From Linda: cool-season vegetables

Yahoo!  The 1″ of rain last Friday brought out the oxblood lilies, including this stand near the patio turks cap.  Rose Marie Pavie is supervising the two camps.  I’ve got my fingers crossed that some of the neighboring deluges hit east Austin, which will put a smile on Marie’s face, too.

Turks cap and oxblood lilies

This week on CTG, get ready for cool weather vegetables!  Fall and winter are really the easiest seasons to grow food crops here. Many of them are crazy-easy in containers, too. In fact, it’s so easy so that you’ll never want store-bought lettuce or parsley again. With cut-and-come-again lettuce, you can snip some on Sunday to take you through the week.  In our case, as big salad eaters, my lettuce spinner gets another workout on Wednesday nights, too.

Zyliss lettuce spinner

I’m composting and fertilizing the future lettuce bed to get ready.  Lettuce seeds I’m picking up: Freckles, Speckles, Tango, Salad Bowl, Parris Island Cos, Black-seeded Simpson, and Buttercrunch, to plant at two-week intervals.

lettuce seeds

Also, more arugula and cilantro seeds, along with parsley and chervil transplants. Of course, I’m planting extra cilantro, parsley, and chervil for the bunnies. This will save a few bucks a week at the grocery store!

Harvey Gaby dine on cilantroHarvey full of cilantro

I may actually invest in shade cloth, too, since the trick is getting the seeds going in heat.   That’s one of the tricks that Jo & John from Angel Valley Organic Farm share with Tom and us this week.

Angel Valley Organic Farm

They also explain how to bend PVC pipe, what vegetables to plant, and how to fend off insects. Along with their kelp/molasses fertilizer (one of my favorites, too), they told us about a yucca extract they really like.  If you want to try it, search for Yucca Extract at Peaceful Valley.  It’s expensive, but will last for years, since you don’t need much.  Jo says they use 1/4 teaspoon per gallon of water.

And be among the first to check out Jo’s new blog, which will be up this month. She’s turning her fabulous enewsletter into a blog.

Have you ever considered a square foot garden? On location, John Dromgoole gives us part one of how to do Mel Bartholomew’s square foot garden technique. Next week, part two!

For even more inspiration, you’ll certainly get it from the fabulous teenagers we met last summer as they harvested their Urban Roots crops they started in spring.

And this week, meet Daphne Richards! The law wasn’t after her, but she left El Paso for Austin, anyway, to be our new Extension Agent-Horticulture. Actually, she was beloved by El Paso gardeners and Master Gardeners as their AgriLife Extension agent for nine years.  Their loss is our gain.

Daphne Richards, AgriLife Extension-Horticulture, Travis County

When Skip took his new job as AgriLife Extension director for Travis County, I suspect it was to be rid of CTG’s crazy tricks, like playing The Eyes of Texas when A&M (his alma mater) whipped UT. Of course, he started it by sending us a picture of him at the winning scoreboard! It was always hard to get down to business because he had us laughing so hard at his jokes (and everyone at KLRU descended on him for advice).

We’ll miss Skip, but we love Daphne already, and I know you will too!

Until next week, Linda