Gardening is just one delicious and eco-sustainable way to enhance your landscaping. It may only be April, but savvy South Texas gardeners know that this is the best time to start planning your garden because spring is, well, here!
If you’re a first time gardener, be aware there are a lot of factors which determine the success of your plants – your soil, sun and shade, plant food, and the type of plants you’re trying to grow. While it’s always good to consult with the nursery where you purchase your plants or seeds, you should also do your own research to ensure you’re giving your plants the right amount of water and sunlight.
Not all plants do well in the heat, which is why planting early, after any potential frosts, is a good way to go. In Texas, we’re able to plant in both the spring and fall because of our long summers.
Picking a spot for your garden that offers the right amount of shade but can also be seen from the house is important. What’s the point of planting the garden if you can’t enjoy it, right? Also take into consideration when the sun hits your site. Afternoon sun will be hotter and more drying than morning sun.
Most vegetable plants flower, adding an extra aesthetic beauty to your yard. You can even identify which ones have just the right color palette, and if you don’t find what you’re looking for you can always intermingle non-edible plants with your vegetable garden to give it that extra flair.
A few extra tips to help with your new garden:
- Plant a little extra for the animals. Even if you plant deer-resistant plants and spray the heck out of your garden, it’s almost impossible to avoid having some of them eaten. Of course, planting an organic garden will be even more challenging (although certainly well worth the effort!), so planting a little extra will avoid future frustrations.
- Tomatoes need calcium to achieve their full flavor potential, which is something often lacking in our soils. To supplement, you can use dry egg shells. When planting your tomatoes, add about 4 or 5 egg shells crushed to a powder in the bottom of the hole before planting. This will provide all the calcium they need and prevent blossom end rot.
- There are some veggies you only need to buy once and they’ll continue to grow indefinitely. By using the scraps of certain vegetables, you can regrow to your heart’s content. These include scallions, carrots, bok choy, garlic, celery, basil, cilantro and romaine lettuce.
If you want to dig a little deeper, check out Dough Welsh’s Texas Garden Almanac and Cheryl Hazeltine’s Central Texas Gardener. You can find both of these books at our San Antonio public library.
Of course, if all of this just seems too overwhelming, you can also choose to grow hydroponically and do away with concerns over weather, bugs and even dirt!
For assistance on planning and building your next stunning custom home and garden, please call us at 210-494-5400.