Garden Tips Newsletter – October 2011

gardenBounty

Learn about local resources and opportunities for gardening.

Long-time Master Gardener Romola Georgia offers up timely tips to keep your garden in top condition.

To sign up to receive newsletters by email, visit the Yahoo group  below (you will need to have or sign up for a Yahoo ID):

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/tpa_garden

Archived newsletter from October 2011. Click here to return to the Archive list.

Welcome to the Transition Palo Alto Garden Group.  The purpose of the group is to share  information to help us grow productive and sustainable year-round gardens in Palo Alto and Silicon Valley.   The focus is on  food crops but may occasionally include notes about other plants that support pollinators and the environment.

Cool Season Vegetables should be started or transplanted now.

Peas – sugar snap, snow peas, or shelling peas.  Plan trellis support even for short varieties.

Cabbage family – broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower.  These are large plants.  Allow 1-4 sq. ft. per plant.

Greens – chard, spinach, kale, Asian greens.  Pick outer leaves and harvest over a log period of time.

Salad greens – lettuce, arugula, frisee.  These will bolt and got to seed when weather gets warm.

Herbs – chives, parsley, rosemary

Root crops – beets, carrots, radishes.  They like loose soil that lets roots grow straight.

Fava beans – often used as a cover crop to set nitrogen but can also be eaten

Plant a crop to feed the soil this fall. Green manures, also known as cover crops, provide needed nutrients to the soil both while they are growing and when you chop them down and dig them into the soil after they start to bloom. This is a great way to prepare the soil for your spring planting.
Snails and slugs will feast on your newly planted seedlings if you don’t keep on top of them. Take a flashlight and scissors out with you after dark and see how many you can find! Cut them in half for added organic material in your soil. Avoid using salt as it disrupts your healthy soil mix.

In November and December you can plant garlic and shallot bulbs plus onion and leek seedlings.  They will grow into next summer and you must plan for no water at the end.

Master Gardeners of Santa Clara County have excellent resources for home gardeners.  You can browse their tips and information page and sign up for a monthly update including events here: http://mastergardeners.org/help/tips

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