One of my most useful gardening tools is the Aggie Horticulture website. Maintained by Texas A&M University, I first discovered it a decade ago when I was trying to find out why the peaches from my first harvest were so small. Turns out that a healthy peach tree will produce thirty to forty pounds of fruit, but because I didn’t thin out the peaches when they were small I wound up with a few hundred tiny, inedible peaches instead of a few baskets of useful fruit. Since then it’s helped me to correct several mistakes and bad habits, and steered me away from planting the wrong varieties of fruits and vegetables.
If you visit the link that I’ve provided, and if you live in Texas you should, just choose your county from the drop-down menu and you’ll have a nice list of vegetables that do well in your area. Click on the main link to get back to the home page, and you’ll find additional information on fruit and nut trees, landscaping, the Texas Master Gardener program, and others. While most of the information is geared towards using chemical fertilizers and insecticides, the information is easily adapted to the organic gardener. They also have a link to organic gardening, and I suspect that as the organic movement continues to grow in popularity, that section of the website will become more prominent.
What if you don’t live in Texas? Every state has similar resources, and here’s one more link to get you going.
This week I’ll be staking out the area of the yard I’m going to use to build the raised beds. We’ve lived here for almost two years now, and because we were also starting a new business in the community, this is the first opportunity I’ve had to garden. Oh, how I’ve missed it! There’s something about the entire process that makes me feel so connected, not only to the planet, but to the generations of people around the world who have grown food to put on their tables.