||Fall Vegetable Gardening
Howdy Gardening Enthusiasts!
It's August, and you're sweltering in the summer heat that is uniquely Texas. In fact, Tuesday August 3rd was noted as the hottest day of the year so far in the greater Houston area. Just getting you to mow the lawn and pull a weed is a bit of a moral dilemma. So, why am I going to talk to you about vegetable gardens today? The point is; if you want a fall vegetable garden, you should be getting busy despite the heat.
That's because August is a prime time to plant many types of vegetables for a fall garden. If you have any kind of vegetable gardening book for Texas you'll see how often August 15th is mentioned for planting dates in the fall. Many gardeners overlook this opportunity to have a fall garden. If you wait until the time when the temperatures have moderated to plant, many vegetables would not have time to reach maturity before the onset of cold and/or freezing weather.
Whenever possible, choose early maturing vegetables for the fall garden. They can be planted after early summer vegetables have been harvested and still be ready to pick before freezing weather.
Also, if you've listened to GardenLine for any length of time, you may have heard me mention from time to time "allowing your soil to mellow." Again, this is the perfect time to build or renew beds for vegetable gardens, and let them sit to mellow for at least a couple of weeks before planting a seed or a transplant. Quite often, failures in vegetable gardening are related to the soils being "too hot." Thus, the mellowing or decomposition process is so important.
The following can be seeded or transplanted in August through September:
Bush and pole beans (8/1 - 9/15)
Lima beans (8/1 - 9/15),
Broccoli transplants (8/1 - 9/15)
Brussels sprouts (8/1 - 10/1)
Cabbage transplants (8/1 - 9/15)
Chinese cabbage (8/15 - 9/15)
Carrots (8/15 - 10/15)
Cauliflower transplants (8/15 - 9/15)
Swiss chard (8/1 - 10/15)
Sweet corn (8/1 - 8/15)
Cucumber (8/1 - 9/15)
Kohlrabi (8/15 - 9/15)
Parsley (8/15 - 10/1)
Irish potatoes (8/15 - 9/15)
Summer squash (should have been planted by now 8/1 - 8/15).
What to do if you had or still have Spring/Summer veggies, still in the ground???
Remove old plants that have stopped producing to eliminate shelters for insects and disease organisms. Peppers and tomatoes planted earlier this year will not set fruit during the heat of summer, even though they may still be flowering. If the plants remain healthy, they will set fruit again once temperatures stay below 90 degrees. Side-dress established, healthy plants with fertilizer to encourage new growth and keep them watered. Tomatoes covered with spider mites are not worth saving.
Until next issue, here's to
Great Gardening from the GardenLine, heard
exclusively weekend mornings from 8 to noon
on Talkradio 950 KPRC.
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