Prepping for the Fall Garden – Part 2
by Deb Pavlosky
If you missed Part 1 of Prepping a Fall Vegetable Garden find it HERE.
Here’s a list of good Fall veggies from Kathy Huber’s article (with a few adjustments made by our own Lisa Gaige) in the Houston Chronicle (August 14, 2009) on Fall Vegetable Gardening in the Houston area and when to plant them.
WHEN TO PLANT
|Beets||Seed||September – mid-October|
|Broccoli||Transplant||September – January|
|Brussels Sprouts||Transplant||September – January|
|Cabbage||Seed||August – November|
|Cabbage||Transplant||*September – November|
|Carrots||Seed||September – November|
|Cauliflower||Transplant||September – January|
|Collards||Seed||September – December 1|
|Collards||Transplant||September – January|
|Cucumber||Transplant||September – January|
|Garlic||Clove||late September – mid November|
|Kohlrabi||Transplant||mid September – November|
|Lettuce, Leaf||Seed or Transplant||late September – December|
|Mustard||Seed||September – November|
|Mustard||Transplant||September – November|
|Peas, Snap||Seed||late September – October
January – early February
|Potatoes, Irish||Seed Potatoes||*February|
|Radish||Seed||September – November|
|Spinach||Seed or Transplant||October – November|
|Squash, Summer||Transplant||early September|
|Turnips||Seed||Sept. – Nov., Jan. – Feb.|
Tomatoes & Peppers – NOW!!! If it’s August, you can plant them.
Other Veggies for Fall :
|VEGETABLE||SEED/TRANSPLANT||WHEN TO PLANT|
|Leek||Seed or Transplant||October – November|
|Radicchio||Seed||late September – October|
|Swiss Chard||Seed or Transplant||September – October|
|Winter Squash||Seed or Transplant||mid August|
* Adjustment made by Lisa Gaige
In Part 1 of “Prepping a Fall Vegetable Garden,” I mentioned our favorite fertilizer MicroLife 6-2-4 A LOT! SO, I thought that we should probably give a little more information to you about why we almost always recommend MicroLife 6-2-4 when customers ask us about fertilizer.
Here’s the low down:
MicroLife 6-2-4 is a multipurpose, all organic, biological fertilizer that is in granular form and can be spread easily. I use a red solo cup (Thank you Toby Keith, but there is another use for that precious red solo cup.), and just toss it out into my flower beds, potted plants, vegetable garden, fruit trees, and grass. I use MicroLife 6-2-4 on EVERYTHING I GROW. Yes! Everything! And, though application rates are given on the container, I have never really paid attention to them. I apply enough as often as I feel is necessary. If there is a plant that could use a little boost, I add a little more than enough. AND I have never, ever burned any of my plants with MicroLife 6-2-4. We have a customer who planted his tomato plants in “special soil” and they did so well, he came back to get more. Well, what he thought was special soil, was actually MicroLife 6-2-4! It will not burn. Ever. It really is lazy gardener-proof!
So what’s in it? Here’s the list provided at http://www.microlifefertilizer.com/products/microlife-6-2-4-with-2-fe/ :Fish, Kelp, Molasses, Emery Humates, Bat Guano, Rock Phosphate, Wheat Middling’s, Soy Meal, Cottonseed Meal, Alfalfa, Corn Meal, Kmag, Potassium Sulfate, Iron Sulfate, 18 select Amino Acids, Folic Acid, Vitamins, plus the MicroGro Supreme Bio-Inoculant package which contains billions of beneficial microorganisms including Endo & Ecto Mycorrhizal fungi. All ingredients are included in meaningful amounts.
MicroLife 6-2-4 is different from other fertilizers in that it feeds the soil. What? Yes, it feeds the microbes that are in the soil and the ones in the product itself with “soil improvers like polysaccharides, humic acid, fulvic acid and the major building blocks of life. MicroLife 6-2-4 builds big root systems which further improves the soil and reduces water use.” You may be wondering how that helps plants. Well, mycorrhizae are microbial fungi that form a symbiotic association with most plant roots. These fungi create an intricate net of hyphae on plant roots and increase the uptake of water and nutrients from the soil by the plant. From this relationship, the fungi get carbon from plants that they need for physiological functions, growth and development. It’s a win-win in biologic terms and in your home garden too!
Because of the net of hyphae made by mycorrhizal fungi, plants will need less water and nutrients to thrive and they will make bigger root systems. This is why continuous use of MicroLife 6-2-4 leads to less water use in your gardens. Yes, going organic REDUCES WATER USE!!!! That’s huge for our area. Bigger root systems means the plants are definitely more drought resistant and most often more disease resistant.
So, what do you do with this information, now that you know why we recommend MicroLife 6-2-4? Well, if you have been using chemical fertilizers and pesticides, you would have to make the decision to leave all of those behind and become an organic gardener. Trust us, once you make the decision to go organic in your garden, you won’t be sorry. Yes, MicroLife 6-2-4 will cost a bit more than your chemical options, but in the end you won’t have to use nearly as much and you will use less water too.
When you first convert to MicroLife 6-2-4, you may want to apply once a month to build up good bacteria in the soil using approximately 40 lbs. for 1000 sq. ft. in empty beds (worked in) to start and 20 lbs. per sq. ft., once new beds are planted and in existing beds. For grass, 15-20 lbs. per 1000 sq. ft. is the recommended amount. Once you start to notice improvement, the recommended rate is once every 3 to 4 months. Right now a bag of MicroLife 6-2-4 will cost you $44.99 for 40 lbs. or $19.99 for 7 lbs. at Maas Nursery. Remember, though it may cost you a little more initially, going organic will save you money in the end.
Once you make the decision to go organic, you can’t go back to chemical fertilizers and pesticides. If you do, you will kill the microbes you have been trying to build up in your garden. There are plenty of organic remedies for common garden pests and diseases, but once you make the switch, you should notice that you have less pest and disease issues to treat in your garden. Just ask any of the gardeners at Maas Nursery, we will be happy to share our success stories.
Other Microlife products that we carry –
MicroLife Brown Patch – biological control of brown patch problems in St. Augustine grass. $56.99 for 40 lbs.
MicroLife Ultimate 8-4-6 – A more powerful form of MicroLife. $73.99 for 40 lbs.
MicroLife Citrus – MicroLife specifically for citrus. $48.99 for 40 lbs., $22.99 for 7 lbs.
MicroLife Humates Plus 0-0-4 – A “concentrated compost in a bag”. $45.99 for 40 lbs.
MicroLife Vegetable Flower – MicroLife specifically for vegetables and flowering plants. $23.99 for 7 lbs.
MicroLife Maximum Blooms Liquid Organics 3-8-3 – The “organic super bloom.” Can be used as a foliar spray or root feeding. $22.99 for 1 qt.
MicroLife Ocean Harvest Liquid 4-2-3 – The “liquid verson of their granular 6-2-4.” Can be used as a foliar spray or root feeding. $20.99 for 1 qt.
MicroLife Super Seaweed – “Plant health tonic and root stimulator.” $18.99 for 1 qt.