Houston Sustainable Food Gardeners

A forum dedicated to discussing how to easily grow organic food sustainably and inexpensively year-round in urban Houston settings, in individual and community vegetable gardens. Other food related issues are also discussed.
 
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 Winter weather winners and weepers.....

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dragonfly
Grape Vine
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PostSubject: Winter weather winners and weepers.....   Sun Feb 13, 2011 1:24 am

Repeated and extended periods of temperatures in the 20's for Houston this winter. Most stuff did equally well covered or uncovered.

Cholesterol spinach and sweet potato vines shriveled to the ground after a couple blasts. Rooted cuttings are ready to replace them if they don't come back. Not clear if the papayas will make it, but one reserved in a pot is ready to be put in the ground after frost danger is past. Bananas and guavas blasted but should come back from the ground. Tomatoes also finally died in the blast this past week but were still producing through January!

Everything else seems to be hanging in. Harvesting greens: mustard, green zen, collards, chard, Japanese radish (greens and root), kale, turnip, sow thistle, dandelion, chicory, radicchio, endive, lettuce, arugula. Also survived and harvesting green onions, beets, carrots, parsnips, kumquats, Japanese radish, bulb fennel, cilantro, Chinese broccoli, sage, oregano, parsley, rosemary, mint, marjoram, small white turnips, Jerusalem artichokes. A few sugar snap peas, but not a lot yet, and the vines may be damaged.

And its is time to be thinking about the next season.......
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rosebud
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PostSubject: Newbie wondering what to plant now.   Sat Feb 19, 2011 4:11 pm

Just getting around to logging in to the website. Am a newbie. Had a successful first fall/winter garden and am still reaping the mesclun, arugula, kale, broccoli rabe, mustard greens, spinach and a few turnips. My Sugar snap peas did not make it. Am interested in adding to this, potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant, garlic, squash, three sisters, melons. Any advice as to when this is a good time to plant these? Also, can I resow some of the above mentioned now for a continued crop?
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dragonfly
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PostSubject: some suggestions   Sun Feb 20, 2011 5:11 pm

Welcome! Sugar snap peas were a bust for most people I know this year, usually they are very productive.

I wouldn't resow turnips or spinach now. Kale won't like the heat. The rest you could resow now, but they will give out in the heat of summer.

Tomato plants go in VERY soon, as soon as you think the last freeze has past, maybe now if the plants are in the stores.
I dont do tomatoes from seed. Althogh usually several cherry tomatoes come up from last years dropped tomatoes whenever they feel like it. They usually become monster productive plants!

Eggplants I also grow from plants, and go in a little later, again usually when they show up in the stores.
After the last freeze, before the summer heat, green beans, winter squash (will slow down in the summer and pick up again in the fall), melons. Long beans a little later for later spring and summer. Pepper plants, basil, herbs, also go in in the spring.

Other spring / summer suggestions

PowerPoint presentation on heat loving food plants

Summer squash I haven't been growing, stem borers are a problem and pesticides are the only solution.....Any one else with advice on organically growing summer squash?

Corn is a summer crop, again I havent been growing it because of pests that are not easily detered by organic methods. But is is fun to grow. Some years pests don't seem to be a problem.

Don't have much experience with potatoes or garlic....Anyone else?

I had a small red potatoe from the store that started to grow in August, so I planted it. When the first hard freeze hit this past winter I dug up four large red potatoes and a few smaller ones.

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