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PostPosted: Sun Dec 26, 2004 8:03 am 

Joined: Sat Dec 25, 2004 8:23 am
Posts: 20
Location: Ovilla,TEXAS
Greetings to all from Ovilla, TX. I moved to a house with three acres in Ovilla back in June of 2000. The lot is rectangular with a large front yard and huge back yard. There are three large red oaks down each side of the front yard and two big red oaks out front shading the house. There are two live oaks in the "back yard" which is fenced in close to the house and a two live oaks near the garage shading the drive way up by the house. There is a natural fence of red tip photenias along the driveway near the house providing privacy, shade, and a place for birds to hang their tale end over the car and drop gifts.

The paved driveway leads to yard past the house and back yard through a big wide gate. The first pasture is pipe fencing and all flat with a barn toward the back with two pole pens around it which previously had some type of livestock. There is a second pasture in the back where the only structure is a three sided shelter for horses. There are natural cedar trees out there and not much else.

Since I moved in, I haven't used any chemical fertilizers and have been seeding annually with annual rye grass to help the yard. Yard cuttings with the mulching mower are always left in the yard. I have no idea what organic stuff to use on the lawn but am learning. I recently got two organic type books: "Texas Organic Vegetable Gardening" by Howard Garrett and C. Malcolm Beck...and "The Organic Manual: Natural Gardening for the 21st Century" by Howard Garrett. I hope to apply some of the knowledge from these books to my lawn.

By the barn in the pole pens is the garden. One corner of the back pen has a 6' X 6' compost bin made of chicken wire supported by a T-Post and the pole pen itself. This compost pile has now been in use for several years. The garden site, having been a livestock pen in the past, was found to have fairly fertile soil and seems to work very well. I have tried the ruth stout methods with success and the square foot gardening method to help keep from walking on the growing soil.

The pastures are inhabited by three goats which selectively eat just the weeds and grasses they like and could level the garden in about half an hour if you leave the gate open. ( I found out the hard way). There are two dogs up near the house (Lab and mix breed). My amazon parrots enjoy a plant room in a south facing bay window in the house. The flower beds are planted with low water, low maintenance items like Lantana which attracts a fair number of humming birds. There is also a double decker purple martin house mounted in the corner of the pole pen garden which is full of purple martins doing their duty on the insects. My "Can O Worms" vermicomposting bin has also been alot of fun.

Things I would like to do on the property are:

1) Get more knowledgable about organic methods of lawn care.
2) Get less clueless about some landscaping ideas.
3) Build several ponds (one by the house, one in the back pasture for wild life with solar power).
4) Experiment with outdoor vermicomposting.
5) Acquire / plant some fruit/nut trees in best location.
6) Experiment with permiculture.
7) More experimentation with companion planting.
8 ) Experiment with solar or wind power.
9) Build a greenhouse.
10) Grow enough organic veggies for myself and to share.
11) Experiment with water collection methods from roof top runoff.

My yard has alot of weeds but is constantly getting taken over by bermuda grass which has done better every year since I moved in.

Thanks for the discussion boards. I hope to learn alot here.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 26, 2004 8:20 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2003 9:10 am
Posts: 1278
Location: Dallas,TEXAS
Welcome. :) You have come to the right place for the information you need. Will you be attending the show in January?

Have you visited:

Glad to have you with us!

Nadine Bielling
Gardener Exchange Forum

The Laws of Ecology:
"All things are interconnected. Everything goes somewhere. There's no such thing as a free lunch. Nature bats last." --Ernest Callenbach

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