September 2007
Home Grown Tomatoes

Fall Planting?

That’s right! It’s already time to get your planting beds ready for fall. The summer has been a hot one and the weather forecasters say that summer won’t be ready to give way to fall. Though next month is typically our driest month, it is time to start your fall plants.

In September, we should remove any weeds from our garden beds and mulch using a layer of newspaper or grass clippings (weed blocker) followed by a layer of pine bark or pine straw (so your weed blocker won’t disturb your neighbors).

After preparing your beds you will be ready to plant your flowers or vegetable plants and top dress them with a little 10-10-10.

Usually I will have some late tomato plants that are about 3-weeks old to plant. This will give me tomatoes up until the December holidays if I protect them from frosts. Also, I have about ten bell pepper plants that are blooming and ready to place in their containers. They won’t make large peppers this time of year, but they will save me a few bucks at the market until November

Some other veggies I like to start now are radishes and carrots. The carrots won’t be ready until next summer, but I will be able to harvest the radishes in a few weeks.

Lettuces are good to start now, along with borrage, salad burnet, late dill, parsley, basil and cilantro. These are most of my favorite salad herbs and greens. Of course, we shouldn’t forget our Stevia. Folks in the northern part of the state should be prepared to bring your Stevia plants in for the winter.

By the end of this month you will see a lot of spring bulbs in the Co-ops and garden shops. It’s time to buy them, but wait a few weeks to plant them. Go ahead and buy all of your favorite spring bulbs and place them in the refrigerator until late October. This extra chill time will allow the bulbs to be showier than ever next spring. Also, if you are planning on force blooming some bulbs for the holidays or for an early New Years table centerpiece, make sure you buy extra bulbs to chill.

I hope everyone has a great Autumnal Equinox and I’ll see you all next month! Remember the official time for celebration of the Equinox is 4:51 a.m. CDT on September 23rd.

If your local radio station isn’t carrying the gardening radio show Home Grown Tomatoes yet, call them and request it!

Kenn Alan offers gardening tips at Log onto Home Grown Tomatoes.