Backyard gardening tips

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Here are some backyard gardening tips.

Growing tomatoes and bell peppers in north Texas

I’ve lived in north Texas for twenty years and have had a vegetable garden for most of that time. In the summer hear it will usually be in the 90’s with some days over 100. The humidity can get very high also. Your tomatoes and bell peppers will have a tendency to want to wilt during the daytime. This can lead to over watering by thinking that they are to dry. A cheap moisture meter and PH meter, like you can find on Amazon<Click here, is the best way to avoid this.

Organically grown tomatoes

While the tomatoes seem to be able to endure the heat the bell peppers doesn’t like it at all. Mine stopped growing entirely until it cooled down to the lower 80’s and especially cooled down to the 60’s over night. Then they started to flourish until another heat wave came for about a week and got back into the 90’s.

Now it’s mid fall and I have about 12 that are doing fine. Now i am just hoping they will ripen before the first freeze. The average first freeze in this area is November 22nd but it seems that winters are getting warmer around here, maybe due to La Nina or Climate Change.

Backyard gardening tips

While water is the most important nutrient for growing plants let’s discuss others things that are very important also.

I have a raised bed where I like to use a mixture of good quality top soil mixed with good quality compost. Find a fertilizer where the middle number, which is phosphorus, is higher than the nitrogen or potassium number. like an 11-40-13. PH balance is also very important. Tomatoes prefer a slightly acidic soil. Most moisture meters also contain a PH meter. You can change a soils PH by adding garden lime to increase the PH or soil acidifier to lower the PH.

I’ve also grown tomatoes in upside down pots with some luck. It’s best to use a smaller type like a cherry or patio tomato. They only seemed to produce one time without any more growing throughout the summer.

Next season I think I”ll try growing some tomatoes and bell peppers in 5 gallon fabric containers. They have excellent breathability, better drainage and releases heat better than plastic or clay pots do. They air prune the plant’s root structure which prevents root circling.

Growing evergreen trees

A couple of years ago I decided to start growing evergreen trees. Living in Southern California for several decades and I made it a point to visit the Sierras every chance I got. In fact, I lived up theirĀ for one summer. Yosemite National Park and Kings Canyon National Park are areas every one should visit just once in their life. The natural beauty of this world is something amazing.

Giant Sequoias

I started with a giant sequoia(sequoiadendron giganteum) and a coastal redwood(sequoia sempervirens). I planted them both in pots in the recommended soil however they both died eventually and I’m not sure why. They are shipped in a tube which keeps the roots moist until arrival from a company called the Jonsteen Tree Co. in McKinleyville, Ca.

While the Giant Sequoia was dying in noticed there was another one which was about an inch tall starting to grow. 2 years later it is about 12″ tall and doing fine. I also have a Japanese Black Pine(pinus thunbergii), a Scots Pine(pinus sylvestris) and a Pinon Pine(pinus edulis). They are all doing quite well.

 

 

 

Sunrise in the Sierras

Evergreens require a different type of medium than do other plants. Usually something that is light that allows a lot of air flow and also allow good drainage. A mixture of peat moss, perlite and compost makes a good medium.

Watering should be done sparingly, allowing the pot to really dry out between waterings. This allows the roots to reach deeper down into the soil to gather there moisture thus creating a better system. Just stick your finger down as far as it will go, or use a meter, and if it doesn’t feel moist it is time to water.

Even thou
gh buying vegetables at the store is definitely cheaper than growing them there are several reasons growing them is better. Most vegetables are genetically modified to produce more per vine or plant, to be more uniform in color and shape, to have a longer shelf life and they usually do there ripening in the truck during shipping. There is also chemicals and pesticides added to them for a bigger yield.

When
you grow your own organic vegetables you have control over the amount of nutrients or organic substances you use to fend off bugs.

As far as outdoor exercise goes it is very beneficial. Bending, stretching, and working the soil is great for you. Add in digging, shoveling and breathing fresh air while your communing with nature and growing your own food and backyard gardening is a hobby someone could do for a lifetime.

Gardening can be done anywhere. It can be done outside or inside. It can be done in the country or the city. It can even be done on the rooftops of tall buildings. As long as it has some sunshine, water and a little bit of nutrients it will flourish. I believe everybody should try some type of gardening.

If you do decide to grow one of these amazing evergreen trees, that will last for hundreds, if not thousands of years, then you can get them on Amazon.

Sequoia National Park

-Giant Sequoia Tree<Click here

-Colorado Blue Spruce<Click here

Japanese Black Pine<Click here

-Coastal Redwood<Click here

 

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