I had planned to prune the summer tomatoes in hopes of a fall crop, but instead I decided to settle for my potted Sun Gold cherry tomatoes and blah Juliets and focus my energy on starting the cold-weather vegetable beds.
Although it feels strange to me to sow winter seeds now in triple-digit heat--last year I didn't begin until mid September--I decided to throw caution to the wind and follow the Travis County Extension website's planting calendar this time.
The past two weekends, husband Kurt and I have braved the heat to weed and compost three raised beds. Kurt did the heaviest lifting by turning and mixing the compost piles then working his brown gold into the dirt. I sowed kale (Red Winter) and carrot (Carnival Blend and Scarlet Nantes) seeds last Sunday. I've been watering them two or three times a day with the "mist" setting on the hose-end sprayer, and tiny seedlings appeared Friday.
|kale seedlings in the foreground, a blob of French sorrel from last winter, and carrot seedlings in the back|
Yesterday I sowed broccoli (Waltham 29) and cauliflower (Chef's Choice Blend) seeds in one bed and green beans (Contender) in another. All the seeds are from Botanical Interests.
|huge oregano on the left, two hot banana peppers at front right, and ailing tomatoes at far right|
Over the next three weekends, we'll replace the tomatoes with potatoes and beet seeds. In about a month, I plan to harvest and freeze all the basil and use those beds to sow lettuce seeds. Must remember not to go as overboard with the lettuce as I did last year!
|basil is still thriving|