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Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Friday - July 16, 2010

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Edible Plants
Title: Garden crop to plant in July in Austin
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I've just been given access to a plot at Sunshine Gardens and must plant something within 30 days. What would be a good planting crop for the middle of July that would be successful for harvesting in the fall, or later..

ANSWER:

Well, we have a couple of minor problems here.  First of all, our focus and expertise here at the Wildflower Center are with plants native to North America and most vegetables grown in our gardens are not native to North America.  Secondly, the middle of July in Austin is not the very best time to be planting seeds.  However, Mr. Smarty Plants does know some resources that can help you get something in the ground so that you don't lose your space in the Sunshine Gardens.  First, Texas AgriLife Extension Service-Travis County has a Vegetable Garden Planting Guide on their Vegetable Gardening webpage.  There are also some other very helpful articles on vegetable gardening on their webpage.  Additionally, the Travis County Master Gardeners Asociation has a book, the Garden Guide for Austin & Vicinity, that is available at most local nurseries.  The book has a schedule of what to plant each month as well as other helpful information about gardening each month.  According to this booklet, for July you should be planting pumpkin and sweet potatoes early to mid-month and corn, eggplant, peppers, Southern peas, tomatoes and winter squash from mid- to late-July.   Okra can be planted anytime during the month. These suggestions pretty well match those of the Texas AgriLife Planting Guide listed above.

In a Mr. Smarty Plants question and answer with the title, Native Edible Plants for a Small Austin Garden, you can see some suggestions for native edibles, but none of them are suitable for planting in mid-July.  You could add them later.

Best of luck with your garden!

 

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