Five tips on starting a fall veggie garden, including how to get transplants, soil delivered – Food and Dining – Austin American-Statesman

We seem to have an earlier introduction to fall than usual, with slightly cooler temperatures and rain in the first half of September rather than the second. Sometimes, we don’t get those hints of fall until October.

With so many fall events canceled, many of us are looking for ways to stay active at home, which might mean starting a fall vegetable garden for the first time. Whether you’re a true novice or returning to gardening after a break, here are five Austin-centric tips for getting started.

1. You’re gonna need good soil. Don’t rely on the dirt that’s already in your backyard. Pick up several bags of gardening soil and at least one bag of compost. Add a few scoopfuls of compost to each raised bed and then do that again in a few months, around the base of the plants.

2. Start some plants with seeds but use transplants for others. Carrots, cilantro, lettuce and radishes are best started from seed, but I like using already established transplants for brassicas, including broccoli and cauliflower. Beets, kale, chard and other greens you can start from seeds or transplants. (You can start some of those transplants yourself inside in those black seedling trays.) It’s not too late to throw late-season peppers and tomatoes in the ground, but those should be already established plants. Here’s a Central Texas guide for when to plant what.

3. You can get many garden supplies delivered, including transplants. In Austin, Lone Star Nursery used to be a wholesale nursery, but now they are focusing exclusively on delivering to home gardeners, and they are also already selling fall transplants that aren’t yet for sale at other gardening stores. There are more garden supply stores than you might think in the Austin area, but not all of them have fall vegetable transplants this early in the season.

4. Keep those seedlings moist. We still have temperatures in the upper 80s and low 90s, which is tough on these cool weather-loving plants, so make sure you water every day in the morning. Many plants also wouldn’t mind a spritz again in the evening. The upside about starting a fall garden early is that you can start to harvest some of these greens and veggies in October and November, but the downside is they need a little extra TLC to get started. The extra fragile ones, like lettuce and carrots, might need a little shade if we get some extra hot afternoons later this month.

5. Ask for help. Gardeners love to give advice, and farmers do, too, especially if you’re buying produce from them at the farmers market. Some farmers markets, including Barton Creek Farmers Market on Saturdays where Rasmey’s Garden sells veggie transplants, have booths were you can buy transplants and chat with a grower to get more tips specific to what you want to grow. As a result of the coronavirus, many gardening groups and experts are hosting virtual classes this fall to help get you

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CAMPO, San Marcos host transportation open house, survey through Sept. 28 – News – Austin American-Statesman


Transportation survey,

virtual open house set

The Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, in collaboration with the city of San Marcos, has announced the San Marcos Platinum Planning Study Virtual Open House and online survey, which will run through Sept. 28.

The study aims to identify needs and strategies to support potential transportation and development planning efforts in the community.

The study will focus on evaluating three transportation corridors: Guadalupe/Texas 123, Texas 80/Hopkins Road, and a potential new north-south connection east of Interstate 35. It will suggest improvements for transportation users including motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists. The study will also examine several activity centers to create concepts for transportation and connections to housing, jobs and services.

Participants may attend the virtual open house by visiting to see an overview of the study and complete an interactive survey.


Deadline nears to apply

for redistricting panel

The city auditor has less than three weeks to recruit Austinites to apply for the Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission.

The panel will be responsible for redrawing the City Council districts and shaping Austin’s future. The Applicant Review Panel will select 60 of the most qualified applicants for the redistricting commission. Three independent auditors with CPAs will be selected to serve on the panel.

The deadline to apply is Sept. 30. To apply, visit


ACC hosts session

for DACA students

Austin Community College and American Gateways will host a virtual information session from 1 to 2 p.m. Saturday for students under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

This is the opportunity to ask questions or express concerns for DACA recipients. The presentation is open to all, not just DACA recipients. Attendees will be asked to respect the presentation, as it is intended to be an open and safe space.

To register:


Registration open

for lake cleanup

Registration is open for the 26th annual Lake Travis Cleanup, which will be Oct. 18-24 at beaches and areas of Lake Travis.

The cleanup this year will feature various ways to help clean safely during the COVID-19 pandemic. Participants can work from home by becoming a community ambassador and cleaning their own neighborhoods; virtually by watching videos, lessons, panel discussions and history lessons; in the parks with small groups of eight to 10; and in the water with dive groups.

To register:

American-Statesman staff

Source Article

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Montgomery column: Designing a garden – Lifestyle – Austin American-Statesman

“I never before knew the full value of trees. My house is entirely embosomed in high plane-trees, with good grass below; and under them I breakfast, dine, write, read, and receive my company”
– Thomas Jefferson, 1793

Due to staying home with the pandemic the past six months, I have done some major work in the garden. I had not realized how some plants needed a good pruning and a few plants had even outgrown their space and needed to be moved. I had shrubs with a lot of dead wood that needed to be taken out and I could not believe I did not notice this before. I got out old photos of areas in the garden and was amazed at how the garden had slowly changed.

As I have been working, I would have to remind myself to follow some basic principles of design that have helped me over the years. I started out as a collector and realized years ago, I needed order to my garden and to have some “bones” or structure in some places where things were lacking.

Some of the things I try to remember are not to make it too much of a “hodge-podge” of plant material. Variety is important, but do not overdo it. Balance, proportion and unity are important. You need to think about a garden as an extension of your home and think about how you decorate a room. You use some of these same ideas when making a room in the garden.

You need different shapes, sizes, texture and form. If the entire yard were all the same, it would not be very interesting. It is good to balance things in the garden. If you have something on one side of a path, repeat it to give some balance on the other side.

If you are starting from scratch to landscape an area or just making some little changes, you start with trees. This could be trees that are in place now or the trees that you want to consider adding. They could also be borrowed trees that overhang your property from a neighbor’s garden. Trees are the main landscaping feature. Start with letting the trees you have or are considering planting be the first thing to guide your landscape.

Trees set the stage and give you different options when planning. You can use them to have dappled shade, woodland shade or have deep shade if you want to create a woodland garden. Trees can help you divide areas into rooms.

The second thing to consider is the “bones” of the garden. Good gardens have good bones and winter is a good time to see this. The greenery that catches your eye or architectural elements like walls, fences, patios, pathways or arbors are the solid elements of a garden. Make sure you have enough greenery to give your garden an attractive look in the winter months.

The third thing is to make sure your garden has some unity, consistency

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