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Been getting up earlier for a month or so now eager to do something for once, it's pretty refreshing. I didn't realize until after I uploaded this that I still had some breakfast on my face, sorry about that.

Looks Good! I like the fish pond idea with multi-purpose benefits!

If I heard you correctly, pond water is going to be pumped through perforated pvc to water the garden. Consider adding a good mulch over the piping and garden. Help retain moisture and prevent your dirt from blowing away in the West Texas breeze. Maybe add a few pounds of earth worms before you mulch. Earth worms will help build up your soil! I assume worms need to be kept somewhat moist in the West Texas heat to thrive. Till the mulch into the soil after the season, rotate crops or lay fallow and repeat next planting....

Suspect a home-made hoop-house would work great during the winter in West Texas?
Looks good you seem to be doing great as far as what you have stated. I can't see anything wrong with the garden plans and it apears to grow stuff great so soil PH must be a good range. Two liter bottles make great greenhouses for tomato plants when young. The pond just seemed to small for the quanity of fish you might be expecting to have. Any run off will fill the pond with not just water but dirt as well. Would be more work to clean the dirt out everytime it rains and risk breaking the liner walking on it. Garden should provide alot but I would not depend on it for at least a year. So stock up what you can afford now. Also put that coffee maker closer to the alarm clock! JESUS H CHRIST!
(03-23-2012 04:38 PM)jmtomes2001 Wrote: [ -> ]Looks good you seem to be doing great as far as what you have stated. I can't see anything wrong with the garden plans and it apears to grow stuff great so soil PH must be a good range. Two liter bottles make great greenhouses for tomato plants when young. The pond just seemed to small for the quanity of fish you might be expecting to have. Any run off will fill the pond with not just water but dirt as well. Would be more work to clean the dirt out everytime it rains and risk breaking the liner walking on it. Garden should provide alot but I would not depend on it for at least a year. So stock up what you can afford now. Also put that coffee maker closer to the alarm clock! JESUS H CHRIST!

I've put gravel on the base of the pond, and the burm around it has a ton of grass and marigolds planted in it and it will eventually be bricked in to prevent the burm from breaking off and in. I also have another pump that will not only aerate but filter the water so that it stays nice and clear. I know it looks small but it's about 15x12 at it's widest spots. I know from growing up here that catfish can be sustained in about a foot and a half of water, so I just made it around 4ft, it should hold a couple dozen easy. Eventually I may drain it and cement the whole thing, but that's kind of costly when what I'm doing now will suffice. I've saved lots of bottles and gallon jugs for exactly that purpose in regards to getting tomatoes started. I won't have much of an issue on some of my rows with things like okra and white corn, those grow in minimal conditions and without a lot of attention. The lack of bees in the last few years has pretty much killed the aspirations of regular corn growers around here. As far as the pvc runoff, I'll be capping the end of each line that I run and just drill holes around the midsection, this will minimized dirt collection, not to mention I will most likely put a piece of window screen on the base end of the pipe.

Thanks!
(03-23-2012 03:52 PM)JPMsecretagent Wrote: [ -> ]Looks Good! I like the fish pond idea with multi-purpose benefits!

If I heard you correctly, pond water is going to be pumped through perforated pvc to water the garden. Consider adding a good mulch over the piping and garden. Help retain moisture and prevent your dirt from blowing away in the West Texas breeze. Maybe add a few pounds of earth worms before you mulch. Earth worms will help build up your soil! I assume worms need to be kept somewhat moist in the West Texas heat to thrive. Till the mulch into the soil after the season, rotate crops or lay fallow and repeat next planting....

Suspect a home-made hoop-house would work great during the winter in West Texas?

I have a place locally that you can load a pickup bed full of mulch for just a few bucks, I planned on doing the entire thing after I plant my rows, for exactly the reasons you stated. For some of my crops I'll really have to hold a lot of moisture if I want to repeat the process next year, so that was already part of the gameplan. Thanks for commenting and giving me input! Not too sure about the hoop house thing, but the winters here the last couple of years have been really mild, we only had one freeze this whole winter...The real concern is whether or not the climate is going to keep producing the drought like conditions that most of Texas had last year and the year before. We're not off to a bad start for rain though.
Get a ph TEST KIT FOR SOIL.

This will tell you what will grow well.

How about fruit trees around the edges to create a wind barrier.
Oh one more thing and this might be the most important as it will effect sustainablity depend upon how bad things really get. You mentioned the missing honey bees. I spoke to my mother on this subject and it just hit me. She mentioned you could cross pollinate with a feather. You might have to become the bee or be stuck buying more seeds later on which like I said I'm not sure how bad it could get but if the bees aren't helping then your stuck with the chance of the wind otherwise.
You might consider putting a portable greenhouse over your most delicate crops. Here is a link to a website if you want to take a look. A greenhouse will stop wind erosion, and protect your plants from sun.

http://www.bettershelters.com/greenhouses.php


Here are some edible plants native to your area:
http://www.trails.com/list_36620_edible-...texas.html


If you plan on limiting supplemental watering in your vegetable patch, space your plants farther apart than suggested to give the roots more space to search for water. Plant cool season crops or crops that prefer a good watering in sunken beds that gather water.

This will also create a cooler microclimate. I find that dotting these plants near the 'trench' cut edge of my garden border improves their growth. Mulching with flat stones will also help keep the ground cooler and wetter while absorbing heat to be released at night thereby moderating the microclimate

If you live in an area that experiences frequent drought, then plant your veggie patch in place sheltered from the prevailing winds (plant a wind break if need be - jeruselum artichoke can act as a herbaceous one though it is invasive so best planted 'out of the way' or somewhere contained).

http://veggiepatchreimagined.blogspot.co...s-for.html



This is another site, which features fast growing trees that will do well where you are. You might consider the ones that bear fruit, or are good wind breakers.
http://www.fast-growing-trees.com/Texas.htm




Compost bins made of pallets - How to




Hope this helps a little. Looks like you've got a nice little place there, can't wait to see how your garden grows. Good luck, looking forward to the crop, and hearing about the garden.
Hell yes, awesome.
Rabbits.....and other critters, snakes...looks like you've got some fencing. Maybe add a couple of these type of the owls - below-? A good dog will take care of hungry rabbits especially if you have a small border fence to keep the dog out of the garden. Those dam rabbits can clean out a garden in the middle of the night!

Suspect a hoop-house will help under drought conditions? Helps Retain valuable moisture, humidity. Local farmers should be able to inform you.

Only other suggestion is build that soil up with organic matter! Either separate composting area with earthworms added or direct before planting. Peat-moss is a good start as you stated.
http://www.vegetable-gardening-gnomes.co...atter.html

Good Luck!

Solar Rotating Head Owl
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005J24...43ZZJ8WNTJ

Bird-X COYOTE 3-D 3-D Coyote Replica
http://www.amazon.com/Bird-X-COYOTE-3-D-..._sbs_lg_47


GT 50' Soaker Hose
http://www.google.com/products/catalog?q...ps-sellers
(03-23-2012 09:00 PM)People4People Wrote: [ -> ]You might consider putting a portable greenhouse over your most delicate crops. Here is a link to a website if you want to take a look. A greenhouse will stop wind erosion, and protect your plants from sun.

http://www.bettershelters.com/greenhouses.php


Here are some edible plants native to your area:
http://www.trails.com/list_36620_edible-...texas.html


If you plan on limiting supplemental watering in your vegetable patch, space your plants farther apart than suggested to give the roots more space to search for water. Plant cool season crops or crops that prefer a good watering in sunken beds that gather water.

This will also create a cooler microclimate. I find that dotting these plants near the 'trench' cut edge of my garden border improves their growth. Mulching with flat stones will also help keep the ground cooler and wetter while absorbing heat to be released at night thereby moderating the microclimate

If you live in an area that experiences frequent drought, then plant your veggie patch in place sheltered from the prevailing winds (plant a wind break if need be - jeruselum artichoke can act as a herbaceous one though it is invasive so best planted 'out of the way' or somewhere contained).

http://veggiepatchreimagined.blogspot.co...s-for.html



This is another site, which features fast growing trees that will do well where you are. You might consider the ones that bear fruit, or are good wind breakers.
http://www.fast-growing-trees.com/Texas.htm




Compost bins made of pallets - How to




Hope this helps a little. Looks like you've got a nice little place there, can't wait to see how your garden grows. Good luck, looking forward to the crop, and hearing about the garden.

AWESOME INFO!!

love the links, good information, definitely going with some trees soon too.
Here are some updates, my fish pond is now settled and stocked and the grass is growing around it AMAZINGLY well, I have vegetables coming up everywhere, and my little egg factory is growing way faster than I thought it would.



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Looking Good! Nice job!
I'm mulching the garden tomorrow, keeps the weeds down, holds moisture in, regulates soil temp, etc. I think I may build a poly house and run the fish pond through the middle of the garden aquaponics style.
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