Garden, Plant, Cook!

Monday, September 08, 2008

Ready, Set, PLANT!

Fall in the desert is a new beginning. For us the fall is actually our "spring" — time to get all the perennials, trees and shrubs in. Time to plant cool weather veggies and herbs.

Continuing sowing seeds through the end of September. Beginning October 1 and then generally until the end of February you can transplant all perennials and plant the edible seasonal garden.

WEATHER TIP: If we have an exceptionally hot October (we did last year), wait for transplanting until the day time temps are down into the 90s.

SOW: Anise; Beans; Beets: Bok Choy; Broccoli: Brussels Sprouts: Cabbage: Calendula (Calendula Officinalis); Caraway; Carrots; Cauliflower; Celery: Chard : Chervil; Cilantro; Cornflower/bachelor Buttons (Centaurea Cyanus); Cucumbers: Dill; Endive: Fennel, Leaf; Green Onions: Greens: Kale: Kohlrabi: Leeks: Lettuce: Marigolds,; Mustard: Nasturtium; Ornamental Cabbage/Kale (Brassica Oleracea); Parsley; Peas: Radishes: Snapdragon (Antirrhinum Majus); Spinach: Sweet William Aka Pinks (Dianthus Barbatus); Turnips — all these seeds can be sown successively if you like, particularly the seasonal (annual or biennial) herbs such as dill, cilantro or parsley, every 2-4 weeks. (I generally discourage purchasing plants of these varieties, you will have better luck with seeds. — see cheap seed note below)

TRANSPLANT October 1st: Beets; Bok Choy; Broccoli; Brussels Sprouts; Cabbage; Calendula (Calendula Officinalis); Carnation (Dianthus Caryophyllus); Carrots; Cauliflower; Celery; Chard; Cornflower/bachelor Buttons (Centaurea Cyanus); Endive; English Daisy (Bellis Perennis); Evening Primrose (Oenothera Berlandieri); Fennel, Leaf; Fruit Trees; Garlic; Green Onions; Greens; Herbs, Hardy Perennials; Hollyhock (Alcea Rosea); Johnny-jump-up (Viola Tricolor); Kale; Kohlrabi; Lettuce; Marigolds; Mustard; Nasturtium (Tropaeolum Majus); Onions; Ornamental Cabbage/Kale (Brassica Oleracea); Pansies (Viola X Wittrockiana); Parsnip; Peas; Primrose (Primula Vulgaris); Radishes; Scented Geranium; Shungiku Chrysanthemum; Spinach; Stock (Matthiola Incana); Sweet William Aka Pinks (Dianthus Barbatus); Turnips; Violet (Viola Spp.)

Cheap Seeds Tip: Any culinary herb seed (spice) which has not been heat treated will germinate for you. Go to the cheap spice section of your grocer and find dill, cilantro (coriander), anise and other seeds for sowing in the garden. Unless you need a specific variety this is cheaper than packaged seeds and since they are meant for cooking they are not treated with any fungicides. Soak the seeds over night or for several days, changing the water each day and you will have quick germination of these inexpensive varieties.

My book "Edible Landscaping in the Desert Southwest: Wheelbarrow to Plate" was written for the desert gardener with a month-by-month planting guide to more successful gardening. The guide helps with the very important answer to when to plant what.

Have a great time in your fall garden!

-- Catherine, The Herb Lady

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