Texas Gardening forum→Hello, new to TX and Plano and starting a veg garden

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Angryitalian
Apr 27, 2021 9:18 PM CST
Hello hello!
So I'm fairly new to Texas having moved to Plano at the end of 2019. Looking for tips and insight since the weather here is something else and it's really the first time I'm in a house with a back yard!
Love gardening and finally renting a house with some backyard space to play around. I have access to pallets with my line of work and set up raised beds with recycled wood. Last year I built 2x4 and 4x4 beds about a foot tall. Found out rabbits are a thing in this neck of the woods so this year built them 2ft tall and that helped with that. Moved them on the west side of the yard this year since the east side for sun too late in the day and the peppers in particular didn't care fir that.
So now this year I have my shiny new reclaimed wood beds 2x3 and 2 ft tall on the west side and all is good until this year's struggles: squirrels and slugs.
Any advice that has worked?
Also I've got several different peppers this year, some tomatoes and trying Thai eggplant for the fist time. Any advice and tips would be appreciated!
Cheers
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[Last edited by Angryitalian - Apr 27, 2021 9:20 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
Apr 28, 2021 7:17 PM CST
Welcome! The move to the west side of your yard was a good one. I am certain you will notice an improvement.

I found I was invaded by slugs and snails when my raised beds were framed with wood. I have gradually transitioned to metal sides on the beds but slugs and snails were still in the soil. I use Sluggo when I put the seedlings in ground. One light application is adequate.

Squirrels don't bother my beds as they are too busy raiding the bird feeders. Also my cat collection probably helps keep them off the ground.

Now if you find a solution for keeping flea beetles off your eggplant, I am all ears. I'm all ears! D'Oh!
Believe in yourself even when no one else will. ~ Sasquatch

Angryitalian
Apr 30, 2021 8:22 AM CST
Thanks for the suggestions! I'll try sluggo! It seems it's only one bed in particular that's getting all the slug attention. I would love a collection of cats but having a young kid is enough at the moment so I just built a small feeder on one corner of the yard to hopefully keep the squirrels' attention away from the beds.
Rabbits still annoying af...
And yea the move to the west side was great! Plants seem to be doing a lot better
Name: Kristi
east Texas pineywoods (Zone 8a)
Herbs Region: Texas Vegetable Grower Avid Green Pages Reviewer
Image
pod
Apr 30, 2021 8:55 AM CST
I hope the rabbits won't bother your raised beds. Hopefully they can't get into them.

The squirrels may still try to bury their treasures in the loose soil though.
Good luck! Crossing Fingers!
Believe in yourself even when no one else will. ~ Sasquatch
Frisco, TX (Zone 8a)
zone 8
Hummingbirder Region: Texas Roses Butterflies Echinacea
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teacup754
May 1, 2021 3:35 PM CST
Rabbits built a nest in my potted mini rose three weeks ago. They are gone today, so we cleaned it out ( lots of mommy fur and old grass) I put new soil in the dug out area and put window screen pieces, then put yard staples to hold it down. That should keep her from digging but we will see. I was surprised she would want to jump up to the pot.it is the grey pot in this picture.
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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
May 1, 2021 3:56 PM CST
Smart rabbit, chuckl. Plano sits on the caprock, lots of whiterock up there. Where you have the whiterock (caliche) your iron fights it- so you will be able to grow lots of things that like calcium, but need to isolate plants that like iron. How do I know? Chuckl, The Red River is where I grew up along, and there are no pine trees (they require iron). The raised beds are perfect for this.
Yes, I also lay screening over the top of the soils, and metal wire under my beds or the moles move in. Keeping them excessively wet deters the fire ants. My dogs do their best to catch the squirrels which keeps them on the climb. The cats do the same and I recieve mole/squirrel/ snake, and occasionally hissing spitting small possum gifts. Rabbits love to sit on things to watch their surroundings and to eat and leave you gifts on said sitting areas. Snails and slugs, I have so many...eggshells, save all eggshells, nuke em about 3 min and crush them small, place around the plants heavily- they do not like to cross the bits. 8 penny nail (Dsize) beside the stems of pepper, tomato, etc keeps the cutworm away from the base of your plants, but that is the cutworm that makes a circle and beaver cuts the plant down. You will still need to probably spray spinosad for the ones that eat above the ground. My flea beetles do not like the peppermint I grow and cut into bits to place on the soils in my tubs. Planting the stinky marigolds and basils around your tomato plants help also repel several predators, but as far as I can tell, leaffooted bugs ignore all repellants, just have to learn their instars and crush em quik. Luck up there in Plano!
So many roads to take, choices to make, and laughs to share!
Name: Donald
Eastland county, Texas (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas Enjoys or suffers hot summers Raises cows Plant Identifier
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needrain
May 1, 2021 3:56 PM CST
@teacup754

Did you see the rabbits using the nest? I'm really suprised one would jump into a container. I've had lots of rabbits around the house, but their nests have always been on the ground. Carolina wrens will make nests in the containers and use any material at hand to help construct the nest. Unfortunately, mice will do it as well. Last week while I was sorting and moving some containers where the plants got frozen in February, there was a nest complete with a couple of adult mice in it. Glare I recognized some of the materials they had used, but there was some fluffy, cotton type material like you see inside an old mattress and I'm still trying to figure out where they got that Thinking Thinking .
Donald
Frisco, TX (Zone 8a)
zone 8
Hummingbirder Region: Texas Roses Butterflies Echinacea
Image
teacup754
May 1, 2021 4:24 PM CST
@needrain
Early on we actually saw mommy rabbit come into our yard, move along the fence slowly around dusk. Then she moved to the patio and got up on her back legs, then jump into the pot. She hunkered down and stayed there for about 10 minutes then jumped down. We left the nest alone and watered the rose once from the other side of the nest. We actually saw the baby bunnies in the nest as they grew bigger and outgrew what had been dug. It was fun once, but I don't need it again!
We've had nests in the yard last year so this really surprised us too.
[Last edited by teacup754 - May 1, 2021 4:25 PM (+)]
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Name: Donald
Eastland county, Texas (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas Enjoys or suffers hot summers Raises cows Plant Identifier
Image
needrain
May 1, 2021 6:32 PM CST
It IS so much fun when you can watch the process begining to successful conclusion. Even when they are a nuisance - like the mud swallows and barn swallows - I enjoy watching them raise a family. And I'm always trying to avoid stepping on the toad frogs which seem always to be underfoot. Both of those have a lot value due to the quantity of insects they consume. Both make messes.
Donald

Angryitalian
May 2, 2021 7:01 AM CST
Found baby bunnies last year in my yard as well! I managed to round them all up once they were grown enough and relocated them to a park area nearby

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