I moved back to Texas a little over a year ago. I had lived in New England for about 40 years and that included all of my gardening years. Gardening in hot weather is very different from the New England gardening I had been doing for the past few decades. I feel like I am starting from the beginning.
Hot Weather Container Gardening
My first year gardening in a hot climate and the delight of two seasons
Small Steps with Lettuce and Swiss Chard
To Water or Not To Water?
My biggest challenge here is to figure out how much to water. Not enough and the plants will die. Too much and the plants drown.
The best section of my garden is the Swiss chard and carrots growing in a cloth shoe bag. I can really soak it with water without worrying about it collecting in the bottom. I'm going to be on the lookout for more cloth bags to plant in.
I've got other things like onions, garlic, pineapple, and a mango in pots. I just got a canopy so some of the plants are getting some shade and not burning up.
I have some potatoes growing in a big barrel-sized pot. I only put a layer of soil in the bottom and I'm adding hay as it grows. These all seem to be doing well.
I have not been able to have a healthy tomato plant since I moved here. They shrivel up and wilt and the tomatoes are the size of a dime. And, no, they are not cherry types. I suspect it's a wilt or some such disease. I've been researching it and just sprayed them with a baking soda/oil mixture in water. I'll see how that works.
I noticed a neighbor had some wilted tomato plants too. The last summer I spent in New Hampshire many people got hit with a blight that was airborne. It traveled from garden to garden on the breeze. It originated from diseased plants brought in from other areas and sold at garden centers. It wiped out the largest tomato crop I had ever planted.
The exciting part of gardening in Texas for me is that it has two seasons. In New England I was always struggling to get tomatoes ripened before a freeze, no matter how early I started them indoors. I ripened plenty of them in paper bags. Some vegetables I couldn't grow at all because the season was too short. Now I'm going to be starting seeds for my fall garden - in July.
I'll be starting some broccoli along with the tomatoes for setting out in July. I can start some lettuce and more chard now and plant every two weeks for a good rotation.