Sunday, August 18, 2013

Begining Growing Indoors

       This is the second or third summer of drought or near drought in here in East Texas.  The long hot dry summer is rough on the plants and with on old well compressor it is difficult to get enough water on the plants to sustain a large garden.  I have a rain barrel and in normal weather conditions this would give me enough water to supplement the rain and I would rarely have to turn on the hose except for a deep soak.  This year all the plants are struggling to survive with intense sun baking down every day.  Even still I can feel the days growing shorter and the air is light and cool in the morning.  The unseasonable temperatures may allow me to grow a full crop of tomatoes and peppers during the winter if I prepare for the occasional cold snap.

       Starting plants out in the heat might be too much so I put up the grow light my wife got me for Christmas and set up an area to grow.  Hopefully I can get nice thick well grown tomato plants growing in the house and keep them inside until the temperature drops enough to plant them out in the garden.  Using some pipes that I already have in the garden for tomato stakes I have a plan to build a simple green house and all I should have to buy is one roll of clear plastic sheeting.  If I buy some quality compost and mulch it will keep the soil temperature higher and help them last longer.  By that time the bee keepers who winter their hives down the road will be back and the area should  be full of bees again, currently the bee problem is as bad as the heat and the drought.

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        With the weather as bad as it is and according to the current US Drought Monitor there is no end in sight.  Rain water collection will have to be increased out here at the Longbranch Ranch, but moving some growing indoors may be necessary.  If I live all the way out here in the middle of nowhere and can't have fresh home grown tomatoes I am gonna be mad as hell. I don't know much about growing indoors, but at least I wouldn't be sweating to death in the heat of the summer.  The grow light is the first step in turning to some indoor growing in the summer and some green house work in the winter. 

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