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.

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.

from Dixondale Farms:

One of the most common questions we get is, “How will I know my onions are ready to harvest?”

One way is by keeping track of the number of leaves on your onion plants. While 13 is the ideal number of onion leaves, some onion varieties may mature with fewer leaves than that. When your plants reach at least seven leaves, start watching them carefully. There will be three key physical signs that your onions are mature and should be harvested.

1. Soft Neck

When the area right above the neck (the place where the leaves meet the bulb) starts feeling soft, the transfer of carbohydrates from the leaves to the rings has finished, and the final cell division within the rings has occurred. At this stage, you should water less frequently, to prevent sour skin and black mold occurring in wet soils.

2. Tops Falling Over
When some of the tops fall over, this reflects 100% soft neck, even though not all the tops are down. If you are planning to consume the onions right away, this is the earliest stage they can be harvested
and the tops cut off. There is good skin development at this stage, and adequate green tops to prevent sunscald during drying.

When all the tops are down, the onion is finished pulling sugars out of the top and moisture out of its roots. But skin development will continue to occur. If growing for storage, a light last watering should take place, to allow onions to respire some moisture before harvest. For sweeter onions, give them a moderate final watering.

3. Last Leaf

Examine all the leaves, particularly the most recent one to appear (last leaf). The leaf sheaths mature and dry from the oldest to the youngest leaf. If you pull the onions from the soil before the last leaf is dry, rot could occur during storage. The neck cavity or top of the onion should not be sunken or soft before lifting the onions out of the soil.

It’s best to remove your onions in the morning, before the worst of the heat and direct sunlight occur.

After Lifting Your Onions
Now that your plants are out of the soil, you’ll want them to last as long as possible. This requires thorough drying and curing.

Happy harvests, everyone!


Bruce “Onionman” Frasier

Upcoming event information:
Herbs for Your Health Garden Cafe, 5310 Junius St, Munger Square Center, Dallas, TX 75214
Date: 05/18/2013 6:00 PM CDT

Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme….What can herbs do for you? They are easy to grow and maintain, but pack a powerful punch when used holistically.

This talk will discuss chronic illness and scientific research of treatment using herbs and other plants. Justin will cover common herbs that you will find in your garden, and some not so common ones that could be beneficial.

Instructor: Justin Duncan, owner of Xeriscaping Solutions and Director, Region 5, Texas Organic Farmers and Gardeners Assn.

More information and online registration: Herbs for Your Health

Best regards,



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.

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