Top tips for fall & winter vegetables |Ally Stresing |Central Texas Gardener

it’s always so joyful to see young
children getting out into the garden thanks for sharing that beautiful
experience with us and now we’re going to be talking about the fall vegetable garden another
beautiful experience here in Central Texas and I’m joined by Ally Stresing and it’s great to have you with us
welcome to the program! Thank you so much Ally is Garden Al-i or Garden Ally on blogspot dot com Travis County master gardener and an enthusiastic vegetable gardener I am I’ve been vegetible gardening for over
20 years now in the exact same spot so I’ve been working at it a while You have a little bit of garden archaeology going on as well always the best kind though cuz you know
exactly what the soil holds. That’s right. And that’s important. so we’re going to be talking about the
fall garden but with kind of a special twist there’s interesting unusual kind of
gourmet crops. How did you get interested in this well after you grow cabbage and broccoli
and Brussels sprouts and everything over and over and over again you start
thinking about what are some new and interesting things I can try? And so every year I’ve tried to find something
different to grow for example last year I grew purple
cauliflower that was the most brilliant shade of purple. Some other
things I’ve grown are the little Thumbalina carrots which
are just super adorable I mean they are just really cute. I don’t think I’ve seen these before. They’re about the size of a golfball okay very cool okay… Round like a golf ball yep okay interesting. And on my agenda for
this year I’m hoping I can find one in one of the nurseries is the Romanesque Broccoli okay it’s a broccoli that looks like a
seashell right, I know exactly what you’re talking about I’ve seen these occasionally in places like Central Market or Whole Foods, the spiral shape very unusual looking things and tasty I would assume all these things
are tasting. They are everything is tastier when you grow it yourself I guarantee it. Of course! So you’ve mentioned some things you’ve
grown in recent years let’s talk about what’s on your radar
for this year well for this year I’ll be starting my
Rutabaga like I always do because I love Rutabaga Okay this is one that a lot of people out there have heard Rutabaga jokes, maybe, you know, movies, but they don’t know what a Rutabaga is even Right, so a purple-top rutabaga okay is a root
vegetable you’re not gonna find transplants in any
nurseries. You’re going to have to start it from seed yourself okay but you can start it in the house from
seed and then go ahead and put it outside when it gets cooler and it’s just a lovely plant and of course the roots are these large tuber- like things, right? yes, Tuber-like. They’ll be about the
size of a large softball or even larger than
that and their awesome in stews and mashed just all sorts a really cool ways to prepare
them. Okay so like a potato in other words yes very similar okay so Rutabagas are something
people can be thinking about a let’s talk a little a couple more
varieties, and you mentioned radicchio a little while ago
and that’s something that I didn’t know that would do well here in
Central Texas well it actually does and sometimes you
can even find transplants of it but Radicchio, Endive, Arugula, if you like fancy salads Who doesn’t like Arugula, right? Grow your own Mesclun, baby lettuces add in some Radicchio, Endive, all of those good things you can grow all of those yourself and be fixed for the most fabulous salads all winter long you know, that’s so true and that’s one of the great things about gardening in the fall here’s all
the leaf crops that you can grow from winter all the way through into the spring really absolutely and the just keep producing
and producing and producing okay so we’re here we are at the
beginning the season and a lot of plants that you know, like we’re talking about especially
thse leaf crops for example you know our summers have gotten so
brutal mmm-hmm it’s kinda hard to start the
fall garden in August now isn’t it? It is hard to
start yeah but what I would recommend is you go ahead and start preparing your soil ahead of
time so and by that I mean go ahead and add
your compost and add your fertilizer and actually start watering your bed go
ahead and set up a shade structure for yourself however you wanna do it if
you wanna by fancy shade cloth or if you wanna get a couple of lawn
chairs and a sheet that’ll work too but go ahead and start wetting your bed
down because August is going to completely dry the
garden out, the soils gonna be so hot in order to get those seeds germinated
you’re gonna have to get the soils cooled down and moistened that such good advice because you know, people don’t think oh I don’t have plants in there now why
should I water? But you need to penetrate that ground
and if you just start watering when you put the plants in the ground they’re
content to keep the roots shallow aren’t they? that’s true, it’s really important to get started with watering those beds and getting them wet ahead of time before you put your seeds in that’s very smart advice and in the use of shading, I think everybody gets that but it’s important underscore it
especially for when you have a transplant that you’ve moved from either
you know your own home or from a nursery setting, you’re putting it in the ground Don’t expose it to their brutal heat
just right away You know, just some kind of shade cloth or as you
said even as simple as a sheet can work, right? That’s right
alright so that’s some good advice now let’s talk about
staging the fall garden it’s something I think is really important in terms of the roll-out of when you use the
different kinds of crops. What do you usually start with your fall garden in
terms of the crops I will start with the transplants and I’ll probably go ahead
and buy my broccoli, cabbage, brussels sprouts, and
you know what I’ve been doing lately is I go
ahead and I’ll go ahead and buy them from the nurseries and I kinda watch the
weather and I wait and I’ll put them into one
gallon containers a go-ahead and pot them up into a little bit larger size container okay and I’ll leave them in the shade
waiting for the cool temperatures… Right? Say your prayers waiting for maybe some
rain hopefully but at least during that time the root
systems are getting bigger exactly, so then I can go ahead and get them into the beds still shading
them and then another thing that I like to do
is I like to buy plants at different intervals so I don’t
put all of my broccoli that’s the same size
into the ground all at the same time this is very smart advice because when
you harvest, you don’t want to harvest 20 gallons of Broccoli right? You’d like to have that fresh broccoli roll out Exactly but OK so that makes a lot of
sense now I wanna back track for just a sec, you mention fertilizer you know everybody understands compost
we all know what compost is but different kinds of people like to use
different fertilizers what do you like to use as a fertilizer?
Well if I fertilize to bed heavily in the spring then in this fall I might just go ahead and use a cottonseed meal because the fall
vegetables are the heavy nitrogen feeders they’re leafy, they’re green they’re
gonna like their nitrogen But if I maybe haven’t fertilized that bed because I’ve been letting it go fallow then I might just go with the
general-purpose a 2-4 type a fertilizer. That makes a lot of
sense and then the other thing too is if you wait too long before you get your beds
prepared and before you add your fertilizer those
fertilizers like those 8-2-4’s they’re not going to be available to
your plants right away so what I like to do is after I get my
transplants in the ground I like to go ahead and mix up some
fish emulsion and some seaweed and I put it
in a watering can and I give them a good
drench once a week hmm over the leaves over the
soil they love it when they get washed with this stuff don’t they? Exactly and then that way the 82–4 can be working
its way through the soil getting ready for availability to the
plant but the plants not waiting for nutrition and it’s
getting it right away again really smart sage advice for way to- and that helps ease a transplant
to give them that kind of rich drink at least once a week it’s
something the really really enjoy I have to just as we conclude here, you make use of all parts the vegetables
and you have some critters in the garden who appreciate that, right? I do have some chickens and chickens and
gardens go perfect together. Chickens will eat all of your scraps from the garden so
like at the end to the season when I harvest my broccoli I give the chickens the entire broccoli
plant which by then could be like a huge plant and they will pick
that thing clean Great way to recycle and keep the hens happy, right? That’s right and they love- I grow chard and kale
and all those things- they just love them alright well this has been a lot of fun
and you’ve given great advice to our viewers out there. I hope they’ve been
paying attention to a lot of your experience here so thanks so much for
coming on board Ally it’s been a real pleasure visiting with you. Thanks so much Alright, and coming up next is our friend Daphne

3 thoughts on “Top tips for fall & winter vegetables |Ally Stresing |Central Texas Gardener

  1. Shared, but yall need to teach the kids aquaponics. It saves water,and you can teach about fish, water chemistry, microbes and bacteria.

  2. I live in porter Texas 20 m miles north oh Houston. I plan on building me a greenhouse this fall and I was wondering if summer vegetables like yellow squash and cucumbers would grow in the winter if it was in a greenhouse. I will be making two greenhouses one for summer  plants and one for winter plants .

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