by Zachary A. Davis, Somervell County AgriLife Extension Agent
Glen Rose – Believe it or not! Fall Gardening season is just around the corner. For some of us that procrastinated with a Spring Garden this is your chance to get your green thumb going again.
If your spring garden was productive, the same location should work. If this is your first garden remember plants need 8 hours of direct sunlight. While preparing a new garden kill all the grass in the area with roundup, remove the grass and shovel area to 10-12 inches deep, then till.
Fall crops generally do better when beginning from transplants versus seed. The idea when establishing transplants in late summer is giving them plenty of water. Check soil moisture by forming a ball, if you can do that you’re in good shape with moisture.
Planting at the proper time is an important aspect of fall gardening. Glen Rose, TX is in Texas Gardening zone III if you choose to do further research. Some plants you could plant soon include:
|Vegetables||Some Texas Varieties||Plant Date|
|Eggplant||Black Beauty, California White, Early Long Purple||Jul 1|
|Pepper||Bell: Camelot, Jupiter Hot: Jalapeno||Jul 1|
|Tomato||Small: Cherry Grande, Gold Nugget Medium: Amelia, Better bush||Jul 1|
|Pumpkin||Medium: Bumpkin, Howden, Jack O’Lantern||Aug 1|
|Southern Peas||Texas Pink Eye, California #5, Mississippi Silver||Aug 1|
|Winter Squash||Butternut types, cushaw, Royal||Aug 10|
|Lima Bean||Henderson Bush, Jackson Wonder, King of the Garden||Aug 20|
|Sweet Corn||Kandy korn, silver queen||Aug 20|
|Broccoli||Green magic, packman, premium crop||Sept 1|
|Brussels Sprouts||Sept 1|
|Cabbage||Bravo, Market Prize, Rio Verde||Sept 1|
|Cauliflower||Snow Crown, Snowball Y Improved||Sept 1|
|Cucumber||Slicer: Dasher II Sweet Slice Pickling: Calypso||Sept 1|
|Potato||Norland, Purple Viking, Beauregard, Jewel||Sept 1|
Table 1. Planting dates are specific for Texas Gardening Zone III. Varieties are examples, but consider contacting your local master gardener for information specific to Glen Rose, TX
Any garden can have many problems including diseases, poor yield, and sunscald can result from improper watering habits. Watering can be enjoyable but it is important to do it correctly. Water thoroughly, soaking soil to 6 inches in depth when needed. This will help root development of the plants. In Texas water applied once or twice a week for depth of 1-2 inches should be enough for most gardens. When determining to water, examine the soil, not the plants to see where you are at. If soil is dry at a depth of 1 inch it is time to water.
Insect and disease problems usually arise in gardens. It is important to identify the cause and correct it. It is important to protect your plants ahead of these problems. Spraying a pesticide labeled for garden use can be beneficial. Be sure to read the label before you spray.
Nematodes can be a common garden problem. Symptoms of nematode damage cause plants to look wilted or stunted, have pale green leaves and produce less yield. Infected roots swell and form knots as well. In fall gardens, solarize and pasteurize the soil in July by tilling it well and watering until it is very moist, then cover with clear plastic. Seal the edges and leave it in place for at least a month. Do not use black plastic because it won’t get soil hot enough. This process will help control nematodes, fungi, and weeds.
Harvesting at the optimum time will help your garden. Harvest broccoli when they are 4-8 inches in diameter, cut the stalk below the head, leaving 8-10 inches of stem and leaves, chill immediately. For Brussel sprouts watch for harvesting around 3 -3.5 months after transplant. The first harvest should occur before the lower leaves begin to turn yellow. Break off the leaf below the sprout and remove the sprout by breaking it from the stalk. Harvest cabbage when the head becomes solid and the top and sides cannot be pressed in. Mature heads often split open, you can delay harvest by twisting the plant and breaking several roots to lower water intake.
Harvesting cauliflower is similar to broccoli with heads being between 4-8 inches in diameter. The yellow color of cauliflower is the exposure to sunlight. Cucumbers are harvested when they are bright, firm, and green, but not too large. 1 -2 in diameter is an ideal size. Do not store cucumbers in the refrigerator for more than two days. It is best to pickle them the same day they’re picked. Peppers can be harvested at 4-5 inches in length, wash and chill peppers immediately to keep them from drying out. Tomatoes can be harvested in pink stage and can be allowed to ripen in a warm area of the house. This can prevent damage from insects and birds.
For additional information on fall planting and harvesting, contact Zach Davis, AgriLife Extension agent in Somervell County 254.897.2809.
Educational programs of the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service are open to all people without regard to race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, disability, genetic information, or veteran status. The Texas A&M University System, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the County Commissioners Courts of Texas Cooperating