Author Archives: sheryl.williams

About sheryl.williams

Horticulture Program Assistant

In the October Vegetable Garden

Fall Finally Arrives in the October Vegetable Garden I am so thankful for fall weather. Shorter days and cool mornings have brought back the gardening enthusiasm that the relentless heat of summer usually drains. If you haven’t already, take advantage of the mild, frost-free weather this month and get cole crops, root crops, greens, and garlic established in the garden. Try Garlic This Year Garlic makes a great addition to any garden as long as you pick the right variety for the time of year you plan to… Read More →

In the September Vegetable Garden by Patty Leander

Still Sizzling in September Vegetable Garden Central Texas is known for parched, sizzling summers but what a difference the unexpected and well-timed rains made in our gardens and rain barrels in June and July. Peppers, cucumbers and tomatoes, especially cherries, produced longer than usual, okra flourished and even Austin’s hiking trials are verdant and dense. It’s hard to imagine that earlier this year Texas was was hammered by a record-breaking deep freeze. Vegetable gardeners welcome the arrival of September because it means that cool weather is on the… Read More →

Leaffooted Bugs Common in Summer Vegetable Gardens by Wizzie Brown

Leaffooted Bugs and Stink Bugs Closely Related Leaffooted bugs are sometimes mistaken for stink bugs, which are a closely related insect. However, Leaffooted bugs are larger than stink bugs and have an elongated body. Some leaffooted bugs have an expanded region on their hind leg that looks similar to a leaf, hence the name leaffooted bug (Figure 1). Identifying Traits Adult insects are fairly large and grayish-brown. Immatures, or nymphs, look similar to adults, but may differ in color and lack the expanded region on the leg until… Read More →

Fall Armyworm Populations Active in Austin Area

Fall armyworm larvae, or caterpillars, are light tan to light green with a brownish-black head. These caterpillars have a white line between their eyes that forms an inverted Y-shape. Larvae have yellowish and black banding along their body as well as four large spots at the end of the abdomen. Adults are small moths with a wingspan of 1.5 inches with mottled brownish-grey wings. Fall armyworms overwinter in the pupal stage in south Texas. Once adults emerge from the pupal stage, they migrate northward during spring as temperatures… Read More →

Tomato Time – Join us for an EPIC Tomato Talk

Plant or Plan – Think About Next Tomato Crop Now Savvy Central Texas Gardeners know that we actually have TWO gardening seasons here in Austin. The first starts around February 25th and ends with the arrival of summer. The second garden season starts in late August or September and ends with the arrival of the first frost on about November 29th. Unfortunately, our summers are just too hot for most plants and gardeners. There’s a Reason Your Tomato Harvest Dwindles in the Heat Tomatoes are a good example… Read More →

Beat the Heat by Watering From the Bottom Up By Kirk Walden

Reservoir Planters Help Beat the Heat When I moved to Austin in 1998, our first house had a balcony outside our master bedroom. I was delighted that I would be able to wake up every morning to a beautiful array of flowers arranged in pots right outside our windows. It worked well in March. By June, I was watering the pots twice a day. By August, I couldn’t keep anything alive. That’s because the balcony faced due west and had no roof. I gave up until fall. It… Read More →

In the August Vegetable Garden with Patty Leander

 Transition Time in the August Vegetable Garden August is a transitional time in the vegetable garden as we clean up the remnants from summer and plan and prep for the milder days that will come. The first frost in Central Texas usually arrives in late November or early December which means we have over 3 months of frost-free weather ahead. Many gardeners concentrate on the array of cool season vegetables that thrive in fall’s cooler temperatures though there is also time for a fresh planting of green beans,… Read More →

In the July Vegetable Garden by Patty Leander

It’s Time to Take a Break in the July Vegetable Garden For most gardeners July is a slow month in the vegetable garden, some might call it a dormant season. The heat and lack of rain can adversely affect growth and pollination, so after the tomato harvest winds down, the beans peter out and the squash succumbs to heat and pests, it’s a good time to take a break and focus on the upcoming fall season. Start Planning the Fall Garden Check your seed inventory and peruse seed… Read More →

Mosquito Repellents by Wizzie Brown

Mosquitoes are out in masses and since they are capable of disease transmission, it is important that you protect yourself when spending time outside. Of course, you can wear long pants and a long-sleeved shirt in light colors to reduce the number of mosquitoes that can reach your skin when outside, but this is not always the option people choose with temperatures on the rise. Another option to protect yourself is mosquito repellent. How to Properly Apply Mosquito Repellent Apply repellent only to clothing and exposed skin; do… Read More →

In the June Vegetable Garden by Patty Leander

May brought the rain and pleasant gardening weather and June brings the heat and abundant sunshine to the vegetable garden. And with onion tops falling over, bean pods growing longer, cucumbers filling out, potato plants dying down and tomatoes coloring up it is also a big harvest month for many gardeners. Storage Crop Harvesting Tips Here are some tips for harvesting storage crops that usually reach maturity this month: Garlic Garlic leaves that begin to yellow are an indication that bulbs are ready for harvest. Dig the plants… Read More →