Janet Laminack: Plan and plant now for fall vegetables

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Do you know what time it is? It’s time to put in your fall vegetable garden!

Actually, we are even a little behind schedule already, because even I find it hard to believe that a fall garden should go in during the heat of the summer. If you have bad luck with vegetable gardens or have never attempted a fall garden, I encourage you to give it a try because fall is actually a great time for us to grow vegetables.

Many of the same guidelines apply for fall gardening as spring gardening. The site for the garden needs to have a water source, full sun and well-drained soil.

The timing of the planting is important: Use a garden guide that is based on the first average killing frost date — ours is Nov. 16. Based on days to maturity, you can calculate back to when a vegetable needs to be planted.

Some of our vegetables have cold tolerance and will survive even if the temperature drops below 32 degrees. These frost-tolerant vegetables include beet, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrot, cauliflower, chard, collard, garlic, kale, lettuce, mustard, onion, parsley, spinach and turnip.

Shorter-term fall garden vegetables that are frost-susceptible include beans, cantaloupe, corn, cucumber, eggplant, okra, pea, peppers, Irish potato, sweet potato, squash, tomato and watermelon.

We can send you more specific information on putting in your fall garden, so give us a call at 940-349-2892 or send us an e-mail at master.gardener@dentoncounty.com.

If you have an interest in trees and improving your community, consider becoming a volunteer Citizen Forester. A new class will be held in September through January, one Wednesday each month, in Denton.

After completing 36 hours of classroom instruction and hands-on field training, participants will complete 25 hours of volunteer service. That could include assisting with tree inventories, pruning newly established trees, measuring street trees for clearance, mulching trees in public parks and participating in tree planting programs.

The program is open to interested adults living in Denton County. Tuition is $50, which includes a light breakfast and full lunch at every class. For more information or to register e-mail Courtney Blevins at cblevins@tfs.tamu.edu, call 817-879-3974 or visit www.cityofdenton.com/trees.

Master Naturalists are also holding a new training class this fall. This is a 60-hour training course that costs $150. Applications are due on Aug. 16.

For more information, attend the 2013 Master Naturalist Trainee Class Roundup from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Aug. 15 at the Denton County Texas A&M AgriLife Extension office at the Joseph A. Carroll Building, 401 W. Hickory St.

The roundup is an opportunity to talk to current Master Naturalists and ask questions. Come for refreshments, learn more about this volunteer program and view exhibits displaying many of the chapter’s ongoing community projects.

The application, course curriculum and more information can be found at www.efcmn.org or by calling 940-349-2883.

JANET LAMINACK is the horticulture county extension agent with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension. She can be reached at 940-349-2883. Her e-mail address is jelaminack@ag.tamu.edu.


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