I’m so excited to be starting the Fall season of our garden. We have a new trellis to test out, new plants to grow, we are experimenting with a 3 sisters bed, and so much more! Stay tuned for updates of our San Antonio, Texas Back Yard Garden!

New PVC Garden Trellis

I absolutely loved the Spring trellis I experimented with for our cucumbers, squash, and green beans but it definitely had some areas of improvement that I’m hoping to solve with this updated design. While I got over 63 pounds of produce off of the last one, I had trouble with it breaking apart often (thankfully it was only PVC couplers that had to be pushed back together so it was an easy fix), I couldn’t reach the top of the trellis for harvesting/maintenance, and the plants were getting caught in the wire since the holes were so small (about .5 inches). So time to improve for the Fall!

Here’s How We Built Our PVC Trellis!

For the Fall I’m constructing the trellis out of .75 inch PVC piping but adding additional supports so it’s a little more sturdy. I’ve also bought some new wire panels that have much larger holes so the plants can grow without having to get caught in the wire gaps. I’ve also decided to make the trellis for only 1 bed instead of spanning 2 beds. I’m hoping this help with making sure the plants get more sunlight while casting shade under the trellis for some less sun loving plants I want to grow. I’m also attaching the wire to the frame with zip ties because it took forever to attach the wire with screws/washers for the last trellis and I don’t think it made that much of a difference. Zip ties are quick and inexpensive.

Garden Growing List

I try to make it a point to grow something new every season which allows me to try something I can’t find at my local grocery store (like this season’s Chinese Red Noodle Beans). I also will grow my favorite items from previous seasons so I always have something new and excited and old time favorites. I also find this gives me new fun challenges every season since I have to learn the ins and outs of a new plant. So this is what’s in my 97 square foot garden this Fall 2020 Season:

Plant Harvesting Log

Do you ever wonder how long something actually takes to grow? Or are you like me and plant something and want it to start producing immediately but often forget exactly when you started? This is why I’ve started logging when I started the seeds, put them in starter pots, transplanted outside, and how much I’ve harvested. This will help me next year adjust as needed in terms of starting my seeds earlier or later, shifting transplanting times, and even with succession planting.

Plant:Germination
Date:
Starter
Pot?
Transplant
Date:
1st Fall
Harvest:
Last Fall
Harvest:
Total
Yield:
Zucchino Rampicante
Squash
8/309/39/5
Lemon
Squash
8/198/229/2
Table Dainty
Squash
8/309/39/1210/241.55lbs
Lipstick
Sweet Pepper
8/198/229/16
Violet Sparkle
Sweet Pepper
8/198/229/16
Lemon Spice
Jalapeno
From Spring
Garden
N/AN/A10/195.75oz
Lemon Drop
Sweet Peppers
From Spring
Garden
N/AN/A
Japanese Giant Red
Mustard
8/198/229/21
Beni Houshi
Mizuna
8/198/229/21
Spicy Mesclun N/A8/29
Red Leaf Romaine
Lettuce
Bought at a
Nursery
N/A9/1210/169oz
Tom Thumb
Lettuce
N/A8/299/21
Astro
Arugula
Bought at a
Nursery
N/A9/14
Red Kitten
Spinach
Bought at a
Nursery
N/A9/14
Sunrise Bumble Bee
Tomato
8/188/229/21
Orange Jazz
Tomato
8/309/39/21
Orange Hat
Tomato
8/309/39/21
Barry’s Crazy
Cherry Tomato
From
Cuttings
N/A9/310/132.88oz
Chinese Red Noodle
Pole Bean
8/30N/A9/2
Rattlesnake
Pole Bean
8/19No8/2210/1317.38oz
Beurre de Rocquencourt
Bush Bean
8/309/39/5
Dragon Tongue
Bush Bean
8/309/39/510/17.75oz
Red Swan
Bush Bean
8/309/39/510/171.88oz
Purple Podded
Pole Bean
Blauhilde
Pole Bean
9/20N/A9/23
Nagasaki Long
Eggplant
8/309/3/209/21
Early Purple Vienna
Kohlrabi
Direct
Sow
N/A9/23
Early Glow
Sweet Corn
8/24No8/26
Golden Bantam
Sweet Corn
8/30N/A9/2
Total Fall 2020 Harvest:3.91lbs
Herbs: Basil, Rosemary, Sage, German Thyme, Lemon Thyme, Spicy Thyme, German Oregano, Cilantro,
Mexican Mint Marigold (Yerba Anise), Winter Savory, Stevia, Chives, Curly Parsley
Last Updated: 10/24/2020

Plant Temperature

I find that most people when they start gardening think about temperature in terms of frost dates and trying to make sure it’s warm enough for their plants but don’t consider the air temperature impacts in terms of growth, pollination, and fruit set. Honestly, it took me a couple years to start really taking it into account with my gardening but as each season passes, I try to really analyze the average temperatures in my area with the idea growing temperatures of my plants to not only determine when to transplant out into the garden, but when to start my plants to ensure they have enough time to achieve their full potential. This became a pressing issue for me when I had an extremely disappointing spring season with my tomatoes, only growing 2lbs before the heat became too much and actually stopped any growth.

Natural Pest Control Methods:

This season I really wanted to focus on natural methods of pest control in the garden. I hate the thought of spraying chemicals on food I am going to eat as well as exposing my dogs to something that may hurt them if they get into the garden. Historically in my garden I’ve had issues with squash bugs, stink bugs, fire ants, aphids, and black velvet leatherleaf slugs.

With this in mind, I’ve done a ton of research to control my garden pests naturally this season and I thought I would document my journey so you know what works and what doesn’t.

Garden Layout:

Flowers:

The first thing I’m trying for pest control is starting my garden on the right foot with flowers that will attract beneficial insects as well as using decoy flowers to help prevent an infestation in my crops. This includes African Marigolds, Teddy Bear Sunflowers, Sea Shell Cosmos, and Snow Princess Calendulas.

Plant Specific Growing Notes & Thoughts:

3 Sisters:

Tomatoes:

Planting temperature: 55°F-75°F ideal nighttime air temperature to set fruit. Tomatoes will not color properly with temperatures above 85°F and the plant will quit growing at 95°F.

Squash:

Planting temperature: 60°F-75°F ideal air temperature. Squash fruit can ripen up to 100°F but flowers can drop.

Lettuce/Greens:

Herbs:

Beans:

Planting temperature: 65°F-85°F ideal air temperature. Beans can grow with temperatures above 85°F but growth will be slowed and flowers can drop.

Other Plants:

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