NEWBIE X 2?! I really don't remember the first time

Hi to all,
I’m and 82 YO RN. wife, mom, great grandmother and great, great grandmother,cook and gardener. My specific title depends on a given situation.
WOW, Please forgive me if I have introduced myself before, but I don’t always remember everything that I’ve done. I am 82 after all.
I have been a prepper for may years,Long enough ago that being a prepper was something that you didn’t talk about to any Tom, Dick or Harry.
I have been a gardener since I was a child during WWII. I always followed my mom around the garden, helping to pull weeds, helping to gather the harvest and whatever my mom needed my help with. I remember pulling a ripe tomato from the vine, sitting down in the dirt and eating it, sans salt.Tomatoes have always been my favorite garden veggie.
A few weeks back, I built myself 2 4x4x12" and 2-2x6x12" raised beds and now have veggies growing in them. Bell Peppers, radishes, spinach, pole green beans, kohlrabi, onions, marigolds and nasturtiums.
I also have 28 grow bags that I have planted tomatoes, carrots,radishes,marigolds, nasturtiums,potatoes in.
I plan on having a fall garden which will include cabbage, cauliflower, onions, snow peas and anything else that I can get to grow in this climate. I currently live in the Dallas, TX area and have never had a garden in this climate. Will let you know how it all turns out.
Well, I think this introduction has been more than long enough so will hang it up.
I wish you all a great garden this summer. Stay well and safe.

Aloha Suzyqrn,

Does Dallas have a later gardening season past the summer’s heat? Or has the summer’s heat passed yet? It’s always difficult to start gardening in a different climate area.

82 is good, you’re up into the numbers where you can brag about your age. Do any of your kids or grands help out with the garden?

We switched over to raised bed gardens several years ago - mostly to prevent over enthusiastic string trimmers from causing trouble in the flat garden, but it’s been really nice to have the garden contained and raised. They’re three levels of concrete blocks so they’re higher than your 12" high ones. The last one built here used tin roofing for the sides so it’s taller than the concrete blocks on one side. It was built to terrace the hillside, though.

We already harvested the corn and beans, there’s a couple of watermelons left but they’re not in the picture. It’s been replanted with more corn and beans and had more bunny manure added but the chickens got in and scratched everything up and made a mess so it need to be reorganized again. Wretched chooks!

We line ours with weed mat to keep the crazy aggressive tall grass from growing through, but in Dallas, wouldn’t water be in short supply? Do you line the sides of yours with plastic to keep the levels of evaporation down? Hmm, well, if they’re wood, they probably don’t evaporate like concrete blocks. Do you use a lot of mulch to keep in water?

Hi Niele,
Yes, according to all the info I’ve been able to find, This Dallas area has a “late gardening season”. By that I Mean that if I plant another crop of beans, cukes and baby my maters, I can harvest into the beginning of November. Which is what I want to do. I have four raised garden beds that I made from wood. The balance of my containers are the black heavy duty fabric containers that I just love. Yes, I do mulch. However, the heat is so intense that I have to water these containers at least once daily in order to keep the plants alive.
My bell peppers are flourishing. Still producing blooms and new peppers. My cukes are blooming like crazy, but the blossoms fall off before they form cukes. I guess this is heat related also. My original crop of beans… I was able to pick a few nice batches of beans and THEN…I would notice all kinds of small beans forming and think to myself “I’ll be able to pick another bucket of beans from this patch in two days”. Two days later, those baby beans would have disappeared. I finally found the culprit… A mama rabbit who was feeding two new babies." So, I’ve bought some rabbit fencing and as soon as I plant my new crop of beans, Will put rabbit fencing all around it.
Thanks for your interest and for responding to by post.

SuzyQ

Aloha SuzyQ,

I’ve heard that heat keeps tomatoes from setting fruit, are yours still making 'maters? There’s some folks in Florida who have some sort of high heat tomato variety, but I’m not sure of the name.

We have rabbits here, but only because they’re out in the yard in hutches. There’s no wild rabbits in Hawaii so our garden fencing is to keep out chickens. We don’t have deer or a lot of the other garden vandals, but we do have about five different types of fruit flies. Those ‘sting’ the fruit and then it falls off before it gets very big. I guess every place has it’s own challenges and at least your baby bunnies are a lot cuter than fruit flies!

If your last gardening for the year is in November, when do you start again the next year?