Fall Gardening In Oklahoma

It is time to get serious about fall gardening in Oklahoma and this year it actually feels possible.  It is much easier to think about planting crops when we have enjoyed regular rains and are surrounded by so much beautiful green plant material.  Many tender fall veggies should already be planted like tomatoes, cowpeas, winter squash, pumpkins, eggplant, sweet corn and cilantro.  Right now is a great time to plant bush beans, lima beans, cucumbers and summer squash or to sneak in a late planting of the earlier tender fall vegetables and pray for a late freeze so you can enjoy a full harvest.  There are also many semi-hardy vegetables that will keep producing and can be harvested even after several light frosts or freezes.  These semi-hardy veggies are many of the main crops for Oklahoma fall gardening since our first winter freeze can be very unpredictable for timing and how hard we freeze.  Right now is the time to plant beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, carrots, Irish potatoes, leaf lettuce and parsnip.  You can plant the following fall veggies until the end of August: cabbage, Chinese cabbage, cauliflower, collards, kale, kohlrabi, leek, onions and green peas.  A few veggies can be planted far into mid or late September including garlic, mustard, rutabaga, spinach, Swiss chard and turnips. Visit with your local nurseryman or garden center for help in picking the best varieties of seeds or plants for planting in your fall vegetable garden.

This is also the best time to apply pre-emergent herbicide or weed killers to your lawn to control winter weeds.  You can apply herbicides alone or in combination with a lawn fertilizer as a weed and feed type product.  The weed and feed combination is the most popular way to manage the home lawn in Oklahoma as it gives you the chance to feed your lawn and help insure a healthy root system going into winter while applying the “weed birth control” to your winter weeds.  With all the rain this summer and our cooler summer temperatures the winter weeds will germinate earlier than normal so it is important to apply the pre-emergent “sooner rather than later” to create the prophylactic effect that will kill the henbit, chickweed, clover, wild carrots, dandelions and other winter weeds as they germinate.  These products do not work after the weeds are germinated so you must apply them and activate with rain or water before they will be effective.  Visit with your local nurseryman to select the right pre-emergent for your yard.  Those of you trying to be organic can use a corn gluten product as a pre-emergent.  Do not apply a pre-emergent where you have just sown or plan to sow turf or ornamental seed this fall.

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