Jan 14-20 Transplant or Seed in Leafy Greens
We hope you had time to relax and wind down as we approached the New Moon. As we are approaching the First Quarter and are in Waxing Crescent, it’s a good time to plant leafy greens. During the waxing of the moon (the period extending from the day the moon is new to the day it reaches its fullest point), the moon pulls moisture upwards. Seeds do well during this time because moisture is available at the surface of the soil. It’s always best to try to transplant and seed-in with the coming rains.
SEED-IN or TRANSPLANT
Now is also a time to plant fruit trees, graft & prune.
For more ideas on Ornamentals, Perennials, and Herbs, visit the Central Texas Gardener and The Natural Gardener lists online. Download the Texas A&M Extension Planting Chart and Varieties Chart at AustinOrganicGardners.org.
It’s that time of year to start plants like tomatoes and peppers indoors. Here’s a few tips on starting them on a budget using items you can recycle around the house.
✓ Egg cartons
✓ Tomato & Pepper Seeds
✓ Scissors or sharp knife
✓ Organic Potting Soil
✓ Spray bottle
✓ Full spectrum LED or fluorescent bulb
✓ Balanced, general-purpose organic liquid fertilizer
1. Cut the lid from an egg carton with scissors or a sharp knife.
2. Poke a small drain hole in the bottom using the tip of a pencil or sharp object.
3. Place the egg carton lid under the bottom to create a drainage tray.
4. Fill the egg cells 3/4 full with organic potting soil.
5. Plant two or three seeds on top of the potting mixture in each cell. Cover the seeds with a thin layer of potting mixture. Refer to the seed packet for specific depth requirements.
6. Water with a spray bottle or turkey baster. Mist as needed to keep the potting mixture lightly moist. Don't over-water, it will become anaerobic and encourage bacteria to grow.
7. Place the egg cartons in a warm area to encourage germination. Sunlight isn’t required during this stage. Most seeds germinate in temperatures between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
8. After seedlings sprout, thin to one seedling per cell.
9. Place the seedlings under a full spectrum Fluorescent or LED bulb, with 6 inches between the bulb and the top of the seedlings. You can use a clamp lamp or if you are growing a lot, use a shop light.
10. Fertilize the plants once a week if the seedlings are pale green or yellowish green. Use a weak solution of a balanced, general-purpose liquid fertilizer with a ratio such as 14-14-14 or 20-20-20. Mix the solution at 1 tablespoon of fertilizer in 1 gallon of water.
11. In 10-12 weeks seedlings will be ready to be transplanted outdoors.
#seedstarting #organicgardening #zone8b #austin organicgardeners #growtomatoesindoors #startseedsineggcartons #recyclinginthegarden #thegrowthcycle
On New Year's Day we enjoyed Purple-eyed Peas or Purple Hull Peas. We grew a vining variety this summer at the teaching beds at Zilker Botanical Garden. We built a vertical trellis for under $40 and grew it with chinese long beans and malabar spinach. The complementary purple and green colors were stunning.
This vining variety is resistant to all three types of fusarium wilt diseases. They are related to black eyed peas but have a purple-eye. They are native to Africa, specifically the country of Niger, andi came over during the era of American slave trading.
They grow great in the summer through the heat after tomatoes have finished up. The bush variety make a great cover crop and fix nitrogen in the soil.
This southern pea variety is easy to grow, not fussy about the type of soil they grow in and needing very little additional fertilization. Direct sow seeds 2-3 inches apart at ½ inch deep.
Depending upon the variety, harvesting time will be between 55-70 days.
Despite the name, the Purple Hull Pea tastes like beans and can even be cooked with the hulls. We harvested them when they were still green and cooked them in stir-fries. We also waited and harvest after the peas had turned fully purple and dried out, which makes dehulling easy. At that point, you can allow them to dry more indoors and then store in a jar for New Years Day!
#purplehullpeas #happynewyear #superstition #lucky