TEXAS COOPERATIVE EXTENSION
BY DAVID RODRIGUEZ
August 25, 2007
- Plan a better vegetable garden for this fall. We are very fortunate to have two distinct gardening seasons in South/Central Texas. The fall and spring seasons offer us 10-to-11 months of successful and fun vegetable gardening. Consider starting a journal, mark down notes with illustrations. Fall back on this journal in time to help make better your garden or any aspect of your landscape.
- The fall vegetable garden should be in full gear in the next two weeks. If you have not done so, fall tomatoes, peppers and eggplant should have been planted. The fall beds should be weed free and rejuvenated with liberal amounts of manure compost. Fertilize at or a week before planting with an organic 4-2-3 analysis at a rate of two to three pounds per 10 linear feet. Side dress all established and growing vegetables with a slow-release 19-5-9 fertilizer at a rate of one cup per 10 linear feet every 10-to-14 days. Remember, vegetables are short term crops and are heavy feeders. If you want quality and prolific yields you need to fertilize them often.
- For information on the best vegetable varieties for this area, go to the Texas Cooperative Extension-Horticulture site at: http://bexar-tx.tamu.edu. These varieties have proven the test of time through research conducted by Texas A&M University and local Master Gardeners.
- For an efficient way to water your vegetable garden, set up a drip irrigation system with a two inch layer of cedar mulch. This will minimize weeds and conserve moisture. The less water a vegetable plant gets on its leaves, the less susceptible it is to diseases, insects and spider mites.
- The ideal time to grow strawberries is in mid-September. Now is the time to prepare beds or containers. Look for the two best varieties for this area, Chandler and Seascape.
David Rodriguez is County Extension Agent-Horticulture with Texas Cooperative Extension in Bexar County. For more information, call the Master Gardener “Hotline” (210) 467-6575 or visit our County Extension website at http://bexar-tx.tamu.edu.