By Nita Schiro
September has arrived and with it Hurricane Harvey! Most of the Houston area received record rain, and much of Texas will be recovering for some time from the effects of Harvey. Despite this, the MCMGA is on course with preparations for the Fall Plant Sale. With a little luck, temperatures will be cooler and we will feel inspired to plant a fall garden. A change in weather always seems to entice us to get outdoors and do a little gardening. The MCMGA Fall Plant Sale is set for Saturday, October 14th, starting at 8 am for the program, and 9 am – 12:00 for the sale.
Master Gardeners have been busy cultivating and caring for a wide variety of plants for the sale. This year we will have one fall sale with vegetables, herbs, and perennials to meet all your gardening needs.
As you know, fall is the perfect time of year to plant in Montgomery County. Vegetables are particularly popular for fall planting, and we will have many varieties available. A few veggies we will offer include greens (Turnip, Mustard or Collard), cabbages, Brussel sprouts, Kale, Lettuce or Cauliflower varieties.
If you are willing to try something different, consider Cheddar cauliflower, which is bright orange, or Graffiti cauliflower, which is purple. Cauliflower is considered a “super food” and is known to contain outstanding antioxidants and vitamins. You can find a multitude of Cauliflower recipes online if you need some inspiration! Here are some tips for growing Cauliflower:
- Set the plants out right away, about 6-8 weeks before the first frost. We usually don’t have a freeze in our area until around Thanksgiving.
- Cauliflower needs at least 6 hours of full sun; more is better. It also needs fertile, well-drained, moist soil with plenty of rich organic matter. (http://bonnieplants.com)
- When the cauliflower heads are about 2 inches wide, you may need to pull the leaves up over each little head and fasten with a clothespin or twine. This shades the head to ensure it will be white and tender at harvest (called blanching).
We will have many other veggies for sale, as well as herbs and of course, a variety of beautiful perennials. Be sure to check out the Plant Sale list (coming soon) on the MCMGA website. (www.mcmga.com) Updates may be made to the list before the sale date.