Hello from Texas!

Dan325

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Joined
Oct 9, 2021
Messages
6
Climate
Sub-Tropical
I’m just getting into food gardening and Mark has given me a whole bunch of great ideas to try. I’m currently in an apartment, but we’ve got a little dog run that I’ve set up a container garden in. I’m starting to learn our climate a bit. We’re subtropical here (Dallas) but it gets both hotter and colder than in Brisbane. I’m a little jealous of Mark’a temperate winters!

In my first few forays, I underestimated the effects of our summer heat. It’s too hot for tomatoes and even for sweet peppers. But hot peppers seem to grow just fine (capsicums and chilis for the Aussies :) ). I was also surprised by my flat-leaf parsley plants. They took the 100+°F (38° C) heat just fine. I’m on the look-out for leafy greens that will survive the heat. I’ve tried Malabar spinach before, but it’s just a huge plant and takes up like half my growing space. I tried New Zealand spinach this year which was pretty decent. I think I either want to try Egyptian Spinach or sweet potatoes next year. I know sweet potatoes are huge, too, but I’m more willing to put up with that if there are tubers at the end.

anyway, I’m looking forward to participating in the forum and learning from everyone!
 

Mandy Onderwater

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Jun 17, 2021
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Sub-Tropical
Welcome to the forum Dan325! Glad to have you with us!

I'm living subtropical as well, though winters are really mild. On the worst days it might get single digits, but never freeze. Right now we're experiencing 32 degrees Celcius though. Too hot for my liking and my plants just keep begging for water (I should really mulch them).

My cherry tomatoes, sweet basil, chives, parsley, lemon balm, capsicum, oregano, spearmint and aloe vera have all lived through the heat! Instead my biggest issue is keeping up with the water demand (I container garden as well) as the sun tends to dry them out rapidly. If I do not water them they WILL die just like that, even in just a day. Some may spring back up after vigorous watering though.
I think for me during these hot days, I've noticed that to be a bigger issue than the sun, as plants would recover overnight from the sun. And I've taken some plants to a part-shade location as well. My aloe vera was actually great at showing me when it wanted moving because it's leaves would turn a slightly reddish (sunburnt) colour. The move wasn't necessary at all but it helps in my case to make it thrive even better!
I think that mulching our gardens to limit the waterloss during hot, sunny days would significantly improve how our plants would grow and thrive!

I would love seeing more of you and don't be afraid to ask any questions! We'll all help out best we can :D
 

Dan325

Member
Joined
Oct 9, 2021
Messages
6
Climate
Sub-Tropical
Thanks for the reply, Mandy! I water my containers daily first thing in the morning or else everything wilts fast. (I’m having to convert all of this to Celsius haha. I really wish the US would join the rest of the world on the metric system!). What I’ve noticed is that my tomatoes are mostly ok at 32°C/90°F. But at 38-40°C / (100-105°F) they start dropping flowers. (Caveat—I haven’t tried cherry tomatoes or rootstock. I suppose those might be more heat resistant). We get pretty sustained 38-40°C high temps in July and August—our hottest summer months.

I think that’s the biggest difference here vs what I’m seeing in Mark’s videos. His summers aren’t as hot and his winters aren’t as cold as here. We just have a bigger temperature range. But this is all part of the fun of gardening. Cracking the code of your local climate!
 

AZ Orchard

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Feb 8, 2020
Messages
94
Location
Arizona, USA
Climate
Arid, Desert, or Dry
Welcome to the forum and to the United States! :)
If the sweet potatoes get too unruly ( and they most likely will Lol ) you can always wind them up a trellis.
 

Mandy Onderwater

Super Moderator
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Joined
Jun 17, 2021
Messages
327
Climate
Sub-Tropical
Thanks for the reply, Mandy! I water my containers daily first thing in the morning or else everything wilts fast. (I’m having to convert all of this to Celsius haha. I really wish the US would join the rest of the world on the metric system!). What I’ve noticed is that my tomatoes are mostly ok at 32°C/90°F. But at 38-40°C / (100-105°F) they start dropping flowers. (Caveat—I haven’t tried cherry tomatoes or rootstock. I suppose those might be more heat resistant). We get pretty sustained 38-40°C high temps in July and August—our hottest summer months.

I think that’s the biggest difference here vs what I’m seeing in Mark’s videos. His summers aren’t as hot and his winters aren’t as cold as here. We just have a bigger temperature range. But this is all part of the fun of gardening. Cracking the code of your local climate!
You can always try shadecloth! Some plants simply die because of how strong the sun hits them. This can help broaden the range of plants that you could grow. I've grown all types of tomatoes, but cherry was the only one that had full sun (and I feel confident sharing with you), the others were grown against a fence that would give a little shade during the day.

Bigger temperature range can also be great if you learn what grows best in what season! There are plants that need the cold to do great, just like there are plants that need heat to thrive.

I'm personally from The Netherlands, though I now live on the border of sub-tropical QLD in Australia. It's been quite the adjustments and I'm still learning every day :D
 
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