- Citizen Gardener Class #10
WHEN: April 6, 2013 (8:30am to 5pm)
WHERE: S Hulen St & Altamesa Blvd – Ft Worth
TEACHER: Carolyn Trimmer
COST : $35 Class limited to 25 people
sign up at http://northtexasvegetablegardeners.com/index.php/citizen-gardener/classes
Announcing the first Citizen Gardener class in the DFW area for 2013. Just in time for the local planting season. Learn about the unique growing seasons and how to be successful in backyard vegetable gardening your first year.
sign up for the class is open now and available at http://northtexasvegetablegardeners.com/index.php/citizen-gardener/classes
For more information, read the intro to Citizen Gardener Page, the Goals of Citizen Gardener, and the Citizen Gardener Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
This article will describe an alternate method to building a standard Citizen Gardener raised bed box. The advantage to this method over the standard design is that it uses slightly less wood, wastes less wood, and is slightly simplified. The disadvantage is the inside diameter of the box is a little less than a full 4′ across, so you can’t get a full 4 ‘squares’ across.
The reason we used this method for one of the classes was that we used cedar wood instead of standard white wood, and couldn’t get the cedar in the 10′ sizes we needed. It worked out fine, so I wanted to provide this write-up so everyone can see another possible way to build boxes when making their raised beds for backyard vegetable gardening.
Materials (rough-cut cedar lumber)
- QTY 2: 2 x 8 – 8′ (2 x 10 – 8′ would be more preferable because it gives more soil depth)
- QTY 1: 2 x 3 – 8′ (2 x 2 – 8′ is also OK)
- QTY 28: 3″ deck screws (1 lb box is enough)
- Outdoor wood glue (waterproof)
- Cut both of the 2×8-8′ in half so you have 4 48″ pieces
- Cut out 4 7″ pieces out of the 2×3-8 (cut to 9″ if using 2 x 10 lumber)
Mark the location near one edge of each board where the 2×3 will be attached. This should be at 1-3/4″ if using rough-cut lumber or at 1-1/2″ if using standard lumber. (but measure the thickness of your lumber to make sure)
Measure and Mark the Location of the 2×3 Near an Edge of the Board