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#1 05-01-2008 06:03:19

robin416
Platinum Member
From: Mid So TN
Registered: 04-29-2008
Posts: 1797
Website

This could be a big waste of time

and money. Neither of which we have much of these days.

My friends came over with their old tractor with the tiller hanging from the back it. They tilled this gigantic garden spot for me. Then my friend's husband took me to an Amish farm that had started plants. Of course I bought tons more than I needed. The bigger question is will it live?

I learned to grow veggies in MI, did quite well for myself. Then we moved to the N. GA Mtns, the first year was OK, the second was outstanding and from there it just got better. Now here I am in S. Mid TN, an area that has been in a drought for the past several years. Temps in my area hovering at 110 for most of the Summer.

The soil is different, the temps are higher and depending on drought conditions it might also be much drier. All tips and inside info is welcomed. Oh, I should probably tell you I mulch my plants with straw. Yeah, I know about the grass that can grow from it but what it does for the soil after its tilled under and shades plants roots before hand makes it worth the trouble.


Robin in Mid S. TN
www.silkiesofsummertown.com
Search out and buy Made in America

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#2 05-01-2008 06:51:43

Hencackle
Thread Killer
From: northeast TN
Registered: 03-02-2008
Posts: 4044

Re: This could be a big waste of time

robin, last year was the driest year on record for northeast TN as well.  I think I cut the grass a total of 4, maybe 5 times.  The grass clippings were collected in the bagger attachment and strewn between the rows; pine needles and straw were used around the plants.  Plus, I had to water the garden.  In spite of that, many plants didn't thrive--it was the first time I've ever lost pepper plants.

In spite of the drought, I did manage to have a fair crop of cucumbers, onions, corn, butter beans, and potatoes.  On the plus side, the weeds were less prolific!


I've got a FOWL mouth!
cool Song  = http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L6WVNN_DJe0

"If people let government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny" - Thomas Jefferson

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#3 05-01-2008 07:16:24

Seminolewind
Platinum Member
From: spring hill, Florida
Registered: 02-10-2008
Posts: 1613

Re: This could be a big waste of time

Tips?  Weeeel, plants love water, and they love fertilizer like 5-10-5. 
   Even Florida is a great place to grow veggies, if you water, water, water


I was going to be good, but I got bored
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#4 05-02-2008 04:01:18

robin416
Platinum Member
From: Mid So TN
Registered: 04-29-2008
Posts: 1797
Website

Re: This could be a big waste of time

That's the rub, water, water, water may not be an option. Even though our well didn't miss a beat last year do I really want to risk it keeping the garden alive.

We have two spring fed ponds. These pics are of the larger pond, about an acre. The first is what it looks like before the drought. The second was in August of last year. Thank goodness for the beneficial rain we rec'd this Winter because it is looking more like pic one these days.




Robin in Mid S. TN
www.silkiesofsummertown.com
Search out and buy Made in America

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#5 05-02-2008 04:23:40

2dream
Silver Member
From: Mississippi
Registered: 02-04-2008
Posts: 237

Re: This could be a big waste of time

I live in Mississippi and summers are hot and dry.  I try not to water my garden at all.   If I do water I make sure it is a really good soaker.  The problem with watering a garden:  If you don't really soak it good so the water will soak down past the roots, the roots of the plants will turn up to reach the water.  By doing that
they are closer to the top of the ground which causes them to die and burn easier.
You might water some right after planting but I try not to water after a plant is established.   Containers of course are different.   They get watered on a regular basis.  (I do a lot of container gardening) Tomatos, leaf lettuce, snow peas, fingerling carrots.


I've wrestled with reality for 35 years, Doctor, and I'm happy to state I finally won out over it. (Jimmy Stewart as Elwood Dowd in Harvey)

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#6 05-02-2008 04:25:36

Hencackle
Thread Killer
From: northeast TN
Registered: 03-02-2008
Posts: 4044

Re: This could be a big waste of time

The lakes in my area looked like the 2nd photo of your pond--even at the end of March of this year.


I've got a FOWL mouth!
cool Song  = http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L6WVNN_DJe0

"If people let government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny" - Thomas Jefferson

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#7 05-02-2008 05:43:30

robin416
Platinum Member
From: Mid So TN
Registered: 04-29-2008
Posts: 1797
Website

Re: This could be a big waste of time

Maybe its because I only see coverage for middle TN because I didn't realize it was that bad there too. I knew that down around Chattanooga was bad but they never said anything about the NE.

As to mowing, same here. I've learned to wear a dust mask should we go through that again. We would watch the dogs running down towards where that big pond is and could see puffs of dust everytime their paws hit the ground. I keep hearing talk about a ten year drought, this area has been seeing a rain shortage now for five years. I'm so hoping they're wrong.

One other thing I need for the garden, a fence. Guess where the four dogs are right now? Yep, they made a bee line straight to the newly tilled soil.


Robin in Mid S. TN
www.silkiesofsummertown.com
Search out and buy Made in America

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#8 05-02-2008 06:36:15

Hencackle
Thread Killer
From: northeast TN
Registered: 03-02-2008
Posts: 4044

Re: This could be a big waste of time

I don't cut the grass when it's "crunchy", even if it needs a trim.   I'd rather have the length shade the soil.  My neighbors, on the other hand cut their grass so short that they were making the bald areas worse.  Actually, they were mowing dirt in places. 

Last June, a man went off the road at the corner of my property and came across my front yard on a diagonal path and T-boned my Jeep which was parked in the driveway.  When I opened my front door, all I could see for a few moments were clouds of dust.  The man's truck left semi-permanent tire tracks that could be seen for over a month.  That's dry!  (my Jeep, the grass & shrubs were totaled)

Southwest VA was hit hard too.  Geographically, I'm in TN, but my weather is more like southwest VA.  It didn't get as hot as middle TN--where my family is. 

Another 10-year drought?  Is that what's predicted?   Dogs and chickens can't resist that freshly tilled dirt! crazy


I've got a FOWL mouth!
cool Song  = http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L6WVNN_DJe0

"If people let government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny" - Thomas Jefferson

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#9 05-02-2008 09:38:15

riderken
Gold Member
From: NW Mo.
Registered: 02-22-2008
Posts: 838

Re: This could be a big waste of time

Nice looking place.

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#10 05-02-2008 01:16:13

robin416
Platinum Member
From: Mid So TN
Registered: 04-29-2008
Posts: 1797
Website

Re: This could be a big waste of time

Well, HC some of those dang ol' weeds are tough and just kept going. To prevent preds from having a good hiding place I kept everything down around my coops. Same thing here, tracks evident until the wind blew the dust around and covered them up.

But I kept my hubby from bush hogging the fields last Summer for the same reason, leave it tall. My biggest concern was if we ever did get rain the errosion would be tremendous. This is what happened because I wouldn't let him mow. The pic I attached is one from the fire.

I was out piddling around with by birds, hubby comes out and asks "who the heck has a fire going in this wind and this dry?" I asked him what he was talking about, remember I'm working with my birds and nothing exists at that point. He points to the far end of the pond and sure enough there's smoke. He hops in his truck and drives back there, by the time he gets there the fire has jumped the fence and is now on our property. He zooms back, I'm already getting the tractor ready for him to try and cut a fire break. He roars back there and begins to try and stop it. From my perspective I could see that he was going to be surrounded by fire. I hopped in his truck went ripping out there. Before I could get there there was too much fire and I couldn't get to him. Singed the hair off his arms but he was danged lucky and got himself and our tractor back to the house.

Odds are it was neighbor kids fooling around and set their property on fire, about 15 acres of ours, 5 each of two other neighbors. Then the fire jumped the paved road and started the woods on fire there.

We suffered no losses thanks to the volunteer fire departments from several towns and foresty service.


Robin in Mid S. TN
www.silkiesofsummertown.com
Search out and buy Made in America

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