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To Cricket and Annie, as you two know, my wife and I were cursed with "black thumbs." I can kill plants (even barrel cactus) with simply an angry nod. Every plant my wife planted last year died in the yard. She tells me to just buck up since now we have 'natural fertilizer.'

We can still work the dirt since we haven't gotten a hard freeze yet. Is there any way we can prepare the plots we have to better our chances next spring?
 

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To Cricket and Annie, as you two know, my wife and I were cursed with "black thumbs." I can kill plants (even barrel cactus) with simply an angry nod. Every plant my wife planted last year died in the yard. She tells me to just buck up since now we have 'natural fertilizer.'

We can still work the dirt since we haven't gotten a hard freeze yet. Is there any way we can prepare the plots we have to better our chances next spring?
Have you considered layered composting, i.e. lasagna gardening?

 

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I wonder why He made so many different varieties of bugs. Everything God makes is good, right? Any thoughts on that? The French have a word that fits maybe, "Jolie Laide", meaning "ugly beautiful" or "pretty ugly" I guess they are kind of. I guess to the birds they're pretty...Pretty tasty.
Inor and Slippy just aren't in tune with nature.
 

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Well, I am going to try again this year. I already mulched the ground and mixed in some filler dirt so hopefully I can get peppers and tomatoes this year. Last year everything died, I mean everything, everything including the fake plant on the porch. It's in the 70's here this week so I am working outside some. Putting poison down between the fences for the wasps and hornets. (God made a mistake with these ornery damn things) I am going to try strawberry's in half drums made of wood this year. I hear they will do well here in the heat.
 

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Inor and Slippy just aren't in tune with nature.
OK, I see what's going on here!

Laugh it up you comedians, and next harvest when me and @Inor win the national title for biggest Avocado's essentially putting an end to all of this "Avocado from Mexico" nonsense, and for best Coffee grown in the US, knocking that ******* Juan Valdez on his ******* ass, then we'll see who's laughing! :vs_laugh:
 

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I think this year I am going to try and plant a Knob Creek tree. Then I won't care if I kill everything else. :tango_face_grin:
 

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https://greatist.com/ is where i get most of my information for growing but i'm confused on when you mentioned the growing zone, can you please elaborate
The US is divided up into grow areas. What does well in your area can differ in my area. Just as an example, last year my wife bought a vine. Here it is an annual, in Houston it's a perennial. When buying plants, a seller should ask what zone you are in. Below is a link to the USDA zone map. Put in your zip code and it will display what zone you are in. In N TX, we are in zone 8A.

https://planthardiness.ars.usda.gov/PHZMWeb/
 

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The US is divided up into grow areas. What does well in your area can differ in my area. Just as an example, last year my wife bought a vine. Here it is an annual, in Houston it's a perennial. When buying plants, a seller should ask what zone you are in. Below is a link to the USDA zone map. Put in your zip code and it will display what zone you are in. In N TX, we are in zone 8A.

https://planthardiness.ars.usda.gov/PHZMWeb/
Wow thats amazing, i got: Zone 7b : 5 to 10 (F)
 

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Moderators, can you remove Bixon's link?
Why? What's wrong with a link to a useless blog that has nothing to do with the topic at hand? :vs_laugh:
 
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I expect a lot of persons coming out of the confines of Netflix for the first time to start gardens given the current situation, and I applaud that.

I would like to add one tid bit of advice,

Don't start your seeds to early.

Calm down and let me explain.

In my area of Michigan the rule of thumb is putting your garden, OUT on or about May 20th. throngs of people do so on the memorial week end.

I have lost 2 wonderfully started gardens on the 29th of May from Frost.

So back up to start your plants inside. or in a green house, where ever you plan to start them.

You need to know your weather condition, ideal date of planting, last day of frost expected, and the hardy nature of the plants you are going to grow.

Kale, Arugala, Potatoes, Alaskan Snap pees will grow through a frost.

Cucumbers will drop dead, if the weather girl mentions on the news that there is a chance of spotty frost, next week Tuesday.

Plants need to be hardened, by mother nature, wind whipped and sun beaten.

Many persons start plants inside, and they grow like crazy in the protected environment, long tall and spindly. the first time mother nature shows them a wind, they fold at the ground and or become sun burnt.

Put your starters out in the environment every day that it is above freezing, to harden them.

And back up no more than 6 weeks from your target date for putting them outside, or they will grow uncontrolled and die when you transplant them.

Remember exceptions to every thing, in Michigan here you can plant Alaskan snap pees and they will grow under the snow a little.

Cucumbers die from a cool breeze.

Proceed with your seeds wisely.

There may not be another pack at the store, when you go again.
 

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Keeping a little bag of heirloom seeds isn't enough, you need things like fertilizer, pest controls, and basic tools if you plan to plant an emergency garden.
There's something else that's needed and it can't be purchased, and that is experience. Whatever the seeds are you have in your seed vault against a SHTF situation, you need to be growing them all NOW. It may be that while "X" variety of tomato generally does well in your USDA hardiness zone, or even for your friend down the street, it may not perform well in your microclimate. You need to know that before it's too late to get seeds for another variety. You also need experience saving your own seeds. This is generally straightforward, but practice makes perfect. When every seed counts, you don't want to leave this to chance.

It may take some experimentation to find the varieties that work well for you and that's why it's so important to be growing a wide variety of foods now. Planting a garden yearly also gives the varieties you've chosen time to adapt to your microclimate. By saving the seeds from your best performing individual plants each gardening season, you increase your chances of having successful gardens into the future.
 
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