Now that cool weather is here and Ragweed has finished blooming (unfortunately I am a member of the ragweed allergy club), I can safely go outside and actually enjoy the great outdoors! All Texans and Southerners look forward to Fall with the same yearning that Northerners feel about Spring. After suffering through the long hot summer….we’ve earned it!
So what am I doing outside in this glorious Fall weather, well for one thing I just can’t sit and enjoy, I have to get up DO SOMETHING. So I deadhead, prune and most of all plant—this is a great time to plant super healthy veggies like kale, collard and mustard greens all of which I think taste disgusting. However cook them with enough bacon and they become palatable although less healthy. Other better tasting veggies you can grow now and right through the winter are all the lettuces, spinach, and members of the cabbage family including cauliflower, brussel sprouts and broccoli.
I wish tomatoes would grow in the winter, the very earliest you can plant tomatoes is around February 15th. However you can grow (again right through the winter) parsley, cilantro, and rosemary. Parsley is a fav of mine because it looks so pretty and grows so robustly you can clip with abandon .
The water garden pretty takes care of itself during the winter months. Shorter days signal the perennial water lilies to go dormant, while the tropical varieties will continue to bloom until after a few freezes. If we are lucky and have a mild winter your tropical lily will survive the winter. The fish enjoy the cooler water and if it gets too cold will simply go into a type of hibernation. You can tell when this happens because they will all huddle at the bottom the pond. If ice forms on the pond DO NOT break it, the shock waves can be injurious to your fish, trust me, they will be fine until the ice melts. If you live up North were the ponds ice over for the winter it’s a whole different ball game but not a problem for those of us in the South.