Sunday, September 29, 2013

Cover Crops

Hairy Vetch Cover Crop

Bean Plant Cover Crop growing out of the Kitchen Gardener trailer.
Cover crops are a great way to improve your soil without adding a lot of compost. They also help cover up a dirt patch in your yard and improve that area for next seasons garden. You want to avoid bare soil in your yard or garden.

Some great examples of cover crops are clover, vetch, rye, buckwheat, beans, and cow peas. Beans and cow peas are great because they add nitrogen to the soil. Some people use the "green manure method," where the gardener chops down the plants when they are small. This gives your soil a nitrogen burst but is not our favorite method because the improvement is short lived. If you let the plants grow until they die back on their own, you will have durable organic matter to improve your soil. 

We love to throw out cover crop seeds right before it rains so the rain will water in all the seeds. You will have a field of greens in no time. So this weekend and week is a great time to throw out your seeds in Austin.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Sowing Seeds September

Hi folks.

It's September! Sometimes it's hard to get inspired when it is still so hot inside. But believe me cooler weather will (eventually) arrive! And you want your veggies beds ready to go so you can plant your seeds and transplants when the time is right. Clear out those weeds, fight of that Bermuda grass and pull out your dead plants that the heat killed off. Once the heat breaks a little, your garden will have a fighting chance.

Also, you can trim back your Zinnias, Peppers, Basil and Eggplants and then fertilize them with an organic granular slow release fertilizer. We like ladybug 8-2-4. Then water them really well and they should pop back for the fall.

So what can you plant this month and next?

Artichoke Crowns- *hot tip: artichokes take up a lot of space in the garden, so give them room. Even if you don't love artichokes to eat, the flowers are amazing.
Brussels Sprouts
Swiss Chard
Green Bunching Onions
Snow and Snap Peas