The fourth in my series of stories on Dallas area vegetable gardens runs in today’s issue of The Dallas Morning News. It’s about Annie Chapman, a Thai immigrant who learned how to garden from her parents.
She has made her entire large backyard into a big vegetable and flower garden. Of all the people I visited, she devotes the most space to growing vegetables. She is so nice, and whenever I talk with her she wants me to come back out to her place to talk gardening!
I love the style of this place. She’s got crazy statues like this one with the tomatoes, raised beds from concrete blocks, compost in an old smoker. It’s an excellent display of resourcefulness!
The main takeaways for improving a garden based on her advice:
- Add organic matter all the time. In the fall when neighbors bag their leaves and set them out for trash pickup, confiscate them and spread over your beds so they can decompose over the winter.
- Plant unusual items. She has lemongrass, jujubes, persimmons, long beans, Thai lettuce, in addition to all the standard stuff. If anything underperforms she has a backup.
I am working on fall seedlings right now. Does anyone around here have theirs in the ground yet?