View Full Version : OT: gardening! help a novice, please!
03-29-2004, 10:59 AM
OK, we are rapidly exiting the "austin beginner growing season" and I have nada planted. I got the catalogs you all recommended, and while they are beautiful to look at, I am overwhelmed by the choices. Good grief, it looks like almost everything will grow here (which can't be so, too freaking hot!).
In any case, I want to start small... how much space should I clear for a modest vegetable garden and flower garden... I would relaly love to plant stuff that I can cut for indoor flowers. Also, it's damn hot and not a lot of shade.
Anyone have good suggestions to lower the up keep time too? I want to make sure that what I plant won't perish if I'm not hand holding it everyday.
03-29-2004, 12:29 PM
When I lived in Dallas, I gardened almost exclusively in containers. First, because the soil was lousy and amending soil is backbreaking work, and second, because I could move the containers around so nothing would scorch. Watering in the summer was a daily chore.
The first thing that you need to do is survey the site of your proposed garden and figure out what type of sun it gets. Southern exposure in Texas is full on sun all day. You will want to stick with native plants for that region or install an irrigation system. Northern exposure is the least amount of sun, but most plants need more light.
The second thing I would do is make a list of the plants that you really want. When DH and I moved into our current house, we started with a strawberry patch (for DH) tomatoes and basil (for me) peppers (who knows?) and my herbs. This was about 10' by 20'. Around the house where there were already some plants, I added a few of my favorite roses since I could tell from what was there how they would do. I still have a ton of plants in containers, such as roses, mints, miniature roses, irises and hydrangea. Slowly, the pots are being transplanted, but DD really cramped my gardening style last year! This year, we have expanded the garden based on how things did last year and more things that I want to plant.
A local nursery should be able to give you lots of information about what will grow best in your area. I know Austin used to have a rose society and no doubt some gardening clubs. These clubs are generally full of helpful people with lots of relevant experience.
The biggest time saver in gardening is mulch. Thick, thick layer of mulch around all of your plants. This helps keep in moisture to the roots, helps to keep the roots cool, and makes weeding much, much easier.
DD born 7/03
03-29-2004, 12:38 PM
I wish I could help you more, but I don't have much of a green thumb! However, we just spent all of yesterday outside clearing beds, planting bushes and spreading mulch, and boy does it look great! The previous owners of this house where more into the traditional texas scrubby look, and I like a bit more structure, so it is a long process.
Have you been to either of the Red Barn Nurseries (one down south and one on Pond Springs Rd, right by the intersection of 183 and McNeil Rd)? They are supposedly very helpful with all Austin heat and deer gardening questions. The Red Barn is PACKED on weekends, so I would venture over there during the week if you want questions answered. Though I know nothing about flowers, I have heard that a good beginner garden includes lots of tomatos. Good Luck!
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