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Tilling Fall Garden



Oh, this is hard on an old man. Luckily I had my spouse dig this the other day, she lost fifteen pounds digging this garden up. Remember, never have a garden any larger than your spouse can take care of. Last week we talked about pulling out some of the old plants and putting in the new. We mentioned the new tomato variety Surefire and Heatwave. They're on the market now, and now is the time to plant them.

We forgot to mention that you need to work your soil up, dig it, till it, and add two pounds of a slow release fertilizer, such as the slow release lawn fertilizer. Two to three pounds per 100 square feet is what you need to add. Next thing people say is, "how do I get these transplants going? Aren't they going to die as hot as it is?" No. If you keep them moist they will not die because of heat. They've been selected to tolerate heat.

What you want to do is use a drip irrigation system. Now, there are several kinds. It's a kind that has the pop in admitters or the kind that you just roll out like a rope. You turn that system on and wherever there's a wet spot, that's where you plant your tomatoes. You want to plant them about 24-36 inches apart in those wet spots that are dripping and operate that system about once a day everyday for about an hour and it will keep those plants growing and doing well. This is also a good system to use on flowers because it keeps them moist, not wet, and does a beautiful job of growing them. So plant you vegetable garden, keep your flowers moist, and you'll have a beautiful and productive gardens this year.

This is Jerry Parsons, Vegetable Specialist for the Texas Agricultural Extension Service, the Weekend Gardener.

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