firstname.lastname@example.org (Not Much) wrote in message
Sure. if you start in august, you will be growing mostly fall greens,
and those are
a) the most nutritious of all veggies and
b) in most cases you can let them go to seed and collect seeds for
Yes, staggered seeding for plants with a short harvest season (such as
lettuce), but maybe only two or three plantings for longer harvest
veggies such as zucchini or chard. Get a chart with planting and
harvesting times for your area, and pick only what you can eat. In
Dallas, you can have winter greens throughout the winter, no problem.
Just make sure everything is in the ground by october.
Use all of your kitchen scraps, all of your leaves, and all of your
grass clippings as fertilizer and mulch. In a place like Dallas,
mulching should save you a lot of water money. If you have already
established plants, consider
five or six inches of mulch around them.
If you start this august, and the soil is more or less prepared, I
suggest (tomatoes will be for next spring):
1) soil test at your local extension service
2) start with relatively easy veggies such as lettuce, chard, collard,
or various salad greens (it will be difficult to mulch greens, except
relatively large plants such as collard or chard... direct seed the
rest, if the plants are thick enough they will mulch themselves some).
As the weather grows cooler (october) you can try planting some
arugula or other mustards.
3) get a herb patch going as it gives a lot for little effort. I would
start with oregano, thyme and sage, perhaps rosemary, given the zone.
On 1 Jul 2003 10:17:27 -0700, email@example.com (Not Much)
You don't want much, do you? :-) For a fall garden, look up "cool
weather crops". Even Dallas winters aren't ideal for tomatoes. There
are few plants that will produce measured quantities at appropriate
times. "Staggered planting" is good for some greens and herbs, but
when tomato season happens, there are a lot of tomatoes. And zucchini.
Truly frugal use of a garden pretty much involves canning and
preserving, or trading ripe veg now for battery-jumping later. It
certainly is cheaper to buy $1.50-worth of bean seeds and grow your
own than pay (last time I looked) $1.79/lb for them in the grocery
Gardening has a longish learning curve. No one can tell you exactly
what to plant, when, what the yield is going to be, and what to do
with it. It *is* a wonderfully rewarding endeavor on any scale.
You basically have three choices for long-term storage: freezing,
canning, or drying (and some root crops like potatoes can just be kept
in the basement for a while). Vegetables vary in how well each method
works. A good book for explaining all the methods, and telling you
which ones work best for each vegetable, is _Stocking Up_ from Rodale
As far as frugality goes, drying is probably the cheapest. You can
get a dehydrator for $20 or less (or just use your oven), and then all
you need are some jars or tins to put the dried food in and a dark
place to keep them. Canning would be the next cheapest; you need a
pressure canner, jars, lids, and some know-how. Freezing is the most
expensive, since you'll need a freezer and freezer bags or containers,
but you may be able to pick up a cheap freezer at an auction or estate
Definitely. I've been picking turnips, lettuce (several kinds), swiss
chard, and peas for over a month now. It got too hot and dry for
radishes, and the peas will probably be done for in a couple weeks,
but beans and other things will be coming on by then, and I'll have
peas again in the fall. There aren't many individual varieties that
will bear all season, but you can definitely be picking something
every day all season. In fact, since some plants take longer to
mature than others, and different plants like different weather, it
mostly just works out that way.
Raised beds might not be the most 'frugal' way to go, but I'll let
others with experience at that chime in here. If you have to purchase
soil and lumber or other edging for your beds, you'll surely spend
more than someone who just works up a plot of ground. But you might
be ahead in the long run, if you never have to buy/rent a tiller.
Consider used lumber such as that reclaimed from old pallets. Just avoid the
ones soaked in oils or with obvious chemical spills. A 42x48 pallet will
yield 3 2x4's of a decent length.Often the lumber in a pallet is hardwood
and that is a plus.
I'm sure others will have additional tips.
We don't have a source of free pallets, and couldn't afford
to buy enough lumber or cement blocks.
We're using old tires (free!) for raised beds. So far,
we're very happy with it, it is working very well for us.
Examples can be seen at:
I read "square foot gardening" about 2 years ago.
If you follow even HALF of the advice in there, your garden will be rockin' in
just maybe 2 seasons. (hopefully getting better every season--so far so good)
gardening is the ONLY activity that I am invoved with that i just cannot be
angry with. no stress at all, even when stuff goes wrong!
This should get you started. Don't forget herbs. My house in far North
Dallas has more mint, lemon balm, rosemary, oregano, & sage growing that
we can eat
Oops almost forgot mexican mint marigold(tarragon substitute)
Bright lights swiss chard, & any kind of kale, ambrosia melons
& walking onions all are very happy in my square foot organic garden.
Starting in August will be a challenge to keep stuff from burning up
in the daytime.
Not Much wrote:
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