Over coming gardening obstacles where you live.

Where I live... North East Texas.... we have some good things and some bad things to deal with as far as gardening goes. I am sure this could be said by anyone. I have learned over the years there are many obstacles to gardening. But if its something you love and want to do bad enough, you will figure out a way.

Didn't really have photos for this post so here is a photo of whats being over wintered in my little greenhouse.

Someone ask what size our farm is. We live on a small farm of 27 acres. However, the amount of land I use for gardening is less than 2 acres, quite a bit less than 2 but probably a bit over one.  The reason I haven't used more of the property is simple. 
 Obstacle No. 1 Water.... Getting water to the area and having enough water. You see we do not have a water well. We are on county water, we buy our water.
Here where we live rain is scarce. When you have the heat we do and the lack of rain we do that can make it tough.  
Water Solution part one  Over the last few years we have cut our water bill drastically! :O). Actually we have managed to get it lower than a lot of people we know that don't garden! So I am feeling really good about this!  I did a post on the method we have been putting into place for gardening here. The gentlemen lives in a area that gets even less rainfall than we do and he raises a lot of things. Granted he doesn't get the heat to the level and length of time we do,, but his ideas are solid I think and have proven to be very effective.....www.backtoedenfilm.com When I watched the video online it was free to watch, I assume it still is. Its very long so get a cup of tea and a snack. We cannot always get wood chips, so we use a lot of hay! Hay is what we can easily get. Plus I have read that hay actually puts a lot of good stuff back in your soil. No I do not have a issue with it seeding and coming up in my gardens.  But you know you should use what you can get and think is right for you! If you can get wood chips great, if you can get straw easy great, for us its hay! I would love to be able to always get the wood chips from the tree trimmers but seems lot of folks are after those LOL. When the county tree trimmers were in the area.. They had 4 farms on our short dead end road saying please dump your chips on our land. LOL . I am sure there were others in the area on other roads asking for them too.  We were lucky we got 2 loads. They all went in the fruit orchard!

Our gardens are doing sooooo much better and with soooo much less water! Example I watered my Knock out Rose fence around my orchard not once last year! Nope not one time. I watered our fruit orchard I think it was twice. Yes only twice.  I have a make shift water system set up in it, it was all I knew how to do so its what I did. I took a 100foot water hose. I pierced a hole in it at each tree. When I do water I turn on my water and I water low and slow. So every drop sinks in right at the base of the trees.  I will do a regular true drip irrigation set up in there after my class. The water hose set up has some issues but hey its worked till I can learn to set up a proper system.

Solution part two Keep learning! I am taking a irrigation course at a local college,  just need to figure which month is my best to do it. Honeyman found out about it and said you should take this. I said yes I should!  I think that will be great for watering exactly where I need to with a drip irrigation system. Learning is just part of gardening and well anything in my book.  I love to read and research things! I learn a lot from fellow bloggers.  My best bud and I have found ourselves a class on grafting and air layering and other forms of propagation. Its not till Feb. 2015. The weather may or may not let me make the trip down there 3.5 hours drive and then the class is 1.5 hours from her. Hopefully it will!  This is something we have both wanted to learn how to do for quite some time.  In the meantime I am reading up on this!

Water Solution part three Another thing I do is try to select varieties of things that take less water and can tolerate our extreme heat.  What is right for our climate. This will save you a lot of grief.

Obstacle No. 2 Moles!!! ... arggg- grrrrrr. We have them in spades where we live. LOL Don't leave me a comment saying moles only eat grubs and not plant roots or such. Cuz I might in a moment of unclear thinking delete it ROFL ROFL.. I have seen with my own eyes a chard plant be jerked down into a mole hole like a cartoon on TV, literally while I am standing in my garden!!! They not only will eat the roots off plants they will take the whole darn plant! I have had fully developed squash plants loaded with squash doing so well... only to find them from one day to the next dead nearly... There they lay wilted covered in what would have been a nice crop of squash... why... because you can simply pick up the whole plant easily.. the roots have been eaten off by moles ... 

Solution  raised beds with wire bottoms. Wire cages for fruit trees or bushes ... and also more recently daffodils!!! Yes Daffodils will run them off.  I was tickled to find it was true! I have over 1200 daffodil bulbs planted here all over the place and I plant more every year! Daffodils wont kill them but they don't like them at all!  I do anything I can that I see works to run those fellas off!

Obstacle No. 3  Oh lets not forget the humidity, it can be a issue with plants and humans,,, whew .. oh ya a 100 plus degree day with 85% 90% humidity that is always fun NOT! We don't get quite the humidity every day here that Houston does but we get a lot here on to many days.  I am a runner and I can tell you there are times when I have gone for my run and I have told honeyman..its like breathing through a wet wash cloth. Not fun. This same humidity makes it hard on some plants as well. So when I research a plant if it says it can tolerate humidity and heat and is drought tolerant once established. Bingo I am... Luckily I do ok with the humidity, it makes it harder for sure to deal with the heat on those days but people that have asthma or such really struggle with it.  It reallllly makes it hard for them to be outside doing stuff. 
No solution, just deal with it.

What are your obstacles? How do you deal with them?

Skittles, Cubey  and part of our front pasture area.












9 comments:

Henny Penny said...

Gosh! 27 acres sounds like a plantation to me. We have 5 acres and too many trees. I want fruit trees but can't find a place to put them. Keeper reminds me so much of Eli. Wants to be right with you but would also like to be sleeping. (I just read your last post). You get so much done! I admire your hard work.

Henny Penny said...

Gosh! 27 acres sounds like a plantation to me. We have 5 acres and too many trees. I want fruit trees but can't find a place to put them. Keeper reminds me so much of Eli. Wants to be right with you but would also like to be sleeping. (I just read your last post). You get so much done! I admire your hard work.

TexWisGirl said...

you work very hard at gardening of all kinds. it is your passion. :)

Kev Alviti said...

Rabbits! So I fence them out.
Codl and wet - just ahev to adapt to what I grow here.
Toddlers pulling stuff up and treading on it! I just try to teach them as best I can!
My post tomorrow is on about me being North facing so thats another problem to contend with.
I guess it would be no fun if it was easy. Like you I've been on course to learn to do things better. The fruit tree pruning courses I did were the best, I learnt so much and put it into practice, a great couple of days.

A Quiet Corner said...

Having that greenhouse is certainly a plus for all those plants!! Watering is so abused here in this country and with so many droughts, water is being "sucked" from underground (the earth's sponge) without much plan to replace it...UGH! Keep up your efforts!!!...:)JP

IsobelleGoLightly said...

I think you have to plant lots of yummy things to eat so your goats can have snacks. Tee hee.

My lady also uses the daffodils to try to keep the chipmunks from eating her crocus bulbs. It does work a bit.

Carolyn said...

You have the most amazing garden! you sure know your stuff :) We can only plant very drought tolerant plants here.. we have very hot and dry summers and water restrictions. It's hard to keep anything but the toughest of things alive :)

Sandy said...

Texan,

One of my major issues here at our old rental home relates to the soil for planting my garden. We've had to make large garden beds, and bring in fresh soil. We then mix the soil with compost, and peat moss before planting anything. The soil here is just terrible.

The other problem is getting water out to the garden beds. We've created a watering system using rain barrels. Each barrel is hooked up to a timer which runs twice a day for 20 minutes.

Kev Alviti said...

I just read an article on growing a camomile lawn over a saffon bed to keep the weeds at bay.might help with water retention as well? What do you think?