Sunday, October 20, 2013

Master Gardeners, Oct. 27

It's time to plant your fall garden

The Master Gardeners can help

(of the plastic, not beer, variety) 

Don't throw away those six-pack plastic plant containers! Your faithful Master Gardeners need them to bring more seedlings to the market for you! Please drop them off at the Green Tent on Sunday, Oct. 27, between 9 am and 1 pm.

What they're bringing to market to give away
Fava beans which you can eat or use as cover crop; they fix nitrogen in the soil, ask them how. The snap peas they planted are doing nicely, so is the bok choy. You'll have lettuce through winter with their mesclun mix, plus shelling peas, some swiss chard and a couple of leeks to choose from. And a special bonus: strawberries!

Plus, they'll finally have some fall seeds to give away. Stop by, ask questions, get your garden going!

What to plant now
Fall is a great time to start a garden! Two weeks after replenishing beds with compost and manure, plant seeds and transplants for the veggies that will keep you eating well through the spring. Get some flowers too! (P.S.: The Master Gardeners' helpline is just a call (626- 586-1988) or email ( away.

Veggies for Overwintering
Sow fava beans, celery, chard, chives, garlic, kale, kohlrabi, leeks, lettuce (especially romaine types and small-heading bibb and buttercrunch types, which overwinter well), green and long-day bulb onions (which will mature during the lengthening days of next spring and early summer), parsley, peas, radishes, spinach (especially savoy types for more frost resistance), and shallots.

Encouraging Bigger Strawberries
Locate strawberry beds away from where potatoes, tomatoes, eggplants, and peppers have grown within the last 3-5 years to help prevent verticillum wilt infection, or chose strawberry varieties that are resistant to or tolerant of this disease. Incorporate compost, cottonseed meal, and other nutrients based on a soil test. Water well. After two to four weeks transplant strawberries 1 foot apart so the crown is just above the soil level. Strong roots will develop over the winter, and spring warmth will encourage fast growth and large berries.

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