SAN ANTONIO – Earlier this September we planted our Fall tomatoes and broccoli from transplant in the KSAT garden. But we are not done yet planting for the Fall, as recently we teamed up with the non-profit Gardopia.
Stephen Lucke, the founder and CEO of Gardopia Gardens brought eggplant, cucumber, peppers and marigolds to plant in the KSAT Garden.
After you dig your hole for your plant, you want to add organic fertilizer and worm casting before you place your transplant in to give your plants a good head start.
Worm casting is essentially earthworm poop.
“This is 100 percent organic,” Lucke said. “This is coming from the worms. This one in particular is Dr. Earth, but there are others brands like Espoma, Medina, Happy Frog. There are a ton of different organic fertilizers.”
Before we planted the veggies, we first planted marigolds.
Lucke said marigolds make great companions for a fall garden to act as an organic pest control.
“They actually have an aroma similar to basil that detracts pests,” Lucke said. “In the same point in time, for some of the insects that may consider attacking your plants, they also may be more attracted to the marigolds, so it plays both factors in regards to pest management.”
We are planting all transplants, not seeds, since the first average frost is Nov. 30. Last year, San Antonio got its first freeze on Dec. 22.
The transplants planted are halfway through their life cycle, like the serrano pepper plants that are already sprouting flowers. Lucke said you can harvest serranoes when they are green or red, depending on how you want them to taste.
“When they turn red I feel like their profile isn’t as hot, it has a little bit of a sweetness to it, versus when they are green,” Lucke said.
We are also planting cucumbers and because we have a small garden space, we added a trellis since they are climbers. Remember not to let them get too big, because they will taste bitter.
Plus they grow really quick, only taking 45 days from seed to fruit.
“The bigger a fruit gets, it starts to get more fibrous, which is tough,” Lucke said. For the egg plants we planted black beauty. A black beauty to get really big it’s a longer crop, but you can harvest them when they are smaller and they’ll be more tender,” Lucke said.
Remember, water, water, water, especially every day for the first week, then every couple of days depending on soil, moisture and temperature.
Let’s talk harvest time. These cucumbers should be ready to go pretty soon. We just planted them mid-September, so they should be ready by mid-October. And as for the peppers and eggplant, those should be good to harvest come late October, or early November.