Mid-South Gardening forum→My first garden ever!

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Name: Dalorean
South Mississippi (Zone 8b)
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Dalorean
Feb 10, 2020 9:01 PM CST
Howdy y'all! I just moved to south Mississippi from Arizona, so I am excited to finally get into something that has been a long time dream! I have much to learn and am just jumping right into it. I recently got an indoor grow setup to use for seed starting and for winter use. I started a bunch of random plants in it but yesterday planted everything for the garden beds I built outside. I also got a small greenhouse for, well, To put more plants in it! I still need to learn where to put what and at what times. Hopefully with the much needed help from all the pros here, y'all can coach me through this season for a successful grow😀


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Name: Dalorean
South Mississippi (Zone 8b)
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Dalorean
Feb 10, 2020 9:19 PM CST
With some of these plants I started some in the greenhouse and the rest in the grow tent. Believe it or not the plants in the grow tent grew WAY better! They are beefier and thicker then the greenhouse plants. Only reason I could think is because the daylight hours are low in winter and there are so so many cloudy days also. But still I wouldn't think artificial lights could do better then the sun. I'll get comparison pictures when it's daylight
Name: Kristi
east Texas pineywoods (Zone 8a)
Herbs Region: Texas Vegetable Grower Avid Green Pages Reviewer
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pod
Feb 19, 2020 6:05 AM CST
Welcome! @Dalorean Congratulations on your move to Mississippi. You are not far as the crow flies from where I am on the eastern border of TX. Your growing climate and growing headaches will be similar. If I can help, I will be happy to do so.

I suspect this forum stays a bit quiet but there are many forums on here that I hope you will frequent, like the Greenhouse forum, the Vegetables & Fruit, Perennials, Annuals, etc.

I like your raised beds. I'm guessing you will use them for all those vegies and herbs? Nice.

I have found it is too hot to keep any plants in my greenhouse in our summer heat. I had even spread shade cloth over it with little improvement. I did build an outdoors shade house which is excellent for some of the tender house plants.

Hope to see you in the forums...
Believe in yourself even when no one else will. ~ Sasquatch
Name: Dalorean
South Mississippi (Zone 8b)
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Dalorean
Feb 20, 2020 8:17 PM CST
hey pod! Thanks for the warm welcome! Ya I noticed this is a pretty barren forum here, I for sure will check out those others you mentioned!! Yes I noticed the greenhouse gets HOT even when it's in the 60s outside so I wondered how summer would be. I will look into this shade cloth you speak of, I'm guessing it's like a net like thing? What's a shade house?? I'd imagine this is something I could use since we are similar climates? Yes I LOVE it down here it's so green and so much water it's what I've been missing all my life! I'm hoping I didn't start my seedlings too early they are growing fast I already had to transplant some of the seedlings from the planters pots I used they are growing fast!
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Name: Kristi
east Texas pineywoods (Zone 8a)
Herbs Region: Texas Vegetable Grower Avid Green Pages Reviewer
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pod
Feb 21, 2020 6:49 AM CST
Wow! Your seedlings look great. I think they are right on time. In this heat/humidity you will find a narrow window for some of the vegetables to deliver produce. Tomatoes is the main one. The blooms will not pollinate with high humidity/temperatures. As a result getting them started early is excellent.

This link shows examples of shade cloth. https://www.greenhousemegastor...
Depending on how it is rated it will cut a percentage of the sun.

On the shade house, I just built a framework and covered it with shade cloth. I have a lot of tropical/tender plants that will summer in there. It must be more pleasant because I will often find some of my pets in there also.

Plants in the garden will prefer morning sun. The evening sun in summer can blister the leaves and fruit. If you don't have evening shade on the garden spot, shade cloth can be used as a screen to provide some shady protection as well.

You may watch for warmer days/nights and start moving your seedlings out to "harden" them off. You may have to ease them into direct sunshine gradually as they will sunburn, Exposure to wind will help strengthen the stems as well. Just watch for frosty nights and move them back in for protection if necessary.

Will this be your first summer in Mississippi?
Believe in yourself even when no one else will. ~ Sasquatch
Name: Dalorean
South Mississippi (Zone 8b)
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Dalorean
Feb 21, 2020 6:38 PM CST
That's really interesting that they won't produce because of heat/humidity. I never would have thought!
I am definately going to invest in that shade cloth for sure! That's funny your pets like that shaded area to hang out in😃they probably love the plants as a peaceful place to hang out.
Ya it sucks cuz we have a tree line on our east side which keeps the sun from hitting the beds til around 9(just a guess, I'll know for sure with the summer hours) and there's not much shade from there other then one tree so I can really see hanging shade cloth up for the afternoon sun. Ok I'll for sure start moving them to sunlight on warm days. I got them under LED grow lights on a 16/8 schedule at the moment.
This will be my 3rd summer here. I'm settled now so hence the attempt at gardening. So I am well aware of these hot humid summers! They are brutal!! But I totally love it out here!
Name: Kristi
east Texas pineywoods (Zone 8a)
Herbs Region: Texas Vegetable Grower Avid Green Pages Reviewer
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pod
Feb 21, 2020 9:24 PM CST
I agree. I love this climate as well. Once you get started on the gardening, you might want to try some winter crops too.

Right now I have onions, garlic, lettuce, snow peas, chard and cilantro growing. It is a nice time of year to garden. No bugs, no heat, no need to water. Hurray!
Believe in yourself even when no one else will. ~ Sasquatch
Maryland
Irises
LarryCrutchley
Feb 21, 2020 9:34 PM CST
Dalorean

Very nice looking plants,i really like the raised beds. Smiling
Name: Dalorean
South Mississippi (Zone 8b)
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Dalorean
Feb 21, 2020 9:59 PM CST
Where do you have your plants right now pod? Greenhouse? Your shaded utopia? Can you plant the garlic heads you buy in the store straight into the ground? It works with the onions I noticed. You can bet your southern Hyde I'll be planting in the fall! Do you have a grow journal with pictures here anywhere??
Thanks Larry for the compliment on my beds! It was just old tin laying around. It floods when it rains so I didn't want to even try a ground garden.
Name: Kristi
east Texas pineywoods (Zone 8a)
Herbs Region: Texas Vegetable Grower Avid Green Pages Reviewer
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pod
Feb 21, 2020 10:26 PM CST
I like using raised beds. Far easier to work the soil and to keep it watered. Yes, you can break up and plant cloves from the store. Often you will find the individual cloves sprouting. I have one bed that is half filled will garlic and the other half with multiplier onions. I leave them in ground all the time harvesting as needed.

I am now just starting my tomato seeds and herbs. I do wintersowing using gallon jugs. Once the seedlings are big enough I move them up to a larger container so they can develop roots. I am running late on the seeds this year.

Right now, nothing is in the plant shelter. I use it for tender plants like begonias, bromeliads, etc. At this time, they are still in the greenhouse.

Because I work, I am lazy about journaling my plants, sorry. I do take occasional photos when I think of it.

These are links to just a few of the other forums on here that you might want to peruse if you haven't explored yet.

https://garden.org/forums/view... Herbs
https://garden.org/forums/view... Greenhouses
https://garden.org/forums/view... Vegetables & Fruit
https://garden.org/forums/view... Wintersowing
Believe in yourself even when no one else will. ~ Sasquatch
Name: Kat
Magnolia, Tx (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Container Gardener Herbs Moon Gardener Enjoys or suffers hot summers Heirlooms
Vegetable Grower Bookworm
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kittriana
Feb 21, 2020 10:53 PM CST
Same general area as pod, but I am NW 1 hrs from Houston and a bit farther south. I like your raised beds- mine were built for me without my prior input from salvaged back porch, chuckl. I do have mine on metal fabric as we have mole problems. I also wish they were farther spaced but I worked with what I had. No GH here and I have trees in a full circle around me. I set out pepper and tomato set mid Feb- they were already hardened off- I also threw tomato seeds straight into the ground Feb 6 and they are up
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And then it got windy and cold, so buckets over the sets, glass back over the hollow the seeds were sprouted in. Some plants grow when the day length reaches 10 to 11 hours. Potatoes go in by St Patrick's day.
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Onions, garlic, Carrots went in last fall along with mustards, lettuces, arugula, radishes, cilantro, chards...tomatoes stop setting fruit when temps get to 90* and up here. The ht of the beds has helped with humidity, at least.
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With raised beds we can push the plant season out later and begin earlier down here.
So many roads to take, choices to make, and laughs to share!
[Last edited by kittriana - Feb 21, 2020 10:58 PM (+)]
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Name: Kristi
east Texas pineywoods (Zone 8a)
Herbs Region: Texas Vegetable Grower Avid Green Pages Reviewer
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pod
Feb 22, 2020 7:08 AM CST
I agree with Kat on the benefits of raised beds. And like her beds, mine has a base to prevent the invasive tree roots. Even then, I will have to rework them every few years to remove some roots. And like her beds, I wish mine were set further apart but can only blame myself.

I don't know if you deal with fire ants there but they can give you more headaches in raised beds.

Interesting on the potatoes in ground by St. Patricks Day. Here the old timers say to have them in ground by Valentines Day. Unfortunately this year potatoes in ground will rot! Grumbling Poured out 2 1/2 inches from Tues to Thurs. Grrrr….
Believe in yourself even when no one else will. ~ Sasquatch
Name: Dalorean
South Mississippi (Zone 8b)
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Dalorean
Feb 22, 2020 9:32 PM CST
@kittriana I love your set up! It looks awesome! I love the fence put up around it for vine veggies I guessing??? Why are you covering everything? Keep weed seeds and rain out?? So good spacing is very important on raised beds??? In my mind I did that to let vine plants grow in between the beds like watermelon and cantaloupe. Sorry about all the questions.
@pod do your tree roots grow up over the ground there? Making tripping hazards or prevent lawn mowers travel? I started cutting them out in mine I getting tired of going around them. How knowledgeable are you on growing grass?? I'll get you some pics to show you what I'm trying to deal with on tree lines and under our oak trees. I'd love to have a full lawn some day. Thanks for all of your responses😃
Name: Kristi
east Texas pineywoods (Zone 8a)
Herbs Region: Texas Vegetable Grower Avid Green Pages Reviewer
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pod
Feb 23, 2020 7:39 AM CST
I don't have surface tree roots out in the yard but when it becomes dry in summer, the feeler roots will search for moisture and nutrients and manage to get into my raised beds. They will travel a good distance.

I only wished my raised beds were spaced further apart for working between them. I can get a wheel barrow between them but if I want to kneel between them, I have to turn sideways. Big feet I guess. Rolling my eyes.

I can't say I know much about growing grass. I had my house remodeled three years ago and am patiently awaiting a circle drive around it. It is too muddy for them to work right now but the drive will eliminate a good deal of mowing for me. Hurray! When that is done, I hope to do the landscaping inside the circle drive which will be centipede grass. That type of grass doesn't do well in all soils but it does here and I like it as it doesn't require extensive mowing. Currently I use a 20" rechargeable mower for close work and a tractor w/bush hog for the rest. End of February and many here are already mowing. The first growth is weedy. If it weren't so wet, I'd do mine. I assure you, by the end of summer, mowing gets old.

I don't think it will hurt to trim back some of those surface roots. I'm curious if you have lots of shade? That may affect how well your grass lawn will grow. If you don't have lots of trees, you might consider plantings around the base of the tree so the roots aren't an issue. Just a thought.

BTW, thanks for pelting me with acorns. Appreciated but not necessary. Green Grin!
Believe in yourself even when no one else will. ~ Sasquatch
Name: Dalorean
South Mississippi (Zone 8b)
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Dalorean
Feb 23, 2020 10:33 AM CST
Omg yes fire ants pop up everywhere!!!!!!!! We have 2 acres and a big open yard. Once we put out one another pops up somewhere else! I have had them pop up in the raised beds once. I sprinkle this stuff on them and they are gone the next day. Best stuff I've ever bought
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Sounds like a fun project with the drive way I bet it looks awesome and will make driving in and out so much easier! I wish I had a tractor. Would make life so much easier. I gave you more then one acorn?? My bad I suffer from CRS Grin I'll post my lawn issues in the lawn and grass forum. There's a dude there who does grass for a living, oneeye something or another

Name: Kristi
east Texas pineywoods (Zone 8a)
Herbs Region: Texas Vegetable Grower Avid Green Pages Reviewer
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pod
Feb 23, 2020 11:37 AM CST
On the fire ants.... I hate to use chemicals in the raised beds as I will be grazing on what grows there. I use boiling water in the bed. Around the outside of the beds, I will use chemicals. I just try hard to keep them out of the beds.

I will look for your lawn post. Thanks

BTW, it was one acorn. My bad, but thanks for your generosity.
Believe in yourself even when no one else will. ~ Sasquatch
Name: Kat
Magnolia, Tx (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Container Gardener Herbs Moon Gardener Enjoys or suffers hot summers Heirlooms
Vegetable Grower Bookworm
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kittriana
Feb 23, 2020 9:45 PM CST
The fencing around it is another problem you are apt to be seeing, had 5 deer in the yard at midnite other day...has to be 8' hi to thwart them as they love gardens. Letting your plants trail is a good way to avoid trellising, I use 36" long sticks of rebar with bamboo poles to stake plants- after all, I had a neighbor who thought she could plant bamboo on her 1' of easement and actually thought it would stay there, sigh. The rebar keeps the bamboo from rooting after I dry it. I would have loved to have had more than the 36" we kept for aisles- the one aisle that is 44" is much easier to deal with. In front of those beds is not grass- it is oats and crimson clover- the dogs and cats will chew the oats while they are gardening with me, the crimson clover tells me how poor the soil is there and helps feed the oats. Clover won't grow for more than 5 years in one spot before the nutrients change in the dirt and keep them from sprouting. It also only grows in poor soil...
I only wish the metal fabric would stop the roots. It won't happen, it will feed up thru the mesh and grow holes in the mesh. Sweetgums are horrible about it, but so are the pines. I have been cheating the moles- I throw coffee grounds out away from my garden- it draws the earthworms to that spot and the cats and dogs hunt them in the yard where the worms and moles come after the coffee grounds. Fire ants are a never ending battle, usually they come up after rains, but the hives underground can actually spread over 80 feet down and at least as wide under your feet. Kill one spot and new queens move right in.
So many roads to take, choices to make, and laughs to share!
Name: Dalorean
South Mississippi (Zone 8b)
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Dalorean
Feb 24, 2020 8:52 PM CST
@pod that's a darn good point! I will avoid using that stuff in the beds and use boiling water, never would have even thought about that! We used gas a couple times that was fun nodding
@kittriana I could only HOPE deer would come up on our property. They are more on the side outskirts of the neighborhood but who knows maybe the garden will draw them in? Ya I agree with the spacing between beds. My wife wanted them closer to squeeze more beds in. I wonder if the vines on the ground would rot the fruits during heavy rains though. You got quite the science to your gardening that is way awesome. I'm pretty sure I'm following you. You mean roots from trees growing up into the raised beds? Any problems with squirrels??? I'm getting a hunch that growing gardens attract all sorts of unwanted creatures that my not be there in the first place.
Name: Kat
Magnolia, Tx (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Container Gardener Herbs Moon Gardener Enjoys or suffers hot summers Heirlooms
Vegetable Grower Bookworm
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kittriana
Feb 24, 2020 9:23 PM CST
I am pulling literally thousands of pine sprouts every day now- as well as the acorns the squirrels dig little holes for, but the squirrels haven't been as bad in the raised beds. Deer eat more veggies than you do, and they will happily top your peppers and grab your almost ripe tomatoes just before they are ready. The science of tomatoes is that they are vines. 'Indeterminate' tomatoes in a good year could be a 25' long vine. Determinates grow to a determined ht and that is about all you get. Order yourself a catalog from 'Totally Tomatoes' and enjoy the lore they add into their catalog... Wet years we may do a 'Florida fencing' on tomatoes, but dry years we let them trail the ground and the plant roots itself searching for moisture as it goes. Let me tell you how hard it is to mow around a ground vine, or weed the area, grrrr.
A for instance on tree roots, we removed a water feature at our front porch (drew too many snakes with short humans around) and then I filled in the area with our sandy loam, and horse manure a wheelbarrow of each at a time. We then installed a french drain to carry away those 4" an hour rains we get - then we layed slabs of rock to step on. Some of the rocks have come unseated and rock. Lo and behold, we looked to see why and there is a 6" root pushing up beside the french drain. 4 yrs. I pulled up the concrete bed, pulled up the metal fabric, and cut the roots out of the fabric-2" roots and I do chase them down in the bed and snip and cut them constantly. I would not be surprised to find our entire yard has roots not 6" below the surface of the whole yard.
By the way, I have read but not tested a Youtube story of a gentleman who uses 30mm clear fish line around his garden as if it were fencing. We do know a deer will jump what it can see, but if it can't see what it can feel, it won't jump it. Just for one of these days. I have to switch to my cellfone for last year pix, chuckl, so will return shortly to edit this post.
So many roads to take, choices to make, and laughs to share!
Name: Kat
Magnolia, Tx (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Container Gardener Herbs Moon Gardener Enjoys or suffers hot summers Heirlooms
Vegetable Grower Bookworm
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kittriana
Feb 24, 2020 9:58 PM CST
My garden is on higher ground, up on the right.
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This last June 5, the tomatoes were about done for the year and I yanked them out by July 28th- our days hit 90's plus by June1, you can see the issue with staked indeterminate tomatoes full grown in that upper corner, in a 30" raised bed.

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By June 25th, the cukes had grown over the trellis and touched ground again. These are Munchers and pickling cukes. And before the fence was up.
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The Tabasco pepper was a shining star in the garden, chuckl, til frost.

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By August, eggplant is Ping Tung, Basil is African Blue basil, an edible hybrid with no seeds.
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Laying out, leveling and painting the cinder brick herb bed ( Doodle is a 15# catnip sniffing kitten)
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My Super Sweet 100 set in the bed now. HOPING the soil amendments this 2nd year will reduce water requirements.
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Last pic of Doodle and Ms Warbeast on the way to their catnip...this bed is set for plants that overwinter...
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So many roads to take, choices to make, and laughs to share!

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