Let's take this week to discuss October planting so that when October comes, we are ready to roll. It is so important to be prepared because whatever you do or don't do then will influence your spring flowers, spring garden, and mid winter and spring harvests.
Let's say you have already planted your fall garden the last week of August or the first week of September like we recommend. So you're done for the year, right? Wrong. There is more to do.
Texans, if you want your lawn covered in bluebonnets next spring, you have to plant the bluebonnet seeds in October! I bet most of you did not know that but it is true. October planting in Texas includes Bluebonnet seeds as well as all wildflower seeds for early spring blooms.
Happy Monday. Happy Patriot's Day. Yes, it is 9/11 once again. Twenty-two years ago, I was at work in a San Antonio office when I was told that terrorists crashed a plane into the twin towers. Shortly thereafter, another piece of garbage did the same thing to the other tower. Then the pentagon and finally a field in Pennsylvania were hit more terrorists, killing so many innocent people. It was a horrible day. They did not let us go home early and we had to go to work the next day.
The weekend flew by and it is another busy week for us. We need to go to a doctor in San Antonio this week. We also need to do some car shopping.
When Matt got here early this morning, we moved chickens around a bit. The small Easter Eggers were still getting picked on in the big coop so we moved them back to the little coop and took the last remaining Ideal 236 hens out from the little coop and put them in the big coop. When I say we I mean Matt did it all while I supervised and opened doors.
It is payday here at David's Garden Seeds® so I will be writing paychecks once we get pay stubs from our accountant. Encino Pest Control will be here at 9am to take care of the house and the business today so I need to be out there before 9am to open the store and get ready for all of that. I have a lot of seed orders to pull this morning. Not one order has garlic on it though. We just got in a second batch of garlic so if you need garlic, order it right away.
I am pulling seed orders. Encino came and went. Some guy from Poteet who talked to David about getting some free seeds from us came and got those. I still have no idea about that. There are two big boxes of storage bins that someone is supposed to pick up. Also from Labor Day weekend, I still have three orders that were supposed to be picked up a week ago.
I looked and our seed counter left to go to the doctor because she is sick. We really need to have another person because the two we have are constantly taking time off. We need a spare to cover for them. Unfortunately that does not seem to be in the budget right now. We are short staffed as it is when everyone is here.
At lunchtime, a man pulled up and went in the store. I hurried in after him. He asked if we have the Big Kahuna bean. I told him we did not carry that one. He wanted to know why. I told him we have never heard of it. He told us we need to get it, that it is a Burpee bean he grows from Walmart but Walmart doesn't have seeds this time of year. I told him he could get it at Burpee. If not, I suggested that we carry a lot of wonderful bush bean varieties. No, not interested. I tried to get him to try a different bush bean or even a different vegetable seed but we don't carry the one he wants so he left.
I looked it up and it looks like a regular bush bean but can grow up to 11 inches long. We have some beans that grow up to 16 inches long but he was stuck on that one. Burpee has them in stock so he can order them online. They cost more than our prices at $5.95 for just two ounces which is about 120 seeds. We don't carry them because we don't sell Burpee products. We have many good green beans that produce incredible amounts of beans. We grow them every fall. In fact, the beans we planted last week are already coming up.
This evening, we grilled the most amazing pork chops. They were so tasty along with fresh corn on the cob. It was such a good meal.
So the first thing you should do before any October planting, is to check on October gardening chores.
October planting in Texas can include many things. Most importantly to the average Texas gardener is getting the Texas 1015Y onion in the ground by October 15. Hence the name 1015Y. The 1015Y is a Texas yellow onion that grows large and flavorful without being hot. It is good raw, not burning, and it is good sauteed or cooked in a roast, chicken, or soup. We love our Texas 1015Y onions here in Texas.
Garlic bulbs go in the ground at the beginning of October so be sure and order your garlic right now from us. We have six varieties to choose from! If you have never planted garlic before, here is how to do it.
Good Tuesday morning. We will be having a cold wave today. It should hit just 99° this afternoon. I really don't know how I will survive with temperatures that chilly.
Matt cleaned out the small coop this morning. All of the chickens seem to be doing well from the moves yesterday. The younger ones are now 18 weeks old and the Leghorns will be 23 weeks old on Thursday.
The rabbits are all doing well and I think the new male is about ready to father some babies. He is not as skittish as he was when we first got him.
Our new green beans are already coming up. They were planted last Thursday. The sky is very cloudy today. All is calm and quiet out there. I worked on the pond and there are no welders working on the next door fence today playing their loud radio music. I guess they have not heard of headphones, even though David has asked them more than once to use headphones because our business should not have to hear that. They turned it down a little, but that was it. So we are thankful they are gone today. It looks like they got the main work done.
Last Friday, a man came by and paid for 300 storage bins that we are selling and said he would be by on Monday (as in yesterday) to pick them up. He never showed. One of the three people who ordered seeds for pickup last Labor Day weekend stopped by yesterday to pick them up. So I still have two bags of seeds ordered for pickup more than a week ago sitting in the Farm Store. I guess that is okay because we have their money.
Our seed counter called in sick today so we are short handed. Fortunately, our teen workers are here this morning helping get some seeds packed but they leave at noon.
Just a few minutes ago, Matt sent me a new video of our little chicken coop where we have all of the 18 year old Easter Eggers. There should be 15 Easter Egger hens from Ideal Poultry. Hahaha! Matt was out there doing something and one of the hens started crowing. She crowed five times! She is a he, a rooster. I have never had Easter Eggers before so I did not realize how they look when they are roosters. They definitely look different and possibly, we have another as well. There are two very tall Easter Eggers out there with small combs.
So I ordered 30 female baby chicks from Ideal Poultry, a hatchery here in Texas back in February. They sent them in May. I got 15 Ideal 236 chicks and 15 Easter Eggers. Turns out three of the Ideal 236 chicks were roosters and one was a cross beak.
Now, we discover that at least one of the Easter Eggers is a rooster, maybe more. I will have to really look. I just don't believe it. I paid extra for all females yet I got at least four roosters and a defective chick. This is ridiculous. I will not be using Ideal Poultry anymore. I gave them a shot because they are in Texas like we are. It's a good thing we did not keep any of the three Ideal 236 roosters because there is at least one other in that same coop. What are the odds?
Well, you won't believe this but we have three more roosters, all of them Easter Eggers. They were all tiny and a week or so ago, three of them got very big and they all crow. Ideal Poultry sent me six roosters out of 30 chicks when I paid extra for all girls. I just cannot believe it. Now we have to give away at least two more roosters. I ordered 30 chicks because I wanted 30 new layers. I did not get that, did I? Now I have to email them and ask for another three refunds. I simply cannot believe it.
Ideal Poultry emailed me that they will refund me for the three Easter Egger roosters. The thing is, I wanted 30 new layers, not 24. The Easter Eggers don't seem to be making any eggs yet. I thought they were but no. They won't lay until they are at least 20 weeks old so we have another two to three weeks. Meanwhile, we are getting a lot of white eggs.
In Texas, October planting includes getting all wildflowers planted in the ground in October if you want them to come up in early spring. Wildflowers need to be cold stratified in order for them to germinate in the spring. That means they need to experience that Texas winter cold while they are in the ground in order to come up like they should in late February and March. This includes our Texas state flower, the Bluebonnet. If you want Bluebonnets next spring, plant them in October in Texas. Do not toss a handful of seeds out on some bare land. If you do, they will either blow away in the Texas wind or bugs or birds will eat them. Dig shallow holes or a shallow tunnel and cover the seeds. Give them a good watering.
Here it is Wednesday already. Nacho and his crew are here doing things.
We need to do some car shopping with Matt so he can find something decent. We go to church out here in Rossville with two different men who work for two car dealerships in Devine but they both said there was nothing in Matt's price range on their lots. One of the men said he does business all the time with Discount Auto in San Antonio and the guy could give Matt a deal. So, David, Matt, and I ran into San Antonio for some car shopping. We found a car and will pick it up later in the week.
We left Brendon in charge of the business. Brendon had one customer right before we came back to the farm. He bought broccoli seeds and brought us some Crawford lettuce seeds. Our counter called in again this morning.
Our riding lawn mower has a broken part so Matt has gone into Pleasanton to pick up a replacement. It is cloudy out and we have a 15% chance of rain but I doubt we get anything.
It is cloudy, windy and hot at 96°. The time is 5:45pm. We never got any rain. We got an empty Amazon package that was supposed to have glue in it. Lol!
I have to go water my potatoes, sweet potatoes, ginger, and peanuts plus get my eggs and make dinner now. I just finished mailing out orders for the day.
If you want to overwinter some root vegetables, October planting is the way to go. Plant beets, carrots, radishes, turnips, onions, shallots, parsnips, fennel, celeriac, rutabaga, and turnips at the end of October and begin harvesting at the end of December through January, depending on the particular vegetable.
Well, this morning, David and I left the farm to go to the podiatrist. I had a cyst removed from one toe that was causing me pain. He did not use any type of numbing agent and it hurt! The bad thing is that it may come back. He said they usually return so fun times. Then the same big toe that gives me problems all the time was also hurting so he pulled all kinds of hardened skin from behind that. David got his toes all fixed up and we left to go to the car lot. Matt's car was not yet ready. I told them I wanted to test drive the blue Suzuki but no one could find the keys. One guy had left the lot and they called him. He had the keys. So we went back to the farm.
In a few hours, they called and said Matt's car was ready so the three of us all climbed in the truck and drove back to San Antonio. Matt picked up his new used car, which is so very nice, and we test drove the Suzuki. We will pick it up tomorrow while they get it all ready.
We got back to the farm and I got to work on orders. There are always orders to fill.
October planting should include planting healthy greens that grow quickly in cool weather. Think leafy greens as well as Asian greens. Spinach and leaf lettuce can also be included in October planting.
Our seed counter came back today! Yay! She is feeling much better.
I took care of the animals and planted some more sweet potato vines that had a lot of roots on them in cloth pots. I believe there were seven that I planted. Then I got ready for the day.
So this morning, once all the chores were done, David, Matt, and I left the farm to go have a delicious lunch at Golden Wok in San Antonio! After that, we picked up my new used car. It is a fun Suzuki Vitara and it is just the right size for me, yet roomy enough that I can carry my chicken food and supplies in it, along with some groceries when I go to town. I was beginning to feel like a shut in. It has been months now since my car bit the big one and went to the junkyard.
While we were shopping for a car with Matt, I saw the Suzuki and thought it would be a nice vehicle for him. But the battery was dead so we did not get to test drive it until yesterday. It is four cylinder but it goes! David took it on the freeway. I liked it so he bought it for me today.
We got back to the farm before 3pm and I filled orders so they can go out tomorrow.
Swiss chard, kale, mustard greens, and parsley are also included in October planting. As it gets cooler, these vegetables grow better and the flavor becomes sweeter.
Happy Saturday! It is actually feeling a bit chilly outside. I took the three dogs out just a few minutes ago in the dark to do potty. It was very nice. I am enjoying some coffee and toast with cream cheese. It should rain this afternoon. It was supposed to get up to 86° here but now the Weather Channel is showing it will be in the 90s so it is a bit of a cold front but I won't need a winter coat just yet.
It is now 1:30pm and we are closing the Farm Store in 30 minutes. This has been the busiest day we have had since early spring. I am exhausted. We had some big sales. At times, I had three different families in the store. I finally got to run into the house and grab some lunch.
One person came shortly before we closed the store to pick up an order. I have two more orders that have been ready for pickup for two weeks.
The gate just closed so I am clear to go in the house now and get some work done. I want to go do some grocery shopping but it is 2:10pm and I hate going this late in the day. We had visitors all the way from Norway today and a lot of families. I sold our last strawberry plant of the season and a lot of seeds. Interestingly, I did not sell any eggs. Every Saturday when I don't have eggs, folks come in looking for them. Then when I have seven dozen in the fridge, no one wanted any. Go figure.
Football was on instead of Svengoolie. We had thick pork chops and I made a blueberry cobbler. I ate too much because my stomach is not feeling well.
The only herb we've mentioned so far is parsley. Let's talk about some more herbs to be included in October planting. I would plant my fall herbs in pots because if it does get super cold overnight, you can move the pots temporarily inside to keep them alive. In addition to parsley, your October planting should include lemon grass, rosemary, basil, mint, chives, dill, oregano, cilantro, and lovage, provided that you like these herbs. If you don't, just leave them out of your October gardening.
Good morning! David is preaching at church today. He is doing his ant sermon about worrying. This time, he found some stuffed ants as visual aids. We got zero rain this entire week but lots of lightning.
My stomach stayed sick all night but I slept for the most part. All of the animals are now fed and it is only 8am so I did good today.
David did a great job and Matt filmed it. It will be up on YouTube so you can watch it if you like. I will link it.
We heated up leftovers from last night while watching Murder She Wrote and I fell asleep. Not good because I had to go to Walmart between 1pm and 2pm to pick up a grocery order. David took me and we got it and came home. The heat was unreal while I was carrying things in the house. I finally got it all put away
October planting of roots will include harvesting a lot of the greens to enjoy as well, like carrot, beet, parsnip, turnip, radish, and celeriac greens. Yes, they are all good to wash, cook, and eat.
If you are growing sweet potatoes, you can eat the leaves from them as well but do not eat the leaves of potatoes as those are toxic for you.
Return from October Planting to Our Fifth Year On The Farm
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