Due to the climate in Texas, vegetable gardening is productive any month of the year, depending on the type of vegetable. For many, there are permanent vegetable gardens in their yard. What to plant, when and how are essential for a productive vegetable garden.
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Spring and fall are short seasons in Texas. This is due to the extreme heat that starts sometimes in late February and the early frosts in late fall. When to plant certain vegetables is critical to ensure a good crop since some things quit producing in high heat. All plants need soft tilled earth to begin growing. A plot of dirt tilled and raked to remove rocks, weeds and grass is the first step. While it is not a rule of thumb, Texans know that planting rows in an East-West direction is more productive than a north-south direction.
When to Plant
Texas gardening for the spring/summer begins earlier than the northern sections of the country. Mid-March is usually time for the last frost of the season. Tomatoes, peppers, squash, zucchini, cucumbers, corn, okra, beans, peas, cantaloupe and watermelon are growing during this time. Occasionally, a late frost will occur and you will have to cover the tender young plants with cloth to protect them from the frost. Many of the plants listed have a second growing season in Texas. July, August and September begins the second growing season for these plants as well as Broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, greens, Irish potatoes and turnips. Winter gardening in Texas produces other vegetables as well. In the winter, onions, beets, radishes, lettuce and asparagus grow well in Texas. Winter is also the second growing season for the fall vegetables.
It is easy to see that a continuous supply of vegetables is growing in Texas. Large, small or container gardening do equally well. Determining what to grow will determine how large the garden should be. It is important to have adequate space between different types of plants due to cross-pollination and/or size. For example, planting tomatoes too close to jalapeño peppers may produce a hot tomato. Some may not believe this, but it has happened according to many old-time gardeners. Corn, for instance, needs adequate space to grow large. Additional consideration for space is watermelon, cantaloupe and cucumbers. A large space on the opposite end of the garden area is desirable for these plants because they are vine-creating plants. They will create runners that the fruit grows from and can encompass up to 5 feet.