In the Garden: February.

2012-08-23 08.05.27


Seed in Ground: artichokes, arugula, beets, carrots, chard, chives, dill, leaf lettuce, onion sets, parsley, potatoes, snap and sugar peas, turnips, winter hardy greens (bok choy, spinach, cress, mustard greens, collards)

Seed Indoors: basil, cucumbers, chard, eggplant, lettuce (head), melons, peppers, pumpkins, summer and winter squash (late), tomatoes,

Transplant:  asparagus (crowns), bok choi, broccoli, bunching onions, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, collards, kale, leeks, lettuce (head), rhubarb (crowns), strawberries, Swiss chard

***Brassicas like kale, collards, cabbage, and broccoli should have 3-4 true leaves and be about six weeks old when you transplant.***


    • Feed the soil by applying compost to plantings throughout your landscape: trees, shrubs, lawn, and all garden beds.
    • By the third week of the month, plant potatoes 4 inches deep in warm soil.
    • Begin sowing seeds of leaf lettuces, collards, and other greens outdoors; for continuous harvest, repeat sowings every 2 weeks.
    • On Valentine’s Day, prune roses, clean up debris, and then top-dress the shrubs with fresh mulch. No roses? Plant some now!
  • Continue to shop local nurseries for asparagus roots, rhubarb, strawberry plants, and fruit trees.
    • Prune older fruit trees.
    • Plant spring flowers:  alyssum, hollyhocks, edging lobelia, rocket larkspurs, and Canterbury bells.

In the Garden: January.

winter harvest

Here’s a wee little task list of what to plant and do around the garden during the month of January:


Seed in Ground: artichokes, asparagus (crowns), beets, cabbage, carrots, celery and celeriac, chard, chives, dill, leaf lettuce, onions sets, parsley, rhubarb (crowns), snap and sugar peas, strawberries, turnips, winter hardy greens (bok choy, spinach, cress, mustard greens, arugula)

Seed Indoors: bok choi, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, chard, eggplant, kale, leeks, head lettuce, bunching onions, peppers, tomatoes, summer and winter squash (late)

***Brassicas like kale, collards, cabbage, and broccoli should have 3-4 true leaves and be about six weeks old when you transplant.***


  • On nice days, prepare your beds if the weather is warm and dry enough.
  • Cover prepared beds with mulch or row cover (prevent erosion on bare soil!) until you’re ready to plant.
  • Shop local nurseries for asparagus roots, rhubarb, strawberry plants, and fruit trees.
  • Cover root crops still in the ground with an extra layer of mulch.
  • When cold temperatures are predicted, protect transplants of onions, cabbage, broccoli, and chard with a row cover.
  • Sow seeds of herbs, such as dill and parsley.
  • Sow seeds of annual flowers (delphiniums, snapdragons, and larkspur are good choices) anywhere you want flowers for cutting or as a background for other plants.
  • Plant even more flowers! Poppies, chamomile, evening primrose, calendulas, verbena, and daisies.
  • Top-dress lawns with compost.
  • And don’t forget to look after your perennials – most fruit trees need pruning in winter, before they start to bud.

In the Garden: December.

Here’s a wee little task list of what to plant and do around the garden during the month of December:

  • Seed in Ground: carrots, cauliflower, onions, chives, spinach, mustard, peas, beets, radishes, lettuce (somewhat protected)
  • Seed Indoors: bok choi, broccoli, cabbage, kale, leeks, head lettuce, bunching onions


  • Plant flowers!  Petunias, calendulas, annual candytuft (Iberis umbellata), pansies, sweet alyssum (Lobularia maritima), cornflowers (Centaurea cyanus), stocks (Matthiola incana), scabiosa (Scabiosa atropurpurea), verbena, pinks (Dianthus spp.), and daisies.
  • Plant bulbs, corms, and rhizomes of iris (Iris danfordiae, I. histrioides, I. reticulata), amaryllis, anemone (Anemone coronaria, A. sylvestris), calla, and liriope.
  • Clean up garden debris to eliminate overwintering areas for diseases and insect pests.
  • Start to build beds for spring by adding lots of compost.
  • Plant bareroot trees, shrubs, roses, and vines.

In the Garden: November.

Red Giant Mustard Greens at the Training Farm.

Here’s a wee little task list of what to plant and do around the garden during the month of November:

  • Seed in Ground: carrots, leaf lettuce, kale, mustard greens, swiss chard, collard greens, bok choi, onion seed (early), radish, spinach, turnip (early), peas, Brussel sprouts, beets, strawberries, cilantro, fennel, dill, cabbage
  • Seed Indoors: broccoli, cabbage, leeks


  • Fruit trees will arrive at nurseries for fall planting; shop early for the best selection.
  • Harvest cold-sensitive veggies—such as tomatoes, eggplant, and peppers—that you planted in July.
  • Under row covers, plant cool-loving crops, such as Brussels sprouts, cabbage, Chinese cabbage, broccoli, peas, carrots, kale, radishes, mustard, turnips, beets, and spinach.
  • Plant strawberries (‘Chandler’, ‘Sweet Charlie’, and ‘Sequoia’) so plants will be established by spring.
  • Sow seeds of poppies, larkspur, and delphiniums for early spring color.

In the Garden: May.



Seed in Ground: basil, beans, corn, okra, peanuts, southern peas (black-eyed, purple hull and crowder peas), sweet potatoes
Transplant: eggplant (early), melons (early), peppers (early), squash, tomatoes (early)


  • Harvest spring crops daily to keep them producing for as long as possible.
  • Continue to plant heat-tolerant tomatoes, such as ‘Heatwave’, ‘Sunchaser’, and ‘Sweet 100′.
  • Plant caladiums in shaded sites. Try narrow-leaved zinnia (Zinnia angustifolia) for hot spots. Give new plantings plenty of water.
  • Continue planting daisies, asters, coreopsis, marigolds, and sunflowers—they nourish the beneficial insects, which will help keep pests in check.
  • Check your drip irrigation system—you’ll be depending on it soon.
  • Pray for rain.

Spring Training Farm Update

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This spring has been an exciting season at the Urban Training Farm in East Waco. We started this winter-spring season with a great group of 50 hard workers composed of community members and Baylor students – who helped prep the garden for the spring growing season on the 2013 MLK Day of Service. Winter weeds had overtaken a number of the beds – but within 3 hours, everyone had cleaned up the entire garden and built a trellis for our sugar snap peas and nasturtium (edible spicy flowers!) out of branches found around the periphery of the Training Farm. We also capitalized on the amount of extra hands that day and put some of the strapping young lads and ladies to task of hand building a new 80-foot bed! All in all, the day was a success!

Throughout these early spring months, we’ve continued to have a number of great one time work groups out in the garden for large one time projects – especially over spring break, with groups touring the country in search of service projects enjoying a morning of weeding and seeding at the Training Farm.

However, we want to highlight two special groups that we’ve been working with throughout the past couple of months: the Baylor’s Reformed University Fellowship and the Junior League Provisional Class.
We continue to have community work days every Friday afternoon – but have put the early morning workdays on hold until the weather consistently warms. We’ve been fortunate to have a dedicated group of Baylor students from the Reformed University Fellowship every Friday – since last fall – come out to the garden for weeding the peas, planting carrots and cover crops, fertilizing with fish emulsion, and harvesting the bounty of broccoli for Market the next day. Without their help, we wouldn’t be able to get half as much work done in the garden each week!

Last fall, the Urban Training Farm was selected by the Junior League for the winter/spring project for their provisional class – specifically focusing on developing an expansive four-part herb garden at the Training Farm. They first decided to incorporate recycled elements into the garden – including repurposed tires for the tea garden, reclaimed brick pavers for the healing herb garden, repurposed pallets for the culinary herb garden, and reclaimed cinder blocks for the edible flowers garden. For irrigation, they also installed a two-barrel rainwater catchment system, collecting rainwater off of the roof of the HOT Produce building – which will supplement our irrigation needs. Right now the Herb garden is in full production – including blooming calendula, fragrant lavender and rosemary, tasty chives and cilantro – as well as five freshly planted fruit trees: a plum, a pear, and three peach trees. Since this February, the women of the Junior League have diligently tilled, mowed, planted, and watered the newly installed herb garden.

Lastly, we are so excited to have received several great applications for the 2013 Intern Program – and will be revealing the final five candidates shortly! They will begin their orientation process of the business curriculum and growing season at the Training Farm and the Waco Downtown Farmers Market starting on April 4th.

In the Garden: April.



Seed in Ground: arugula, basil, beans, beets, chard, cilantro, sweet corn, cucumbers, leaf lettuce, melons, okra, parsley, southern peas, peanuts, radish, spinach, snap beans, squash (summer and winter), turnips, watermelon

Transplant: basil, cantaloupe, cucumber, dill, eggplant, kale, peppers, tomatoes, summer and winter squash, sweet potatoes, Swiss Chard


  • Give flowers and vegetables a foliar feeding of liquid seaweed or compost tea; spray the liquid nutrients on foliage early in the day before it gets too hot.
  • Plant black-eyed, purple hull and crowder peas, okra, peanuts, sweet potatoes, squash, melons, cucumbers, and corn—all can withstand the heat that will arrive in less than 2 months.
  • Keep planting basil—it loves the warm weather.
  • Plant “bulbs” of caladium, calla, gladiolus, and water lily and summer-flowering bulbs.
  • Plant full-sun annuals such as moss rose, purslane, trailing lantanas, pentas, Dahlberg daisy, cosmos, celosias, small-flowering zinnias, marigolds, firebush, copper plant, cleome, purple fountaingrass, ornamental sweet potatoes and amaranthus.
  • Keep adding kitchen scraps and grass clippings to your compost pile.
  • Replenish your mulch!
  • Plant fall-blooming perennials