Blog posts from January 2013

Still time to plant onions…get ready to plant potatoes!

Jan 28, 2013

Ok Texans...you still have time to get those onion slips in the ground. Be sure to look for Short Day or Intermediate varieties at your local garden center. If you don't know what that means, then I suggest you go to an independent garden center that WILL and make sure you get the right type of onion! Also, it's just about time to get started on your potato planting. Haven't built those beds yet? Don't worry, in my recent Good Morning Texas segment, I show Paige and you how to grow potatoes in easy portable fiber pots. Check it out!

 

Plant Dwarf Fruit Trees Now!

Jan 27, 2013

You know, it IS the best time to get those fruit trees in the ground in N. Texas, right? So maybe you don't have space for a 20 foot peach tree...what about a 6-footer then? Check out all the new dwarf fruit tree varieties coming on to the market these days. 'Bonfire' and 'Bonanza' peaches reach only 6-feet in hight. New urban columnar apples stay 2-ft wide and 6-8ft tall. Check with your local garden center for all new compact varieties.

Meanwhile, check out my latest Good Morning Texas on fruit trees and plants!

 

Start those seeds!

Jan 16, 2013

Just because it’s January…and chilly…and snowy…doesn’t mean you can put off starting those tomato seeds! I'm just going to give a basic run-down of what seeds you can start indoors now in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.

Indoors:

Cole crops: You can start your last succession of cool season crops indoors now. Broccoli, cabbage, kale, chard, collard greens, kohlrabi, cauliflower and more.. Seeds need supplemental light so make sure to use a good setup. After 5 or 6 weeks you can transplant these seedlings outdoors, in February.

Warm season crops: Start tomatoes NOW, then you can start peppers, eggplant inside starting now through February. These crops take a bit longer to get to transplant size, about 8-9 weeks. In the DFW area, tomatoes can be planted outside late-February through the end of March for a June harvest. You can continue planting peppers and eggplant through April and May. If you want to start a second fall crop of tomatoes from seed, you’ll do that indoors in May.

Herbs: Start seeds indoors of warm season herbs such as basil, oregano, sage, thyme, chives etc.

Salad greens: You can still start salad greens both indoors and by direct seeding outside right now through February. Remember that lettuce seeds need light to germinate, so don't cover their seeds with soil when you plant them. Simply press them into the surface of the soil and keep moist until germination.

Indoor seed starting equipment: I use the Jump Start system from Hydrofarm because the lighting is perfect for seeds, the lamp can be adjusted to different heights, and it's a good for small spaces. You can use small trays with a seed starting soil mix, or the little compressed pellets from say Jiffy. I use those a lot and they work great. Make sure you have a humidity dome (plastic cover) for your tray. If you're using posts or pellets, make sure you have a water tight seed tray to set them in so you can cover them with the dome. The picture at left is only one example of the many different options available. Sometime you just have to experiment to find the option that works best for you. Also, a seed starting heat mat is necessary once you get into fall and winter, and you're starting seeds for spring planting.

If you'd like more in-depth information about growing tomatoes specifically, you can attend my workshop at North Haven Gardens on 1/26/13 from 1pm-4pm. Call the garden center directly to register, as there is limted space. More info HERE.

Time to plant onions!

Jan 3, 2013

I know...it's cold and it might snow again. Why on earth would you want to get out in the garden? WELL, because it's time to plant onions you guys!!! Now, if you know me, you know I'm not a huge fan of onions. I do tolerate green onions and shallots and actually like leeks. But I know that most of you are crazy for onions. So why wouldn't you want to grow your own? Well, if you do, you'd better get on it. Garden centers will start running low on slips (transplants) soon, so now is the time to get your hands on them and get them in the ground. This weekend looks like it's going to be good planting whether. If you want more information you can click on this POST to read more about growing onions.

Oh, and you probably need to go ahead and grab your seed potatoes now because they'll start going in the ground the beginning of February. You definitely want to plant organic potatoes...no, you can't use the ones from the grocery store. You need organic seed potatoes. Cool varieties, like the BLUE potatoes will sell out quickly. I'll most more in February about growing potatoes, or you can search the blog for older posts.

I'll be on Good Morning Texas tomorrow morning, 1/4/13 weather permitting, to talk about planting onions and potatoes. That's WFAA Channel 8 here in DFW.  9am-10am hour.

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