>61 days and counting…

We’re at 61 days of 100+ temperatures here in Austin. We will most likely break the 2nd highest number of days (66) next week and possibly the highest number (69) before this summer is through. And it will only get worse for the garden as Austin has stage 2 watering restrictions kicking in Monday, which means you are only allowed to water one day a week. That may seem like enough in normal temperatures of fall or spring, but in 100+ temperatures every day the plants are stressed constantly and have incredible evaporation. Many need daily watering to keep their leaves from shriveling up and drying out. So, I’ll be making my rounds this weekend and cutting back many of my plants, just to give them less plant to support in this heat and during the water restrictions.

But the heat has a bigger affect than the garden and lawn in my house. The mood is just generally cranky in the afternoon here, unless we are in the pool. Even then, going in the pool is akin to taking a group bath as the water temperature is around 91 degrees. I know anyone reading outside of Austin is thinking about all of the rain they have gotten. It seems everyone I talk to have been having downpours weekly. And I appreciate that so many want to push that weather our way. If only that were a possibility.

>Fall Vegetables!!!! Cooler temps can not be far away, right?

>With the new watering restrictions just announced and temperatures in the 100s for what seems like forever, it may seem like summer will never end. But fall will be here before you know it and now is the time to prepare your vegetable garden to make the most of the cooler temperatures.

This Saturday, the Travis County Master Gardeners will be presenting a free seminar on Fall Vegetable Gardening taught by Master Gardener Vegetable Specialist Patty Leander.

Fall Vegetable Gardening
Saturday, August 22, 2009, 10am-Noon
River Place Country Club
4207 River Place Blvd
Austin TX

Patty will review basics of vegetable gardening and specifically discuss varieties that flourish in the fall and winter months. Perfect your vegetable gardening by hearing more about how to prepare soil, what varieties do the best in Central Texas, and how to avoid common problems. Broccoli, lettuce, swiss chard, radishes and spinach all grow well in our cooler season. And crops like tomatoes, peppers, and squash can flourish when planted in late summer to take advantage of the cooler fall temperatures.

This seminar is free and open to the public. No reservations are required. Call (512) 854-9600 with questions.