Vegetable Gardeners Monthly
Ellis County Master Gardener/Vegetable Gardening Specialist
Hello, and welcome to the October edition of the Vegetable Gardeners Monthly. If you have questions that this article doesn’t address, just give us a call at 972-825-5175 or contact us via the web at www.ecmga.com and ask for one of your Master Gardener Vegetable Gardening Specialist.
Thanks Mother Nature for that wonderful rain we received this month. We’ve received right at 13 inches this month at our house near Ovilla. Our vegetable garden looks better than it has most of the year. The rains we received this month should also make for a colorful spring, as those wildflowers should now have the moisture they need to get started.
Not a lot of vegetable gardening to be done this month. You can sow radish seeds and garlic cloves the first couple of weeks of October. Strawberries should also be planted this month. Keep an eye out for those pests and keep them under control. Keep picking those ripe vegetables and enjoy, as the growing season for most ends next month.
Vegetable of the Month
Planting dates: plant transplants in late winter or very early spring. Sets and plants can be transplanted 2-1 to 3-17.
Planting method: When using transplants, choose plants only Â½ inch in diameter or less. Fall transplants will probably be harvested as green onions in winter. For big onions, plant transplants with 8-10 inch spacing in December. When sowing seeds, sow the previous year in September up until October 1. Planting too early and exposure to cold temperatures causes seed stalk development.
Varieties: Yellow: Texas supersweet, yellow granex Red: Red Granex, burgundy, White: Crystal white, white granex. If an onion is listed as a long-day variety, it bulbs when it receives 15-16 hours of daylight. Short-day variety bulb with about 12 hours of daylight and are used in southern areas for winter onion production
Culture: Soil should be healthy and well drained. Add lots of compost and organic fertilizer. Soil needs to be kept moist, not too wet, just moist. The size of the bulb is determined by how much green top the onion has. During a mild winter, freezes won’t damage young onions and they can be left until spring.
Fertilizer: Heavy feeder. Apply before planting and side dress 3 weeks after transplanting and again when bulb enlargement begins. Use 2-3 cups of organic fertilizer per 10 feet of row 16 inches wide. Don’t fertilize if their tops have started to fall.
Harvest: For green onions, harvest when tops are just inches tall and for bulbs, harvest after 2/3s or more of the tops have fallen over. Do not wait more than 1-2 weeks after this occurs. Allow time for thorough drying before storage. Store in a cool, dry place.