Intercropping vegetables diagram

Intercropping-Friends Helping Friends

Intercropping is the practice of planting one plant in between other plants. An example would be planting lettuce in between heads of Cauliflower or Broccoli. Since the Cauliflower or Broccoli have to be planted 18-24 inches apart, it leaves a lot of space to plant lettuce. There are several variations of intercropping: Mixed intercropping, where two crops are mixed haphazardly in the available space. Row cropping, where the two crops are planted in alternating rows. Temporal intercropping, when you plant a fast-growing crop in with a slow growing one at the same time. Relay intercropping is similar, in that you[…]

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Lettuce Varieties

The Battle in the Garden

There is a battle going on underneath the calm exterior of your garden. In the air, on the plants and underground, a silent war is raging. There are allies and there are enemies, and there are neutral parties that are friendly to one side or the other. This is the world of companion planting. Most gardeners think of companion plants as those that help each other out, such as Eggplant and Peppers. However, there are also plants that should not be planted together, because they inhibit each others growth. Examples of these types of plants are garlic and beans or[…]

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October Calendar

You’re Late for a Very Important Date!

Things to do in October for Year-Round Gardening You’d better hurry! You’re late! It is time (and past time) to plant your fall crops. The trick to a fall harvest is to get the seeds into the ground when it is cool enough for them to germinate, but also to allow enough time for them to grow and mature before the first frost. How do you pick the right time frame? First, find the date of the first fall frost in your area. In Zone 9, the earliest frost is November 15, and the latest frost date is December 15th.[…]

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My September garden

State of the Garden, September 2016

This is a monthly update on my garden, as of September, 2016. For a garden layout to follow along, see my previous post. As I walk through the garden, in my first herb bed the Salvia is blooming, but also seems to be drying out.  It grows upright when young, but then lays down on the ground, taking up about a 24″ square space, and about 24″ tall. The Mint is beginning to turn woody. It has an ant bed under it–I guess it is a falsehood that mint repels ants. The Oregano is spreading out; it now covers another 24″[…]

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2016 garden plot plan

A Tour of My Garden

Like I said before, my garden is about 900 square feet, or 28 feet by 33 feet. It didn’t start out that way, so don’t let that scare you.  I started in the early 1990’s with a 5 foot by 8 foot space on the north side of my house.  It grew larger each year, and when we moved to my current 1 acre homestead, I staked out the 30×30 foot area. Even then, I only cultivated less than half that space in the beginning, and changed the layout from year to year. Your garden can be whatever size suits you,[…]

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Green Bell Peppers

About the Zone 9 Gardener Blog

The Zone 9 Gardener is about gardening in hot and humid Texas Zone 9.      There are lots of blogs and gardening websites, but many of them do not relate to this area. Either they start the planting season too late, or give up on gardening too early; gardening in south Texas can be a year-round effort.      This blog will focus specifically on Zone 9 and year-round gardening. Since I actively cultivate a 900 square-foot garden, I have the experience to tell you when to plant what, and how to care for your plantings so that you get the[…]

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