Oh good gracious! Who ever heard of planting vegetables in Texas in July! As ridiculous as that may seem, NOW is the time to begin planting and planning for our fall gardens. Pull out those old, tired, diseased and insect ridden cucumbers, green beans and summer squash to make room for the late summer and fall crops that will begin producing more fresh produce for your table. If you aren’t planning on following up in these areas with watermelon or winter squash, till in some compost and let the area lay fallow until September, when our Cole crops are ready to be planted. (Cole crops are broccoli, cauliflower, collards, cabbage and kale).
Prepare other areas for planting tomato transplants NOW, along with peppers and eggplants, for a fall harvest. Keep transplants watered at all times to get them established, and shade from the afternoon sun when possible. You can also cut back your tomatoes from spring, or “tip layer” one of the vines by covering it with soil after laying it down on the ground.
The Texas Gardener Magazine is a wealth of timely advice and growing tips, and may be found at Backbone Valley Nursery. The Vegetable Book for Texas by Dr. Sam Cotner offers detailed growing information even the novice gardener can utilize. Stop by and pick up a free vegetable planting guide, and check out our books and magazines! Take advantage of our long growing season, and come see us for plants, seeds, compost, mulch and advice!