Trying to Grow an Urban Garden in Dallas, Need Help

Yesterday I ate at Jason’s Deli and they had tomatoes on their salad bar the size of a dime. Not juicy red slices but minuscule Tic Tacs I sprinkled on my salad. I can’t say I blame them. With gas prices rising, consumers, restaurants and farmers are feeling the pinch. So I decided to rip into the weed infested green spaces in my courtyard in an attempt to grow my own vegetable garden right here in North Central Dallas. No more Albertson’s $4 a pound tomatoes that taste like cardboard or those pliable cucumbers. And I can’t afford to keep paying that much at Whole Foods for organic greens that rot in a few days. I de-weeded the two spaces, added nutrient rich dirt and (per my mom’s suggestion) have waited to plant anything until bad weather (or the last chance of a freeze) passes–today would be a good example of too cold!

Here are my problems though:
1) I’m not an experienced gardener and tend to have a heavy watering hand when I’m not dehydrating plants.
2) That cute critter is my cat who enjoys munching on anything green. Do I need a chicken wire fence?
3) My green spaces are about 2 feet by 6 feet, with decent sunlight and access to water, what will grow?
4) I have to rose bushes in the same soil, will that harm vegetable growth?
5) The soil is rich but not very deep, will that determine what I can and can’t plant?
6) Am I evil if I use Miracle Grow? I’m for chemical free food but I’d like it to at least be bite size.

I also have a green plant that is growing that looks like tiny onions (at least when I cut it it smelled like onion). And I killed a beautiful rosemary bush or rather the third freeze we had in February killed it. I’m not sure if it will grow back but I’d like it to. I’m not a green thumb, and I don’t have major interest in gardening. I just want to  have some vegetables to grow (tomatoes, squash etc.) and to cut back on my produce purchases. I’d also like to see some plants blossom and not die under my care. If you’re interested in growing this Spring, there are a number of gardening clubs in the Dallas area including: First Men’s Garden Club of Dallas  that meets in Farmers Branch (as of 2009 they accept women to their club), the Dallas Organic Garden Club helps those passionate about growing naturally, and the Dallas Rainbow Garden Club  is for the local GLBT community (and non GLBT, too!)  Come on, ladies. We can grow our green thumbs! At least until the price of produce drops.

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About admin

Chick Talk Dallas is the hatchling of Joanna Cattanach, a former Dallas Morning News staff writer/news assistant. A graduate of Baylor University, she currently works as a freelance writer and writing instructor in the Dallas area where she, her husband and baby son call home. Follow her on
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