Fall Harvests and Versatile Chard

Well, hopefully your fall vegetable garden is well underway, and you even have some greens to harvest and prepare. Keep an eye on those Cabbage Loopers! The little guys feed on the underside of the leaves of cabbage, broccoli, collards, brussels sprouts and other Cole crops at a time in the fall when the plants really need those leaves to produce carbohydrates for root and leaf growth. Continue using Bt or Spinosad weekly to control those little buggers! Swiss chard is not only a pretty plant that can be used [...]

By | 2017-11-12T15:35:34+00:00 November 12th, 2017|Vegetable Gardening|

October Gardening Check List

The best tree and shrub planting season continues now through mid-March. Root systems will continue to grow all winter long, giving you a fairly well-established plant by the time the real heat sets in. A better established root system conserves water and is more drought resistant next year. (It is also easier on YOU,  as you will be watering less often in the winter!) Try planting some spring-flowering trees and shrubs such as azaleas, redbuds, Mexican plums, anacacho orchid trees, and Texas scarlet flowering quince. -Don’t miss the fall fertilization [...]

By | 2017-10-05T14:55:30+00:00 October 5th, 2017|Lawn Care, Plants, Vegetable Gardening|

Time to Plant Garlic!

Knowing when to plant different vegetables can be confusing. In Central Texas, we have a fairly mild winter. This means we are able to plant “cool-season” vegetables in the fall for harvest in the spring. Garlic is one of these cool weather plants. The ideal time to plant garlic here is in October and November. It is so easy, you will wonder why you haven’t been planting it all along! Garlic grows best in rich organic soil with good drainage. There are two types of garlic: hard neck and soft [...]

By | 2017-10-04T17:01:07+00:00 October 4th, 2017|Vegetable Gardening|

September Gardening Checklist

Vegetable Gardens:  If you haven’t already removed your old vegetable plants from spring, now is the time to do so! Compost whatever does not have disease or insects, and discard the rest. This is your “window” to add amendments to your garden! Choose from Ladybug Revitalizer Compost Blend, Raised Bed Blend, or Earthworm castings. The Ground Up product, Vegan Compost, provides composted native plants and organic vegetable products. Compost will add needed nutrients and texture to your soil, improving moisture holding capacity, microbe activity, and production. If you have not [...]

By | 2017-09-05T14:41:33+00:00 September 5th, 2017|Lawn Care, Vegetable Gardening|

Preparing for a Fall Garden

It is so easy to get excited about planting a fall garden. The garden is looking bare from pulling out the old, tired plants from spring, and the thought of fresh broccoli and lettuce is making me hungry! So, let’s get started! Whether you have an existing garden or are establishing a new one, the preparation is basically the same. First, determine if your soil is clay-like, sandy or gravelly. Each type of soil requires a different type of amendment strategy, as well as a different fertilization program. Clay Soil as [...]

By | 2017-08-17T12:30:15+00:00 August 15th, 2017|Vegetable Gardening|

July Checklist

Vegetables:  Vegetable planting is still going on-just be sure to water new seedlings well and often! Don’t let them dry out while they are germinating and getting their “true” leaves, as moisture is critical at this stage. Fall vegetable gardening in many ways can be better than a spring garden in Central Texas. Believe it or not, we plant tomato plants for “fall” tomatoes in July!  We suggest choosing either a “determinate” type tomato (see info sheet), or a variety that has 60-70 “days to harvest”. I have also grown [...]

By | 2017-07-06T14:16:05+00:00 July 6th, 2017|Plants, Vegetable Gardening|

Tomato Variety Sheet

TOMATO VARIETY CHEAT SHEET Variety Days to Maturity Determinate/Indeterminate Fruit Type Notes Beefmaster 70 Determinate Large, 18-32oz VFN Beefsteak 96 Indeterminate Large, 16-32oz Better Boy 78 Indeterminate Large, 16oz VFN Better Bush 72 Determinate Medium, 8oz BHN 444 75 Determinate Large , 10oz Indeterminate Large, 16-20oz Big Boy 78 Indeterminate Large, 16-20oz Big Beef 73 Indeterminate Large, 12-16oz VFNT Black Krim* 65-90 Indeterminate Large, 10-12oz Red/Black, Very Sweet Brandywine* 88 Indeterminate Large, 12oz Bush Celebrity 67 Determinate Medium, 8oz Bush Early Girl 63 Determinate Medium, 6oz Caspian Pink* 80 Indeterminate [...]

By | 2017-07-06T14:04:44+00:00 July 6th, 2017|Vegetable Gardening|

June Gardening Checklist

Annuals and Perennials: Some of the best heat-loving annuals are ready to be planted now! Vinca, Angelonia, Penta, Sweet Potato Vine, Coleus, Wax Begonias, Purslane and Portulaca will easily make it through our hot summer with attentive watering and monthly fertilization. Even Geraniums, when moved to dappled shade or part sun will produce abundant blooms all summer if dead-headed and fertilized monthly. Perennials should be establishing well if planted in the spring. If planting now, continue hand-watering daily for at least a few weeks. Watering deeply once or twice a [...]

By | 2017-06-07T12:42:32+00:00 June 7th, 2017|Lawn Care, Vegetable Gardening|

Blossom End Rot

Blossom End Rot - What It Is and What It Is Not If you have ever had the “blossom end” of a tomato turn black, you have experienced blossom end rot. Caused by cultural conditions, and NOT disease, this malady can affect tomatoes, peppers, squash, watermelon and eggplant. Researchers agree that it is caused by a calcium deficiency in the blossom end of the fruit (yes, these are technically fruits, as they are actually formed from the ovary of a flower!) Now, why there is a deficiency is the real [...]

By | 2017-06-21T09:07:17+00:00 May 17th, 2017|Vegetable Gardening|

Sweet Potatoes in Central Texas

Sweet Potatoes April is the time to plant Sweet Potatoes in Central Texas! Although they do prefer sandy soils, they are able to adapt to many different types of soil in your garden-just as long as it drains well. If you have clay soil or drainage problems, work in lots of compost and make raised beds or planting ridges 8”-12” high. You will want to plant your sweet potato slips as soon after purchasing as you can, preferably when the weather is warm and settled. Don’t worry if your slips [...]

By | 2017-06-07T07:43:42+00:00 April 20th, 2017|Vegetable Gardening|

Asparagus Planting Guide

Asparagus Planting Plant asparagus roots or crowns in late winter/early spring (January-February in Central Texas). Prepare beds with heavy amounts of compost and organic fertilizer. We recommend using a mycorrhizal root inoculant (MicroLife 6-2-4 contains both fertilizer and microorganisms) at the time of planting as this has been shown to greatly increase yields in asparagus. Be sure to plant in full sun (at least 8 hours) and make sure that the soil drains well. Because once asparagus gets started it becomes very well established and difficult to eradicate, you should [...]

By | 2017-06-07T07:32:30+00:00 April 19th, 2017|Vegetable Gardening|

Growing Artichokes in Central Texas

Artichokes are actually a thistle native to the Mediterranean. Like many plants from the Mediterranean, they require well-drained soils, and produce best in deep, fertile soils. Adding compost to sandy or clay soils will improve the drainage and fertility of the soil. Choose a location in full sun, and space plants 3’-4’ apart, as the plants will grow quite large. ‘Green Globe’ is a variety that does well in Central Texas, and are usually readily available at planting time. You can plant crowns in January, or container-grown stock later in [...]

By | 2017-04-24T17:44:48+00:00 April 1st, 2017|Vegetable Gardening|