Thursday, August 22, 2013

The Heat Dies Down

Although the heat is on it's way out this is not the time to get lazy and let the garden go.  Watering is still very important if you want your garden to produce well this fall season.  It's a good time to plant new crops since the heat won't wither them when they come up.

A thorough weeding of the garden is a good idea too and needs to be kept up since the heat won't keep them down either.  It's now prime growing time and there isn't any time to loose.  Before you know it we'll be having cold snaps and harvesting of late vegetables before the first freeze.

If you're stuck on ideas of what to plant here's a few ideas:
Beans will grow quickly and can be harvested throughout November if you get them in the ground now.
Carrots will always be a good idea and can be harvested around the same time.
Winter squash and possible summer squash should do well.

This is also a good time to get an herb garden started if you don't have one already.  Many herbs will grow throughout the year but now is a good time to have them root well.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Tomato Plants Still Producing in the Heat

We've all heard about the problem with tomato plants in the heat.  Once it gets in the 90's you can forget having any  more tomatoes on the vine for a while.
Well even in 100+ heat my tomato plants have laughed at that notion.  I didn't see it growing but a few days ago I went out to check on the garden and saw a hint of red low on the tomato plant.  I figured it must be some trash blown in on the wind since tomatoes don't produce in high heat.
After getting a closer look I was surprised to find a little tomato a little smaller than my fist, shiny and red.
The reason it grew was the bottom of the plant was protected by a bit of grass that has grown up in the garden, soon to be pulled once the temperatures drop into the low 90's again.

It's gone now though. I ate it...

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema)

This Chinese Evergreen is one of the easiest plants to grow.  I'm in charge of taking care of all of the office plants at work and this is the go to plant for replacements in a pinch.

That's about all there is to it even. Near the front we have some really big plants with lots of shoots on them. When I need one I just go over with a knife or other sharp instrument and cut off a shoot about a foot and a half long. Then I strip it down to about eight to ten leaves, stick it in the dirt, and water.  Within a week they start making good roots and thrive well.  I've done this several times where other plants just don't want to grow.

This is one plant you don't have to worry about if you give it a little much water either. You can nearly drown them in water and they just soak it up. The big plants up front get about a quart of water every other day. If you forget to water or have to go out of town they don't mind that too much either. Those same plants have gone without further watering for two weeks  with no fuss.

On the down side they don't like to get too tall. After a while the weight will pull them down and they will want to root again. When this happens though just cut the top off and root it somewhere else. It will replace it with new shoots.

Fore more recent activities see my posts on Growing Cacao in your office or home.  They make wonderful inside plants and are also fairly easy to grow.  Currently I have over 20 of them in various stages of growth.  With enough room and large enough pot you may even get your own cacao pods (seeds to make chocolate)!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Google Garden Group for North Central Texas

I've gone ahead and set up a group for North Central Texas Gardening. Hopefully this will get people who don't usually have a lot of time to read blogs to more easily share information on gardening in this more specific area.
This will be a member group to reduce spam posts from bots and hopefully we'll be able to get some good information on what to do from every day gardeners in the area.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

August Planting

August is here and the heat is far from gone here in DFW.  Fortunately there are still lots of plants that can be either started or worked on for a nice fall garden.

I've already mentioned okra recently but we shouldn't forget carrots and squash at this time of year.  Carrots especially have a short growing time and you can expect a carrot harvest in a few months.  Winter squash is good to plant now too for a nice harvest.

If you already have tomato plants and they are nice and healthy then you can bend over some of those stems and cover with dirt to encourage more growth for a fall harvest.  I know some of my tomato plants are nearly four feet tall right now but aren't producing very will in the heat.  I've gotten a few tomatoes so far this year but a good fall harvest would make my gardening this year great. If you notice there are fine hairs on the stem of tomato plants.  These will pull in moisture from the air and if there is enough moisture either in the air of if they are buried then they will start to form roots.  They also detect disturbances and help release natural pest control. That's why when you mess with tomato plants too much you can smell the plant releasing these chemicals.

Remember to drink plenty of water while in the garden and use sensible sun protection methods.  You want to keep your plants and yourself from getting too hot or scorched.