BY BARBARA STORZ
If you know me, you know I’ve said this before: “The fall vegetable garden is the best in South Texas!”
We have the largest variety of vegetables growing in the fall and our climate conditions produce really beautiful vegetables. The fall garden is also the easiest in terms of insect pressure, as we are going into cooler temperatures, which means less bugs. This is the time to plan the garden and decide what to plant. Late July and August are the best months to being panting vegetables.
Success in the garden begins with a plan. First, select the garden location and decide how large it will be. Next, make sure you have convenient fresh water and six to eight hours a day of sunlight. Partial shade is tolerated by some leafy greens, but most vegetables require full sun.
Garden soils need to be well drained. Dig a hole 2 feet deep and fill it with water. Check on it every hour. If the water does not drain within four hours, you have a problem. Choose another site or use raised beds or containers to grow your vegetables.
Involve the family in deciding what plants to grow. If no one likes asparagus, don’t devote a lot of space to it.
You can download the “Vegetable Planting Guide” for the Rio Grande Valley at hidalgo.agrilife.org. After opening the website, select “gardening” and then “publications.” The guide is available in both English and Spanish. You can get complete details on each vegetable you may want to grow at aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu.
You can also pick up a copy of the “Vegetable Planting Guide” today at the Growing Growers Farmers Market located on the corner of First Street and Business 83 at McAllen’s Firemen’s Park. The market is open from 9 a.m. until noon every Saturday and offers locally grown produce, meat and professional gardening advice.
Barbara Storz is a local horticulturist. You can listen to her garden show at 7 a.m. Saturdays on 710 KURV Radio, or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.