Growing Potatoes

The old-timers always said to get your potatoes in the ground by Washington’s Birthday. Well, now that Washington and Lincoln’s birthdays have been combined, I guess we’ll have to say to get them in by “President’s Day”! Plan ahead by getting your seed potatoes about 5-7 days before planting. You will want to cut them into pieces with each containing an “eye”, and put them in a paper bag with some dusting sulfur to help prevent disease problems. Shake the pieces around in the bag until they are coated with [...]

By |2020-07-22T16:34:57-05:00February 14th, 2018|Vegetable Gardening|

Cabbage Loopers

Keep those Loopers off your cabbage! If you have ever grown members of the Crucifer family, such as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, radish or turnip, you have probably experienced the wrath of one of three hungry caterpillars. The cabbage looper, the imported cabbageworm and the larvae of the diamondback moth can all make your beautiful vegetable leaves look like Swiss cheese! Imported cabbageworms adults are probably the most conspicuous of the three, as a white to yellowish butterfly flitting about the garden laying their eggs on your plants! Their larvae [...]

By |2020-07-22T16:34:22-05:00January 15th, 2018|Insects, Vegetable Gardening|

Asparagus Planting Guide

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 (Happy Frog JumpStart contains both fertilizer and microorganisms, as does MicroLife 6-2-4) 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 [...]

By |2019-01-17T08:38:58-06:00January 2nd, 2018|Vegetable Gardening|

What Makes Onions Bulb?

Have you ever planted onions, only to be disappointed in the size of bulb produced, or even have no bulbs produce at all? Here are some guidelines to ensure bulb production of onions in your garden. Choose the right variety: onions are characterized by the length of day required for them to produce bulbs. “Long-day” varieties will quit forming leaves and begin forming bulbs when day length reaches 14-16 hours. These varieties do better in the NORTHERN STATES. They are often the little onion “sets” you find at the box [...]

By |2020-07-22T16:35:46-05:00December 11th, 2017|Vegetable Gardening|

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 |2017-11-12T15:35:34-06:00November 12th, 2017|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 |2018-09-24T12:40:20-05:00October 4th, 2017|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, [...]

By |2019-09-08T15:01:56-05:00August 15th, 2017|Vegetable Gardening|

Tomato Variety Sheet

TOMATO VARIETY CHEAT SHEET Variety Days to Maturity Determinate/Indeterminate Fruit Type Notes Beefmaster 70 Determinate Large, 18oz VFN Beefsteak 96 Indeterminate Large, 16oz Better Boy 78 Indeterminate Large, 16oz VFN Better Bush 72 Determinate Medium, 8oz BHN 444 75 Determinate Large 12oz Indeterminate Large, 16-20oz Big Boy 78 Indeterminate Large, 16oz Big Beef 73 Indeterminate Large, 16oz VFNT Black Krim* 65-90 Indeterminate Large, 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 Large, [...]

By |2020-07-22T16:39:27-05:00July 6th, 2017|Vegetable Gardening|

Insects in the Vegetable Garden

Do You Have Insects in the Vegetable Garden? As the temperatures warm, insects become more of problem in the home garden. We are seeing stink bugs hatching from their eggs, spider mites sucking sap from plant cells, and caterpillars munching on our crops! Stink bugs are most easily controlled when they have just hatched and are in the “nymph” stage. Actually, they are most easily controlled when they are eggs, and you can simply pick them off the leaf and place in a can of soapy water! The eggs are [...]

By |2020-07-22T16:40:23-05:00May 25th, 2017|Insects, 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 |2020-07-22T16:41:33-05:00April 20th, 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 |2021-01-03T15:13:26-06:00April 1st, 2017|Vegetable Gardening|
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