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lakedallasmary

ever wish you lived someplace else, so gardening would be easier?

lakedallasmary
14 years ago

I live in north texas. It is harsh on veggies.

If you plant stuff in the spring you don't get much of a crop before 95 degree weather keeps plants from producing. I got 3 wax beans, before they said OK it's too hot.

If you you plant in the fall, the July and August weather takes a lot of seedlings if you are not quick enough with the water, to cool the soil until they get deeper roots. I could do stuff in little pots in the house, but I have never had good luck with that. They get lanky. I am not into all the light set up junk. The same type of wax beans that I planted in the spring gave me two weeks of beans in the fall. So, fall is the best way to go here.

I am getting the hang of this but sometimes, just sometimes, I wish I lived a few hours south where I could garden all winter, because they have no frost, or lived a few hours north, where, 95 degrees is max summer temperature, not average.

If I really had a choice, I was thinking someplace mild that did not get too cold, like not much below 40 and not much above 85. I was thinking Charlottesville Virginia might be a pleasant place to live and garden. I have never been there, though.

If you could garden somewhere else, where would that place be?

Anyone have an opinion on the best climate for veggies?

Maybe you live in that place, where is it?

I know you have to work with what you have got, but we are wishing here.

Comments (40)

  • gardenlen
    14 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    is there that eutopia somewhere???

    that eden where all is great and simple??

    mmm dunno from what one sees it is either: too wet; too dry; too hot; too cold; too many bugs/critters; not enough bugs/critters?? the list goes on.

    ah but that is the joy and challenge of gardening hey? us mere mortals working with nature and beating the odds.

    if there is this wonderous place would it cope with all of us living there?

    enjoy, happy gardening,

    len

    Here is a link that might be useful: len's garden page

  • ruthieg__tx
    14 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I guess we all have those feelings sometimes but truthfully my situation isn't ideal by any means cause I have to deal with the Texas heat too but...It's the best gardening I have had and I've lived in a lot of places...As with life, you have to play with the hand you are dealt....I always pray for rain ...ha ha well I got my rain this year and I was be-itching and moaning about it...I'm not fussing at you because sometimes I feel the same way ...but heck fire...ain't it wonderful living in Texas...even if gardening sometimes just out right fizzles..

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  • booberry85
    14 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    YES! I live in upstate NY and have the opposite problem as Mary. We had a frost threat in the middle of June this year (unusual - we usually only have them thru May). Although we're getting some hot weather now by the end of next week we should be back down into the low 70's for a high temperature. September, we're back to frost warnings. I tried growing sweet potatoes one year but the season is too short. For the same reason, I've never tried growing ocra.

    If I could I think I'd move to S. Carolina (Greenville). Less threat of getting hit hard by a hurricane there and good weather most of the year.

    I agree with Len though. I don't know if the perfect place for gardening exists. Knock on wood - upstate NY has been lucky this summer with the weather.

  • organica
    14 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I used to live and garden in the San Francisco area, and struggled year-round with slugs, snails, aphids, ants, bindweed and Bermuda grass. Also powdery mildew. I had cabbage worms and spotted cuke beetles too, but was able to control them by handpicking.

    Then I moved to Virginia. Well I can still garden year-round with a little protection in the cold months, and now I can grow those veggies that need a long hot season like big tomatoes and peppers. But I didn't appreciate fully how good I had it in California! Here there are many more pests and diseases active, and the soil needs a lot more amendment, and doesn't hold water as well. I can't grow cabbage crops without row cover. And the ornamentals need almost as much water as the vegetables do. On the other hand, I can grow carrots without much risk of their being wiped out over night - literally - by slugs. And I can grow apples, and the blackberries taste better here. I do miss my Meyer lemon tree, though.
    -O

  • lakedallasmary
    Original Author
    14 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I read someplace that

    "You can't grow everything everywhere."

    I do OK with beans, cowpeas, peas, winter squash and tomatoes (till the heat gets them), but the roots and greens don't do much. I feel that through experimenting I may find varieties that will work here.

    I love legumes more than the winter crops, so this is good.

    Once I get planting dates down pat, I am sure I won't be as frustrated. I think the gobs of rain we got almost everyday for 3 months, got to me the most this year. It made planting late and now the seedlings are unhappy with the dry hot weather.

    I have been emotionally down lately, so everything is getting to me right now. The dog is making me crazy too. He loves to go outside with me to help me garden, but barks up a storm since he is hot. He is a corgi and has more than his share of thick fur. He is not really my dog. My kid bought him with high school graduation money. And who gets to put up with all his nonsense, me. I can't stand that he nips at me. It hurts. I usually keep him away from me with a yardstick, but once in a while he bites me. He is a herding dog and can't seem to help himself. He does this more when I don't feel well. It is like he knows he can take advantage of my weakness.

    Mary

  • countrymile
    14 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Lakedallasmary, I had a border collie that when he was a young teenager, thought it was hilarious to nip at my calves while I swept the floors. I took him to obedience school and that ended that behavior.

    I know he's not "your" dog, but you need to show that kid who's the boss. Just simple stuff like you making him sit, stay and heel will do wonders for your relationship. Maybe enroll in one of those six Saturday dog training group lessons offered by the local pet store. Good luck!

  • zeedman Zone 5 Wisconsin
    14 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I believe that every location has its benefits, and its liabilities. Over the years, I gardened in Washington state, California, and now Wisconsin. Each had both good points & bad.

    The garden in San Diego was my favorite. You can grow nearly anything in that golden zone between the ocean & the high desert - if you have the land & water to do so, which is a big "if". I could grow chayote squash, and my eggplant, peppers, limas & chard were all perennial. Having traveled while in the Service, I know that the west coasts of Australia & South America have similarly hospitable climates.

    But then, the price of land in California made it difficult to find a large area. I was fortunate to have twice worked out arrangements to use vacant land, in exchange for property upkeep (a practice I highly recommend). One property had a horse stable close by for free manure, and the other was rich silt in a flood-controlled former creek bed. The landowners even paid for the water - those were good years.

    After 15 years of gardening in California, returning home to Wisconsin was initially disappointing. Many of the crops & varieties that I had grown to love would not grow here... the summers were too short, and the nights too cool. I had a lot of failures & frustration in the first years.

    But there are compensations; I was able to purchase my own land (which is very fertile) and water is plentiful. In time, I discovered new plants & varieties that thrive here, such as eggplant and okra that can take cool nights. Looking back, I will always miss my SoCal garden... but I grow more now than I ever did there, and I'm having the time of my life.

    The Northwest has periods of constant rainfall, and cool summers. The North has both early & late frosts, and short summers. The East Coast has hurricanes, the Midwest has tornadoes & devastating hail. The Gulf and desert Southwest have triple-digit heat. California has... well, you have to be able to afford land in that perfect climate.

    Hey, I can't grow figs, loquats, or chayote squash in Wisconsin... but I couldn't grow apples in SoCal, and beans, corn, & squash just love it here. The Northwest can grow artichokes, broccoli, and blackberries to die for. Limas, okra, & peanuts thrive in the South. If you get dealt sand, make sandcastles. ;-) Every climate can be successful, once you learn what to plant and when. It just takes time, and experience...

    ... and rolling with the punches, because we all get bad years.

  • ninjabut
    14 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Well, I'm in Sonoma Co, North of San Francisco. This is the "real" wine country (as opposed to Napa Co)
    It is also where Luther Burbank set down roots and decided So Co was God's place to set down earth (or something like that!)and he stayed here and created his plant masterpieces!
    It is really GREAT here! I have to have raised beds cause the gophers also love the area and I have clay soil.
    Growing conditions are very Mediteranian, cool in the morning, heat (80-90)in the afternoon.
    Mild winters with a little frost but no big freezes.
    Sorry, I don't want anywhere else!
    Nancy

  • lilacs_of_may
    14 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Even Eden had garden pests.... *g*

    I like where I live now. I like the four seasons. Irises, lilacs, daffodils, etc. *need* the cold winter or there will be no blooms in the spring. And I like the fact that we have 300 sunny days a year.

    But Colorado can be harsh on edibles, though. The weather is, to put it mildly, highly variable. Frosts in June and September. Shirt sleeve weather on Christmas. Temps up to 115 degrees in the sun in summer, and down to 30 below in the winter. More if you factor in wind chill. Most winters are dry and brown, but then there are winters like this last one, with blizzard after blizzard after blizzard ad infinitum.

    I sometimes find myself longing for the rainshowers and rich, loamy soil of the Midwest, until I remember Chicago summers, and Chicago winters, and tornadoes, and floods....

    I'll come to terms with Colorado gardening eventually.

  • tdscpa
    14 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I live very close to where I was born and lived all my life, so far. I have many problems with my location, almost entirely having to do with the weather.

    I have been looking for the perfect place to live everywhere I have travelled for all of my life. Everywhere I go, it is very easy to find many reasons why I would not live there.

    At my age, and having been acclimated to desert summers, arctic winters, no springs or falls, and constant hurricane-force winds, it would just be a big hassle to move.

    Tom

  • organica
    14 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Lakedallasmary:
    That's a bad situation developing between you and the dog. The good news is you can turn it around through obedience training and a better understanding between you and the animal. There's a very good book on the subject, How to Teach a New Dog Old Tricks, also a video, by Dr Ian Dunbar. You can find them on the web, www.siriuspup.com. I've got an Australian Shepherd so we have had to deal with the herding dog thing - herders are intelligent dogs that need (and enjoy) training and then they will be very good dogs. It doesn't have to be elaborate training, just basics between the two of you. The dog is just being a dog and you have to show it how to be a better dog - it won't figure it out on its own. Best of luck and hope you feel better about everything soon.
    -O

  • pnbrown
    14 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I think that it is possible to sort out all the factors and come up with some generalizations about net differences between regions.

    For instance, it's pretty obvious that some areas aren't as productive as others. An average square foot - per average year - in the southwest does not produce what an average square foot does in the southeast, the northeast or the northwest. I reckon west texas falls into the southwest category. That's a case of onerous climate overwhelms any soil considerations.

    A sand-county central florida garden is less productive than a mid-state georgia garden, a case of soil conditions being more of a factor than climate, as the two don't differ dramatically in climate.

    A northern vermont z3 garden with deep mountain-valley soil and cold, long winters to ward off insect pests could be more productive than a mid-atlantic garden with worn-out ground. Generally speaking though, given the same level of effort and well-maintained soil, the mild well-precipitated climates are bound to win.

  • popcornhill
    14 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Now Mary Mary.....Graduation from high school....going away to college or maybe a job....DONT FORGET TO TAKE YOUR DOG!!!!!!

  • suburbangreen
    14 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I here you Mary. Texas is tough. THen again, I'm new to gardening so it's all I know. I have only one raised-bed and minimal in-ground growing areas spread around the areas in my yard that get enough sun. I'm blessed to have one spot in the backyard that gets the morning sun, but is shaded in the late afternoon.
    I have had a difficult time starting seed for my fall garden. The lettuce just didn't germinate(I found out later that lettuce doesn't germinate in the temps we've been having). The mustards, kholrabi, chard, and carrots have sprouted though, at least most of them.
    I draped a tarp over the fence to totally shade the area, otherwise I couldn't have kept it moist enough. Still I'm watering twice a day just trying to keep them alive.
    It takes a lot of effort and I don't know if I could do it on a large scale. I found an old book that has really been helpful. "INtensive Gardening" is the name I believe. It was printed back in the 70's or 80's I think. I preaches double-digging, raised-bed gardening, the use of cold-frames, mulch, tips to stretch the seasons, and organic methods. Two short seasons are possible here as opposed to one long season up North. Next year I'm going to start more stuff indoors so I can have a longer Spring and early summer harvest before the scortch sets in.
    I lived in North and South CArolina until 2005. My grandfather had a garden the whole time I was growing up outside of Charlotte, NC. He had a great old-fashioned garden---some wonderful food and memories. Looking back on it, maybe the conditions there were pretty ideal. The frosts hung around later than they do here and started sooner, but the summers were not so brutal---only low and mid 90's. Also rain was much more plentiful. I'll probably move back to the Carolinas in a few years.

    Good Luck,

    Pete

  • nc_crn
    14 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I live in central NC. It's a near-perfect place for any spring-to-summer plantings for summer-earlyfall harvesting.

    Myself, I'd love to move to Austin, TX and have a greenhouse/coldframe for extending growing seasons of summer crops. My understanding is, with a greenhouse for the winter months, the only "downtime" for most production is when the june crops start to succumb to the heat and the august-planted crops are waiting til october to go to fruit.

    Anyone from the central Texas area have anything to add to my understanding? Soil health, I can invest and amend properly. Water, I got that under control (Rain harvesting and laziness isn't much of a hassle to me). Bugs...well, every area has their own issues and given the legacy and sub-tropical climate of the area I'm sure there's interesting things going on with bugs there.

  • hemnancy
    14 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Zeedman- care to share the names of some eggplants and okra you have found that can grow in cool nights? I live in the PNW and grow them only in pots.

    I used to live in San Diego, on a ridge between canyons. My ground was a gravel and boulder quarry. I had to dig with a pick axe, and add lots of organic matter to the soil. At least I didn't have any burrowing pests in my yard. There was no rain in the dry summer so my plants were totally dependent on irrigation, and would all die in short order without it. I had grape leaf skeletonizers (caterpilars) appear that wiped out all my mature fruiting grapevines in one season. I had racoons stripping my grapes and peaches before that. Only a few kinds of apples would grow. The citrus fruits were wonderful though, they matured in late winter and early spring and the acidic peels protected them from racoons and opossums. I could also plant peas and cool-season vegetables in the fall and winter and have good crops.

    Now I live in the PNWest, WA. Apples grow great here, as do most other fruits. But they have codling moths and apple maggots. All my stone fruits have disease problems and many have declined and died over 2-3 years. My soil has no rocks and the moles and voles go crazy. When I dig a planting hole it is nice and soft earth so a mole moves in and starts making a tunnel that leaves my plant's roots in the air, and mounding dirt up over it. Voles nip off my pole beans at the ground. There is still a dry season all summer so I have to drag hoses around on 2 acres to keep everything watered.

    I remember fondly my grandfather's wonderful garden in Greenville, SC. The okra plants towered over me at age 5, the tomatoes, squash, beans, etc. were abundant. There were summer rain storms to water the plants. I suppose there may have been lots more insect pests to deal with, maybe more fungal diseases, but it seemed great to me. My grandfather had trouble with squirrels eating his pears.

    I had only a year or so to garden in Denver. I had really rich soil and a fantastic vegetable garden but had to be gone most of that summer for the Skylab launches. My tomato plants apparently did very well and I came home to an assemblage of very large winter squashes that had grown in my absence. But the late frosts and snowstorms in June and the early frosts and snowstorms in September kind of ruined the seasons and gardening there for me. And I don't miss all the snowy driving, though the mountains and ski areas being close was nice.

  • pnbrown
    14 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    From evidence here it's starting to look like the mid-atlantic is close to gardening paradise, aye?

  • organica
    14 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    pnbrown:
    I guess you could say it is in numerous ways. I only wish more people felt that way here in the Richmond area. This place is a dreary parade of chemically-fortified grass, azaleas and Japanese maples, yard after yard after yard.

    Gardening requires that one spend time outside, and that's happening less and less here especially in the very hot, humid, mosquito-laden summers.
    -O

  • granite
    14 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    There ya go with the truth on the mid Atlantic summers: hot, humid, and mosquito-laden. Greenville, SC is tremendously hot and humid and there is limited night-time cooling off. I love my garden here in the mountains because of the cooler nights and lower humidity. I gardened in Edenton, NC and was miserable because the temps would be in the 90's in March with extreme humidity levels and killer mosquitoes (Edenton is surrounded by swamps, sounds, and rivers). I gardened in Salisbury, NC which is a great place for gardening once you deal with the heavy clay BUT the nights are hot. Charlotte, NC and Greenville, SC are MUCH hotter than Salisbury particularly if you look at the heat index and not just the temperature readings.

    Currently we're dealing with drought here in Asheville, NC. This has not been a luscious year for my garden due to late snow, drought, voracious rabbits, and a plant-stomping hailstorm. Still, when we went to Greer, SC (just outside Greenville and just over an hour's drive from my house) for the family reunion in August I was the only one with home-grown cukes and squash. The local family members had lost their gardens to bugs, drought, and heat. While my temps have gone into the high 90's here during the mid-day, the morning and evening temps are in the 60 - 70's. It was still 98 degrees there after dark the day of the reunion!

    Anyway, you can have a great garden experience where ever you are, but you do need to adapt your plant choices and gardening techniques for that region. If you want to move to Greer/Greenville SC my hubby has 20 acres of Kudzu to sell you! :-)

  • veggrljo
    14 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Living in zone 10 makes me long for the midwest gardens of my childhood.
    Here I have learned the hard way not to even try to grow most of the varieties I grew up with in Ohio. I have found, through trial and error, that planting what the locals plant is the best bet. Granite has it right. It takes a little research but the forums here are a great source of information. My garden grows hot peppers, okra, yard long beans, sweet potatoes, shallots etc. None of which were in the garden in Ohio. You will learn new ways to cook and preserve but it can be a great challenge and a lot of fun. I guess I would have to say I just want to garden wherever I am at :)

  • flora_uk
    14 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Gardeners over here moan a lot about our problems but seeing the things some of you have to contend with I'm beginning to think we have as good a gardening climate as you are likely to find anywhere. True we can't grow the heat loving things like peppers, okra, melons etc very easliy, at least not outdoors, but to make up for it you can do something in the garden on almost any day of the year and it is seldom too hot or cold to spend time outdoors. It can be pretty wet sometimes but we don't get the debilitating combination of heat and humidity which saps the energy. Snow is unusual and the ground doesn't freezes. We do not get as much sunshine as many of you do but the seasons merge gently into one another and do not lurch from freezing to boiling in a short space of time, so if you miss a good planting day, another will be along soon and you will not have missed the boat for that year. On the other hand the weather is very unpredictable and the concepts of first and last frost dates are ones I first heard of on these forums. They mean nothing over here! There is something in the vegetable garden all year round even if it's only some weather beaten chard and cabbages and it's a rare day not to find something in flower. Irrigation is not a necessity in the ornamental garden and is seldom needed even for veggies. We can grow a very wide range of plants from many parts of the world except for tropicals and things needing high summer temps to fruit or flower. For example we can grow pomegranite bushes but would not expect to get fruit. There is also a wide range of suppliers for interesting plants. And although we have plenty of pests we do not have some of the ones which you battle with eg SVB. Mosquitos are not a big problem. When evenings are warm enough to sit outside at least we don't get eaten to death. None of our wildlife is really dangerous. We have have only one venomous snake and that is pretty rare and confined to certain specific kinds of countryside. As yet no West Nile or similar diseases. So, although I sometimes envy you your canteloupes and peaches, I think I'll stay where I am and enjoy gardening any day of the year in a less exciting but more garden(er) friendly climate.

  • gonefishin
    14 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Regardless of what may have been posted about gardening in the Dallas area, I love my garden and have had many very sucessful gardens, year after year, usually a spring and summer one, then a fall and winter one. Yeah, it is a battle with the elements and insects and I probably do complain about specific things too much at times, but overall I manage to cope and deal with it. We are not in an arid desert area here. I have some sandy loam over clay and from what Mary has previously posted, I think that she has black gumbo over on her side of town. Both can be good if one learns to deal with them. Most areas respond well to amendments and a little TLC. Some years are better than others naturally, and some years bring more insect pests than others.

    It does get too hot to stay out there all day for most people. That can be dealt with as Ruthie described above.

    I can't imagine putting up with my dog biteing me. Instead of a yard stick, I would probably resort to a walking stick or cane with some authority. Caesar (The Dog Whisperer) is on the Discovery Channel two or three times per day (and has a video for sale) showing how to deal with problem dogs. My dog Lady is half Border Collie, half Siberian Husky, is energetic, highly intelligent and loves to work at what ever little tasks I can find for her to do. Seldom does a week go by that she does not amaze me with something, and she is a true and valued friend that is very much like a family member, but does not cause problems.
    Just my .02
    Bill P.

  • hamiltongardener
    14 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I love the summers here where I am. Excellent conditions for gardening with good rain, fair soil for the most part, nice and hot.

    But come winter, I sometimes wish I lived in a warmer place with longer growing seasons. I spend my winters staring at a frozen and snowy backyard wondering when spring will ever come. I read about people growing spinach and peas in the winter in other places, and I see posts from people in TEXAS showing off their first ripe tomato before we even hit our last frost date here and I think it must be heavenly.

    I guess the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.

  • ligardener
    14 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Reading all the weather-related problems aired on this thread, I've come to realize how ideal my Long Island Zone 7 area is for gardening and living. I start my indoor seed planting in early February because with a little care and protection the cool weather crops can go in the ground in mid-April and the warm weather things in mid-May. The Summers are generally in the eigthies with just a small number of days reaching the nineties. If we catch a mild Fall I can be picking lettuce, broccoli and such into December. In most instances I have to deliberately tear down the garden while it is still growing so that I can begin my leaf-burying process which I do every year before the cold sets in. Again, if we are lucky, we can get away with one or two snowfalls, nothing crippling, and before we know it it's February again. Being essentially an Island, the soil leans on the sandy side, but that has been long corrected by digging in tons of leaves.

  • lakedallasmary
    Original Author
    14 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I do love Texas, and don't start complaining until August usually. I plan to avoid that month from now on, by ignoring the Texas extension service dates from now on. My theory is to avoid planting anything or have anything mature in late July or August. If stuff matures in the heat, the blooms fall off, and if planted in the heat, the seed won't sprout, or the seedlings will die. To get seeds to sprout in the August, I have used the paper towel thing though. When I plant them, I have to water two times a day to keep them from dieing until the roots get deeper, or the temps drop to more a more reasonable temp like the low 90's. I don't mind the 100 degree weather, the plants sure do though.

    I have not had many problems with bugs. I think it is because it is dry here. Humidity is low unless it is raining!

    I do get squash borer, but cope with that by heaping soil over the vines. Bugs sometimes nibble on bean and cowpea leaves, but does not seem to harm anything much. Nothing seems to bug the roots and greens since they are grown in the winter. Nothing seems to bug the tomatoes either. Seems the bugs don't like Texas either.

    I used to live in Vermont. There were lovely gardens everywhere. (veggie and flowers). It was gorgeous. One hardly ever had to water. And I did not see a lot of bugs either. Everything was lush and green in the summer. I saw every veggie but cowpeas, limas, okra, sweet potatoes, peanuts and melons. All did well. The grass was always green. And they had the lovely dutch type clovers in the yard. No one fertilized their yards. Did not have to. The temps did not get much above 75. Nights got down to 55. Yummy weather, but the rest to the year, yucky. Four feet of snow on the ground all winter November to April. Snow does not melt between storms. Mud season in May.

    I grew up on a 10 acre strawberry farm. I dream of planting strawberries here. One day I will. It will have to be a winter crop though.

    I have come to believe that the biggest problem is finding the varieties that grow best in ones area. Extension service is not much help if you want to grow open pollinated veggies. I think the highly bred, commercially developed varieties are weak and more susceptible to bugs and drought. Hmm, maybe pesticide companies are into plant breading.

    All things that they bread for are recessive traits, like early maturity, short plants, small leaves, short vines and white seeds. All things nature tries to avoid. Companies want white seeds, since black seeds muddy up the processing water. They want short plants and few leaves for ease of machine harvesting. They want early maturity to get two crops a year. They want short vines, like bushy squash to get more plants per acre.

    So in light of all that, I plan to look for land races from now on. Land races are local varieties that are adapted to local conditions and not messed with for commercial purposes. Land races are by their nature, genetically diverse, not highly inbred like commercial variates. This makes them stronger plants.

    In the united states, these would typically be varieties grown by the American Indians. If it is in your typical seed catalog, it is probably not a landrace, although, some catalogs, like bakers creek are now carrying some local varieties.

    The dog is not totally untrained.

    He knows sit stay, lay down, and quiet, He knows hand signals for all of them, except quiet. He has huge problems with come.

    He knows the words hungry, flashlight, ball, rope, outside, inside, kiss, settle, biscuit, breakfast, lunch supper, no, bad dog, good boy. Brenda's home. Ed's home. He will get the ball or rope if you ask him to. He runs and stairs at the flashlight if you say flashlight. He love to play flashlight. I go in the back yard and let him herd the flash light. He is very intelligent. You can just see his mind working.

    He is good about taking a bath or getting his nails clipped.

    We used to have a lot of problems with him that we don't now. I am using the techniques I learned watching the dog whisperer.

    When the dog bothers the cat, won't let her go near the front door to go out, or to get near her table to get to her own food, we get between the dog and her and make him lay down. It works, but we have to keep doing it.

    If he attacks the cat, we flip him over and make him be submissive.

    If I lay on the kitchen floor to be with him and he licks me all over, I make him lay down.

    He used to jump all over guests. He does not do it much anymore. I make him lay down or tell him down and he stays down. I tell the guest to not pet him, if he jumps up, and to wait till he calms down to pay attention to him. This is a work in progress. He still has problems with herding the water guy and the meat delivery person. I have to make him stay and eye him down until the delivery person leaves.

    He no longer chews holes in the carpet or pees on the floor, but I am sure he has grown out of that behavior mostly.

    He no longer runs all over the house barking like a nut. I tell him quiet and make him lay down.

    He used to ask to go out all the time. He hates being cooped up. I limit his time outside when it is over 95. He has thick fur and gets over heated even with his cooling collar. He is hot if it is over 55 degrees. He love it outside come winter. I tell him no, and lay down, if he just came in. When the temps drop into the 90s in the evenings I let him out. He is so happy. Still, he hangs out in the shade.

    He is not a big fan of come. If he is barking like an idiot, at the neighbor's dogs, a butterfly, a bird, a bug, or the thunder, I would want him to come in to not upset all the neighbors. He would not come. The dog whisperer, says if they won't come on the first call to go get him. That was nearly impossible. We can't even catch him in the house. He is a good dodger. I figured out a way though. I say lay down, stay. He does! I go over to him and grab his collar and bring him inside.

    When he was little he would dart outside when the front door opened. Now he doesn't. He tell him stay and he does. He no longer darts out of the backyard gate either.

    He used to jump up on me. Sometimes he would knock me over when racing through the house. I am not strong on my feet. I have health issues. He behaves that way toward me more than my hubby or daughter. I say down and he cuts it out now.

    Down and lay down seems to cure a lot of things.


    There are still many problems though.

    Outside, he behaves worse. He chases anything that moves, the stream of water, a rake, a flashlight, feet, a hand hoe, a broom, a shovel, a bug, or a flock of birds. He runs all over and barks like a mad dog. I tell him to lay down. He instantly does. He is short he, does not have far to go. He only stays there as long as you stare him down though. I tell him you can get up now and he jumps up and acts like nut again.

    You already know about his nipping problems. He does not actually bite down. He does not clamp down. he just nips, but it does hurt. He mostly does this cause he thinks I might go back into the house. Once he realizes that I am staying outside to garden, he stops nipping. I tell him to lay down. Later I tell him OK, get up. Then he gets up and starts it up again. I tried taking him out on a leash, so he can see who is boss. It seems to help. I let him off the leash after a few walks around the yard. He is not a good leash walker. I am not a good leader, I guess. I am not the pack leader in his eyes, he tries to walk in front of me, and pulls hard. I am not good at keeping him behind me. I hold him tight to keep him behind me.

    He does not like to go outside alone. If I let him out and shut the door behind him, he throws himself up against the screen door. The bottom part of the screen door has no screen. We do not bother to replace it. This problem is a hard one to fix. If I go out there to keep him away form the door, he stays away from the door, but the second I go back in, he slams himself back against the door. I tried the thing I saw on dog whisperer, about not letting him through the door until he calmed down. That did not work. I did this for a month. I finally gave up.

    When he was a puppy he would not under any circumstances go outside by himself. For some reason he was scared. My daughter thinks it was something that happened as the breeders. She said they never let him in the house. In Texas this could kill a dog. Maybe he got hot and had bad memories about this.

    He has jealousy issues. He hates for me or my husband to hug. He hates for me to pet the cat. When I get off the computer, he races over to the sleeping cat, then the cat hisses at him. I suppose he does that to make sure I don't go over to pet the cat.

    He can be possessive of his food or water. He growls at the cat if she goes near his water or food. He used to be that way toward us, but I cured him of that. I said no and took his food away. I am working on the the behavior toward the cat.

    The one thing he does that the dog whisperer says you should never let them to is to lay in front of you. He says they are guarding you. They are claiming you. They are being the pack leader. He used to do that a lot as a pup, then for a while he started to lay behind my chair. Now, he is in front again. I am not feeling well, so I think he is now thinking he is pack leader. You know, he did not nip so much when he was behind me.

    Lord, he is a handful.

    Me and the dog do need training. I just have to find a place where I don't have to go inside. I have terrible multiple chemicals sensitivities which prevents me from entering buildings. I do not tolerate car rides either. Car fumes and synthetic seats. I wanted to get behavior training as a Christmas present for my daughter, but my husband said she would take it as an insult. Truly, I am the one that needs training. He does not nip my family, but then they don't go outside either.

    I love this little dog, but yes, when you get that job, Please take the DOG!

    This is our first family dog. Of the mutts we had when I was a kid, they were calm, then there was the Doberman pincher. He was a high strung idiot. So the next dog in our future, will be a mutt, of medium size. Small dogs act crazy.

    My hubby says we need the dog whisperer. He is in California though, so I need to be real and find someone quick, before I start beating him with the Yardstick!

    I want some one that will help me with things beside:, sit, stay, lay down. Although we could use lots of help with walking on the leash. The dog whisperer says: once you get the walk down they behave better. They see you as pack leaders and everything becomes easier.

    from this site
    http://www.yourpurebredpuppy.com/reviews/pembrokewelshcorgis.html

    it says the owner of a corgi should be a confident owner who can take charge

    Well, that is not a description of me. I have never been a leader. I am a follower and have low self esteem. I have in my life been a doormat. The dog whisperer, says that dogs come into your life for a reason. When I can get him to behave, I do feel better about myself. Maybe, I need this dog to help me be a stronger person.

    The mentioned website, makes me feel better, that it is not just me that have problems with this breed. They are inherently handfuls.

  • belindach
    14 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Mary, I wouldn't put up with a dog that bites people. No privileges for him/her which means No cookies, no car rides, no petting, no walks. I would keep that dog on a leash even when in the house. It's easier to grab and say, No with a yank.

  • pnbrown
    14 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    li, I bet you don't know what sandy soil is! I went to LI for the first time last year (even though I've been through NY more times than I could count), and I can say it has great soil compared to the cape and islands.

    Anyhoo, I think that saying about grass should be amended to "sometimes the grass IS greener other places". LI has better soil than here (a case of greener grass), but I don't have to deal with urban-style crowding and the summers are a tad cooler. Vermont has better soil than we, but we don't have to look at snow for five months straight nor get in ten cords of wood. Virginia has better soil, but we don't swelter in summer. PNW has much better soil, but we get rain in the summer and it doesn't rain every day from oct - may. Georgia has better soil, but we speak standard english here.....

    Did ya catch the common theme? We don't have soil to brag about around here.

  • zeedman Zone 5 Wisconsin
    14 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    "I think the highly bred, commercially developed varieties are weak and more susceptible to bugs and drought. Hmm, maybe pesticide companies are into plant breading."

    They are. Can you say "Monsanto"? A topic near & dear to my heart... and one best left for other days, on other threads.

    Mary, if my experience is any judge, you are on the right track. Land races are the true heirlooms, varieties that have stood the test of time for their soil & climate. Sometimes the best solution to a climate, pest, or disease problem is not to fight against Nature, but to find the best variety. Square peg, round hole, and all that... too often we find ourselves pounding the wrong peg to make it fit.

    I began large-scale trials of many vegetables in 2000, shortly after joining SSE... trials that continue to this day, with over 100 new vegetables this year. Little by little, I replaced nearly all of the hybrids in my garden with OP varieties that not only perform as well or better, but allow me to save my own seed. The only hybrids remaining in my garden are "Miracle" sweet corn and "Yellow Doll" watermelon, which have proven their worth.

    There are always failures, sometimes total losses... this year included. Sometimes those failures are instructional, and a change in technique can lead to success; sometimes they are dead ends, something that just won't grow here. Some tropical varieties will not adjust to the long days of my Northern summers... a fairly common problem with beans of many species. Nor can I grow edible-pod peas for seed, because the pods don't protect against moisture... they were bred to have little fiber, and the late-summer rains so common in my area always destroy the seed. (Soup peas, however, with their stronger hulls, suffer little damage.)

    But there are also successes each year, sometimes remarkable, sometimes downright surprising. This year I grew 9 vegetables from the Philippines; and much to my surprise, 5 of them not only survived, but thrived & bore heavily in my Wisconsin climate.

    And after growing the tropical Moringa oleifera in pots for many years (this plant is worth looking up!), I tried it this year as a transplant, grown as an annual - with astounding results. Four cuttings of leaves so far, and the trees (!) are already 3 feet tall. Moringa thrives in hot, semi-arid climates... Mary, if you like greens, you might want to try this one.

    Large trials require a lot of space; but they are not impossible for the small-scale gardener. Instead of one long row of beans, plant 3-foot sections of 5 new varieties. Grow one plant each of 5 new tomatoes each year, or 5 peppers, or 5 okra, or 5 eggplant... you get the idea. Freeze the remaining seed, and replant the ones that do well the following year. If out of those trials you only find a few real "keepers" each year, your garden will eventually evolve to fit your conditions.

    Variety selection is not the only solution; cultural practices can also overcome many problems. But when you start with the strongest plants, your odds of success improve.

  • pnbrown
    14 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I agree absolutely, successful gardening is all about having well-adapted plants. IMO, the most well-adapted display that by effectively becoming weeds - saving the seed is not necessary.

    But that's a different topic from whether or no some regions are easier to garden than others, isn't it?

  • greatlakesmower
    14 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    The grass is always greener...I mean the vegetables are always riper...yeah, whatever.

    Hemnancy - I too lived in San Diego County, in an area that once was a granite quarry, so I was told. I dug up the place with a pick ax, pulled out nice size granite rocks for hard-scape, then put in a raised garden bed with purchased soil. I could grow fantastic tomatoes and squash in that dry heat, but had to irrigate plenty. Before that I lived in a part of San Diego close to the coast. The constant over-cast sky and cooler summer required different veggies. San Diego has many different growing zones just in one county.
    Now I live in Southeast Michigan. I don't irrigate nearly as much, but I know deal with more fungus and powerful storms like the one that tore through here Friday night. I can still pull off good tomatoes provided I put them in a sunny spot in the yard. I have a raised garden bed here as well - too much clay in the native soil.

  • lakedallasmary
    Original Author
    14 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I am going to start a new thread to address the landrace crops and finding varieties to fit your climate

    I will call it

    Getting more from your garden with landraces and local varietes, than commercially developed varietes

    I am not it sure if that is a good title but I could not think of anything else

  • hamiltongardener
    14 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Sorry to hear about the problems with the dog.

    We had one dog that grew to be jealous and nippy. I got rid of him quick, took him in to get him put down. I know a lot of people think of their pets as family, but as much as I loved the dog, he's nowhere near as important as myself or my family. A dog is a dog, no matter what.

    It's not worth risking Rover take a bite out of one of the kids just because "He's part of the family".

  • wayne_5 zone 5b/6a Central Indiana
    14 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    After reading the posts, I guess gardening in central Indiana isn't too bad. I always have a lush garden. I can raise great melons, corn, beans, peppers, tomatoes, sweetpotatoes, and potatoes plus berries and apples. Also the soil is good.

    Yes the off season is kind of long but we do get a rest from lawn mowing! It has been about 3 years now without nary a mosquito!

  • ruthieg__tx
    14 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I am planting all my fall stuff and have had pretty good success. I have the sprinkler set up so that I can keep the beds damp...I turn them on for just a short time several times a day and it seems to be working..I have onions, spinach, kale, turnips, carrots and beets all coming up just fine...I planted more beans and peas too and they are doing good...Just got to keep them damp while the seeds sprout.

  • macthayer
    14 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I know what you mean. I lived in Massachusetts and loved gardening there -- grew lots of veggies and flowers, had a long growing season and decent loamy soil. Then I moved to Wisconsin, and I planted all of the things I loved and either they promptly died or were eaten by a critter or bug. The clay soil here does not support the kinds of flowers I used to love so I've had to completely change that. And the veggies grow in a raised bed in soil that was brought in from elsewhere. I get to keep what the critters don't get. But I love it here, so I guess perfection is in your heart, and not necessarily in the back garden. MacThayer

  • nc_crn
    14 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    About that dog thing...

    You're either livestock or a playmate/peer to the dog. You need to assert yourself as a pack leader or one of the pack leaders in your household. You may not want to do it, but the dog won't care if you don't and you might keep your role in the dog's eyes.

    Yes, It may take a little work, but you might be surprised how little unless you got a true hardheaded/disturbed dog. It sounds like you have some role ambiguity in the dog's mind.

    Dogs are pretty fast to pick up pack leadership, though, and quickly fall in line with only the occasional youth/teen and grumpy-older-dog outbursts. It's not like you'll have to beat on the dog or spend months in therapy or something.

  • nc_crn
    14 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Oh. It seems from your detailed post about your dog that you're on top of it piece by piece.

    The details show the dog taking discipline from you, but you're not getting the same respect as the rest of your family from the dog and even have the dog setting boundaries for you.

    Wow. That does not sound like a fun puzzle to put together, but it sounds like you're making strides piece by piece.

  • flora_uk
    14 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I notice that the canine miscreant is a Corgi. Texas is about as far from his native habitat in cool wet Wales as it is possible to be. I have never owned a dog but it is well known here that Corgis are prone to nipping people's ankles. In fact the Queen's Corgis are famous for it! This trait is mentioned in the link but says that it can be trained out.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Corgi temperament

  • lakedallasmary
    Original Author
    14 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Thanks guys, for letting me talk out this thing out about the dog. I know it is not really about veggie gardening, but it is sort of. I go out to garden and he helps me. He knows that I am the one that goes out all the time, which is why he can't understand when I don't do out with him. Your comments helped too.

    Typing out the progress we have made with him, and with you guy's encouragement, I am being more assertive with EIN. I am being more consistent too. I know I can't let one thing go or it is back to square one with him. I think that is what happened. I was making great progress with him, then I got a bit tired and depressed, probably due to lack of sleep. I got lax with him and he took the leadership role since I was not taking it. Being leader is out of character for me.

    The worse problem, I am working on every time we go outside. I make him lay down and stop jumping all over the door when it is time to go out. I probably don't wait long enough because, once I open the door, I have to make him lay down again before I open the screen door. Then we go through he door. I hate this part. He turns around and wants to herd me outside. Gee whiz, I am coming out, just be patient. I point my finger at him and sternly say no. He moves away from the door. Once outside, he comes back over to me. I say go and point away from me. Or say, no herd, or no! I end up making him lay down and say settle! For settle down. The most effective thing is making him lay down. He does not bark and act like a nut when he is on the ground. He can't seem to calm down when on his feet. He definitely has very strong herding instincts. He did the minute we brought him home.

    I read that if you bring a puppy home much after 8 weeks it is harder to break them out of the role they played in the litter. Either, leader, or submissive or some place in between. He was 4 months old when he joined the family. He was the last pup of the litter. He might have been acting bossy, which is why he was the last to go. No matter, he is what he is.

    He gives the cat a hard time when she wants to go outside. I make the dog lay down, say stay. I call the cat over and let her out. This works, just have to keep it up. The dog would so love to play with the cat, but the cat hates him and hisses at him at every opportunity. Sometimes, the cat starts hissing with no reason, so I scold her instead.

    He is still not good at come, but he will come better than he once did. When we are stern with the word come, he will mosey on inside (most of the time).

    I have been not letting him lay at my feet. I think it is cute and love to have his furriness, next to my bare feet, but if I let him do that, he thinks he is leader, then I will have problems with him later. Right now, he is a bit confused why I am suddenly making him not lay there. He always has before.

    He is a very quick learner. I just have to be more consistent and more firm. He thinks he is my dog. He follows me around and comes right up to me when my husband lets him out. When my husband lets him in, the first thing he does is finds me and touches me with his nose. I am sure this means something, just not sure what. It is probably a bad thing in dog language. I need to get a book on dog behavior to be able to read him better. We had a book like that for cats, and it was neat to know why the cats did what they did.

    The dog is only 2. Adolescence has been a big problem. We were doing quite well, then he hit 6 months. He got more corgi like. He definitely thought he was the boss. We had to get even more stern with him. Yes, he is fixed. I think that helped somewhat. I read they are teenagers till three. So we have about 6 more months to go till he is an adult dog.

    If someone would ask me if they should get I corgi. I would say no. They are cute as buttons, very friendly, and smart, too smart. But they do test your patience and take constant attention to discipline. I would not get one if you work all day. They are not the type that likes long periods alone. They are definitely people dogs. They have way too much energy to be cooped up in the house all day. If you life in an apartment, this would not be a good choice for a dog. The love to run. They have to run off their energy. I read, that this kind of dog is not really meant to be a pet. They are working dogs. If you have one, they say they need a job. They need to herd or you need to take them to agility training. We have to get him special food since he has a sensitive stomach. We have to be very careful what scraps we feed him. He can't digest fat at all. He can't deal with wheat. I think pure bred dogs just have more physical problems due to having many common ancestors. I read with corgis becoming more popular that they are having problems with poor breeders, breeding them with close relatives. His knees are knocked due to being so dang short. I thought he needed to go to to the vet, but all the pictures I see of corgis have that same problem.

    All that being said, I will miss Ein after my kid takes him to live with her. I think he will miss me too. He only sees my daughter about 10 minutes a day when she graces us with her presence.

    I know this is not a dog forum, so thanks for your patience with my silly post. Sometimes when I want peace when I garden, I make him stay inside. I think that is a big part of the problem with him. I want to enjoy my gardening without saying no, lay down, quiet, so I just ignored his behavior. So, I guess he thought i it OK.

    thanks nc-crn for the vote of confidence. I know I am not a perfect dog trainer, but I am trying.

    flor_uk - I will read the link. It is obvious that my kid did not research this dog before getting him. Anyone in Texas should not by choice ever get a dog with long think fur especially double coats like he has. When I am comfortable he is hot. When I am hot he, is miserable. When I am sweating up a storm, it is just too dangerous to let him outside, for much loner than to do what he needs to do. Even when he is hot, he rarely volunteers to want to come inside. I have to go get him for his own good. He is a happy dog in January. I think the heat makes his behaviors worse. I know it is time for him to go in by the pitch of his barks.

  • nc_crn
    14 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Given the number of "critters" who have attacked my tomatoes and given a taste-trial of my sweet peppers i'd say an argument can be made that a dog is as important of a gardening tool to some as a tomato cage, a dirty diaper, or "liquid fence".

    BTW, on the dirty diaper thing...

    My girlfriend's sister married an African native from Mali (great gardener growing some interesting native eggplants, btw) and has been using their child's dirty diapers placed every 5-10' around their garden areas. He puts them out at night then collects them (wrapped, not exposed waste, btw) in the morning.

    The deer won't touch any of it. They will actually come close, lay down and digest whatever they ate elsewhere in their yard, but won't go close to those diapers. His neighbors are even borrowing his "child's services" to protect some young trees. So far 100% success rate.

    Talk about going off on a tangent of a tangent. Sorry about the double post earlier, too. I know, I know...read the whole thread first before replying. hehe.