Hooray. September is finally here. Not that the hot and dry days are gone – we’ll probably be experiencing more of them during this month. But the good news is that we can start planting some vegetables.
Vegetables for The Fall Garden
Beans: You can put in both bush and pole snap beans and limas right now.
Brassicas: Wait until next week to put in broccoli, cabbage, mustard greens, collards, and cauliflower. But don’t worry too much about getting them into the ground if you’re not ready. Between next week and the second week in October is the optimal time to put these cole crops in. If you do miss that window, you still have until mid-November. Another window opens up in late January and through most of February for a spring crop.
Kohlrabi: The best time to plant this German-originated vegetable is the last week in September, a little later than its sister plants. Also called a “German turnip” because the root looks similar to a turnip, it is actually a member of the Brassica family and close cousin to cabbage and the other cole crops.
Radishes: Plant your first radish seeds now. Since there are hundreds of radish seeds in a packet, you don’t need to plant them all now. After all, how many radishes can you eat at one time? Instead, plant for your first crop of radishes now, and then do successive plantings every two weeks.
Swiss Chard: Although you can plant Swiss chard now, you will have better success if you wait until the later part of this month.
Beets: Since beets and Swiss chard are not only in the same family, they are in the same genus and species. Horticulturalists believe that beets came first. Then early peoples (some say early Sicilians) bred beet plants to have larger leaves and more succulent stems – thus, Swiss chard. However, it hasn’t been explained why they are called “Swiss” chard if they were initially bred in Sicily. Whatever the answer, plant these both around the last part of September. You can plant them next week, of course, but you’ll have better luck if you wait.
English peas and snap peas: While you can plant these now, you will probably experience a better crop if you wait until the last part of the month before you put a seed in.
Lawns: Now that the blistering summer heat is almost over, take a look at your yards. There may be patches that could do better if converted to a groundcover of some kind. You may also want to resod some areas of dead grass. If you’re seeing a large patch in your St. Augustine lawn right now, it’s probably due to either overwatering or overfertilizing. Mike Potter is our own Montgomery County Horticultural Agent for Texas A & M Agrilife Extension and is a turfgrass expert. He’s produced a number of turfgrass presentations in the series “Gardening on The Gulf Coast.” If you go to YouTube and search for Gardening on The Gulf Coast – Michael Potter, you can access a number of these excellent presentations.
(Also, here’s the address for the Montgomery County Master Gardeners Vegetable Planting Chart: