Friday, March 5, 2010

Gardening Q&A

Here I am, answering some gardening questions that have been coming in like crazy.

First, let me say, I am not a professional. I do not read many gardening books. I have a few, but do not use them as my sole resource. I garden using trial and error because that's my style.

Question: What is good to plant around here? Here meaning Texas.
Answer: This year my spring garden will include zucchini, cucumber, tomatoes (lots of them!), cilantro, basil, rosemary, bell peppers, parsley, strawberries, chives, onion, green beans, garlic and snow peas.

Question: What type of tomatoes do you grow?
Answer: Through trial and error, I have found cherry tomatoes and roma tomatoes grow best. And, they happen to be my favorite so it works out great. I have found that large tomatoes like beef steak crack before they are ripe due to the heat of the sun.

Question: What have you tried to grow that just didn't work out?
Answer: Melons and corn. I planted melons last year and ended up with vines growing everywhere. I also planted corn last year but each stalk only yields 2-3 cobs. Since they are so inexpensive at the grocery store, really not worth taking up garden space.

Question: To dig or not to dig.
Answer: Don't bother digging, especially in Texas. Build super simple raised garden beds and you will be beyond successful.

Question: What soil do I put in my raised garden beds?
Answer: I used a 3 to 1 mixture of organic compost and a course rock (I won't even attempt to spell the name). The course rock is used to help retain moisture. The soil is the most important part to your garden.

Question: Gardening, why?
Answer: It's in my blood. I love watching things grow and growing fresh fruits and veggies for my family. I'm raising two little gardeners and I love that.

Question: Pesticides? What do you use to keep away the pests?
Answer: Last year I didn't have a problem at all with pests. So, I didn't have to use anything. Prior to my raised garden bed gardening, I dug in the Texas clay, planted a garden and battled pests all season long. I was committed to organic gardening so all I used was an organic soap/water mixture which seemed to work.

Well, now that I think about it, yes, I had a slug problem last year. A few bags of Starbucks coffee grounds sprinkled in the garden did the trick. And, my garden smelled like a nice cup of Joe.

Keep the questions coming. It warms my heart to know I am inspiring others!

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