Week 39 Tips for the Zone 9 Garden

Turns out I did not have to spray pesticides last weekend.  I discovered that the pest that was eating my brassicas was Gallus domesticas.  Gallus domestica is a large flying garden pest that is more commonly known as “the chicken”.  While my chickens have scratched things up a bit in the garden, they have never eaten the foliage of the brassica.  Guess they were looking  to expand their palate.  This weekend I will be replanting broccoli again (as I caught them eating the transplants I bought last weekend).  Below are some more things you can do in your garden this weekend.


Turns out two legged pests can be more destructive then insects!


  • Plant Sugar Snap Peas – Now is a great time to plant the American version of English peas. Sugar Snaps are kind of like rye grass.  Plant them when day and night temperatures are about 20 degrees apart.  Sugar Snaps vine so be sure to plant on some type of support.  I grow mine on cattle panels.  However, they will grow over any type of support you supply
  • Plant root crops from seed –. Now is a good time to plant root crops like beets, turnips, rutabagas, carrots, daikon, parsnip and radish. Beets, turnips and radish mature very quickly so you can get in several crops between now and April.  Carrots, daikon and parsnip mature more slowly.
  • Plant leeks and garlic – Now is a good time to plant garlic and leeks. I have some heirloom “Old German” leeks I will be planting this weekend
  • Plant artichokes and spring blooming lavender now – Lavender and artichokes are perrinials. Because of that they will both reward you with beautiful flowers and edible parts for years  If you don’t already have these plants get some and get them in the ground now.
There are so many varieties of radish and they all mature very quickly.  why not try a French Breakfast or Icicle radish this fall.

There are so many varieties of radish and they all mature very quickly. why not try a French Breakfast or Icicle radish this fall.


  • Fertilize blooming plants now – Right now my yard is bursting with color. Cannas, lantana, bulbs, zinnia, cockscomb, bachelor buttons and roses are all blooming profusely.  Feed with compost tea or other organic fertilizers and compost.  If using blended fertilizer apply 1 cup per ten fet of bed of a fertilizer with low N and high P and high K.  Something like a 10-20-10 is ideal.
  • Water fall blooming bulbs – Right now I have spider lilies, lycoris aurea and oxbloods up. Theie blooms last only a few days.  Keep the bulbs well watered to extend the blooms for a couple of days.
My spidelilies are blooming right now.  Give yours lots of water to extend their bloom time

My spidelilies are blooming right now. Give yours lots of water to extend their bloom time


  • Plant trees and shrubs now – Now is the absolute best time to plant ornamental trees and shrubs. Last year I planted two Empire Live Oaks for nationally known decorator Holly Mathis. Check out the post we did that explains how to properly plant all trees and shrubs.  One more thing, at this time of year many nurseries will have things like Vitex, crepe myrtles and wax myrtles marked down.  Visit your local nursery and look for deals.

Tip of the Week – Week 9 in the Zone 9 Garden

According to the forecast this will be a cold and wet weekend in the Zone 9 garden.  However, if they are wrong, here are some of the things you can work on:


Peaches, plums and redbuds are beginning to show color.


If you have not already prepared your beds by tilling in lots of compost, you need to do it soon.  The nutrients in compost are not readily available.  Compost needs time for the microbes and insects in the soil to break it down.  After tilling I highly recommend adding lots of mulch to keep down the weeds.  I use spoiled hay in my garden because it is easy for me to get.  Feel free to use leaves, grass clippings or any other natural product that you have access to.

Since there is a good chance for rain this weekend I am going to do some indoor gardening.  It is time for me to up pot my tomato transplants.  I started my seeds in coir pellets back in January.  They are now big enough to be moved into the solo drink cups that I use for pots.  I put the coir pellets into the cup and cover the entire stem of the young transplants.  Since tomatoes grow roots along their entire stem, planting deep and covering the stem will encourage the little plant to make lots of roots that will help grow a big healthy plant.

Onions are beginning to take off.  Keep down the weeds and apply 6 cups of organic fertilizer like Lady Bug All Purpose Fertilizer (8-2-4) per 25 square feet of plantings once a month.


There is still time to plant turnips, rutabagas and beets from seed.


Poppies and Larkspur are very noticeable right now.  Be careful not to pull them when weeding this week.


Henbit and clover are sprouting all over my yard.  Both are nearly impossible to control with organic methods.  Weed eat them regularly to keep them from flowering and setting seed.  If you are not organic you can treat the clover with Trimec starting next month.  Trimec will kill clover and not damage St. Augustine.

red-poppy Trees and Shrubs

If you have black, sooty looking limbs on your crepe myrtles there is a very good chance that you have a scale infestation.  Now is a great time to “cleanse” yourself of the problem.  Mix up a bucket of soapy water and use a soft brush to scrub any remaining “honey dew” from the tree.  This cleansing will also remove any scales or scale eggs that are already in place.  You can also spray dormant oil at this time.  If you live in north or east Texas be aware that there is a new scale infecting crepe myrtles in your part of the state.  Oils are not effective against this new pest.  To learn more about controlling this pest click here for a great article from the Aggie entomologists at Insects in the City.

****Be sure to check out my friend Bart’s blog (Our Garden View) for more great tips for the Central and South Central garden!

I share my posts on the HomeAcre Hop.  Be sure to stop by the hop.  It has tons of great information from gardeners and homesteaders all over the world!