Fall gardens

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by Oggie, Oct 5, 2005.

  1. Oggie

    Oggie Waste of bandwidth Supporter

    Messages:
    10,618
    Joined:
    May 29, 2003
    Location:
    OK
    I thought that living in the middle of Oklahoma would allow a nice long growing season, but we're discovering that very little grows well in the heat of the summer.

    Salad crops and strawberries were good in the spring. About late June almost every thing except the weeds and the bugs stopped growing. Even the tomatoes died or went dormant. It was worse this year than usual. Squash withered before any fruit appeared. I watered, but it didn't seem to help much.

    I replanted cucumbers, squash, herbs and salad plants about a month ago and they are thriving. I think that from now on I'm going to try to garden both ends of the season and just let the garden go in the heat.

    How do other folks cope with the summer heat so I'll do better next year?
     
  2. Torch

    Torch Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    468
    Joined:
    May 25, 2004
    Location:
    In the piney woods of the great state of Texas.
    My garden here in S.E. Texas does well in the summertime. I have an oak tree about 30 feet from my garden on the west that provides some afternoon shade. I know it flies in the face of reason but some shade on the garden helps with my more tender crops.

    Obviously, choosing crops that do well in the sun and heat is a big factor too. What are the local commercial farmers growing? Grow what they grow and you will then know that if it doesn't work that you can't blame the sun and heat. :)
     

  3. Nax

    Nax Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    202
    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2005
    Location:
    NW Michigan
    Choosing varities is important, but even more so, making sure there is plenty of water. The heat shouldn't bother hot weather crops if they are getting water--in fact such things as cucumbers and tomatoes should thrive. Because I sell at market, and there was a drought this past summer, I was dripping water 24 hours a day in alternate locations.
     
  4. Oggie

    Oggie Waste of bandwidth Supporter

    Messages:
    10,618
    Joined:
    May 29, 2003
    Location:
    OK
    That's what was odd about this year. I grew varieties that had done well before. Even tomatoes and cucumbers that normally love the heat did not do well. I watered, soaking the ground about every other or every third day. I think a desease got the cucumbers because they wilted almost over night.

    I replanted squash in early August. The plants died when they were six inches tall.

    I replanted in early September and now the plants seem to be doing well. I've been able to pick squash and will have cucumbers in a few days.

    Things have slacked a bit in the heat of the summer before, but this year is the first when it's been so dramatic. The garden is a medium-size household type. I'm not trying to grow products to sell. If I were, we'd be in big trouble.
     
  5. mary,tx

    mary,tx Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    4,629
    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2002
    Of course, there's heat and there's heat. Here in Texas, it will get hot enough to stop the garden. We compensate by planting EARLY. My garden is usually in the ground by the end of February. If something gets frosted, I start over. Check to see when the last average frost is in your area. Ours is mid-March, but I take my chances. I also use wall-o-waters for the tomatoes.
    Come the end of August or early September, we start putting in fall gardens. Again, it depends on when you can expect frost in your area, and how cold the winters are. I plant broccoli starts, turnips, carrots, cabbage, and such, and expect it to thrive right through the winter months.
     
  6. Mid Tn Mama

    Mid Tn Mama Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    6,395
    Joined:
    May 11, 2002
    It might not have been the heat but the dreaded squash vine borer that made all your cucumbers and squashes wilt and die like that. You can grow some squashes with harder vines like winter squash or trombocino zuchini that the SVB won't kill. How about okra. The okra and sweet potatoes love the heat. I second planting a little fruit tree next to the garden to block part of the days sun.
     
  7. okiemom

    okiemom Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,292
    Joined:
    May 12, 2002
    I also live in Ok. Tulsa area. I also believe that even heat loving plants need some shade in the late afternoon sun. light shade from 3pm on can help. That is over 8 hrs of sun. MULCH is also key. Our clay just won't retain moisture when it is summer baked.

    I have almost given up on anything outdoors late July to mid Sept. I just can't get up early enough to get work done before heat stroke is real :grit: .

    I am wanting to try to get a winter crop going or at least a fall garden going. I just have to many wants and not enough me to do them :rolleyes:
     
  8. shawnee

    shawnee Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    234
    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2004
    Location:
    Ks.
    I've heard this complaint from everybody this year. Face it, some years are "one" and others "off" and we all pretty much had an "off" year with gardens. I hear you talkin' when you say you've never had to by zuccini-I didn't plant any for about that same reason and had lots of my customers come to the farm for tomatoes and blackberries and beg for zuccini, bell peppers, hot peppers - anything I had. Even sold summer squash I raised primarily for my own family - we used drip irrigation and had 2 hours lilte shade for greater part of the garden. Even so, with the heat and drought - like july/august we had the garden still suffered. I've never had at least a good first picking on my green beans before grasshoppers moved in - not this year. Just look at those veggie catalogs and dream about next year. Don't take this year to heart.
     
  9. quailkeeper

    quailkeeper Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    465
    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2004
    I live near Oklahoma/Arkansas border. I had a great year for cucumbers, squash, tomatoes, etc. I watered every other day. Everything is planted in a raised bed. I also made sure to plant in partial/full shade. The sun will literally bake everything otherwise. I had spots of cucumbers that were in full sun and they withered away. But the ones in the shade did wonderfull!! It gets far too hot here to have it in full sun, it hit about 120 without counting the humidity. We were also in a severe drought. Tomatoes are not a hot summer plant in fact when it gets over 90 they will quit making or will not ripen right. Be aware that the plants you planted a month ago will probably be burned by the frosts. The only things I plant for fall gardens are spinach, beets, carrots, peas, lettuce, cauliflower, broccoli, etc.
     
  10. Rowdy

    Rowdy Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    676
    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2004
    Location:
    Jones Co, Texas
    Here in West Texas, pretty much anything that says "Full Sun" on the seed packet gets at least a few hours, even half a day of shade if I can help it. My tomatoes quit producing this summer, despite having only five or six hours of direct sunlight during the day. Kept them watered, and now being the third week of October I have a plant with 16 fruit ranging from large to many tiny ones, and bunches of blossoms. I doubt I'm going to get many of these to ripen, but I'm going to cover them and hope for a late frost I guess.
     
  11. GrannyG

    GrannyG Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,323
    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2005
    Location:
    near Abilene,TX
    We wanted a fall garden, but not enough rain to plow up the rest of our little patch, so just have turnips planted, but the greens are looking good. Waiting for them to be big enough to fix !
     
  12. MARYDVM

    MARYDVM Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    777
    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2004
    Chinese pole beans love the AZ summers, as long as they are well watered. They continuously produce one to two foot long green beans through 100-110 degree days.