Wondering when to plant spring vegetables in Texas? Just go between February and March, when the temperatures start rising and the ground melts. But it turns out it’s more than just the weather and temperatures you need to pay attention to when planting crops in this Texas vegetable season. You should also consider what spring vegetables to plant in Texas, how to prepare the garden before planting, and how to care for them.
In addition, checking the Texas vegetable planting calendar and Texas climates is also an essential part of ensuring successful veggie gardening. Therefore, we will include a Texas spring vegetable planting guide in this article to broaden your insights about crop gardening in the state. Moreover, a list of top vegetables to plant in Texas during spring and the best spring veggies for Texas container gardening is also available.
But before we jump into the sections, we would love to introduce you to the benefits of spring vegetable planting below!
Table of Contents
- Spring Planting In Texas
- Benefits of Planting Spring Vegetables
- Climate Considerations for Texas Gardeners
- Top Spring Vegetables for Texas
- 1. Artichokes (Cynara Cardunculus)
- 2. Asparagus (Asparagus Officinalis)
- 3. Beetroot (Beta Vulgaris)
- 4. Bell Pepper (Capsicum Annuum)
- 5. Broccoli (Brassica Oleracea var. Italica)
- 6. Carrot (Daucus Carota)
- 7. Eggplant (Solanum Melongena)
- 8. Kale (Brassica Oleracea var. Sabellica)
- 9. Onion (Allium Cepa)
- 10. Okra (Abelmoschus Esculentus)
- 11. Swiss Chard (Beta Vulgaris subsp. Cicla)
- 12. Tomatoes (Solanum Lycopersicum)
- Tips for Planting and Caring Your Spring Vegetables
- Common Issues with Spring Vegetables Gardening in Texas
- Final Thoughts
- FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
Spring Planting In Texas
In Texas, spring refers to the Texas vegetable season, where the practice includes sowing and transplanting plants, vegetables, or fruits during this season. Generally, the best time to start spring planting in Texas is late February to early May. During this timeframe, the soil garden starts to get warmer while the humidity begins to rise.
Such conditions are favorable to germinate the seeds and encourage root development. In addition, spring also offers longer daylight hours with gentle exposure to promote healthier plant growth, allowing hearty spring vegetables for the Texas climate.
Generally, Spring temperatures in Texas range from 60°F to 80°F with cooler night temperatures. However, these conditions vary depending on geographical regions knowing Texas has diverse microclimates.
Furthermore, Texas falls within USDA Hardiness Zones 6 to 9. Nonetheless, some areas extend to Zone 10. These zones map helps determine what kind of hearty spring vegetables are for the Texas climate since each has different specific growing conditions.
In addition, it also shows the lowest temperature in winter, allowing you to prepare to offer shelter to your plants. We also recommend following the Texas spring vegetable planting guide and schedule from the local nursery or authority to ensure successful planting. This is crucial considering Texas has four main climate regions, which affect the types of crops that can survive the growing conditions.
Benefits of Planting Spring Vegetables
There are many benefits of sowing organic spring vegetable seeds for Texas gardens in spring. One of them is mild temperatures. Spring benefits from its cool temperatures, ranging from 60°F to 80°F, with an average humidity of around 40 to 80%. This figure fluctuates when the night is usually colder and more humid.
Such conditions are preferable for top vegetables to plant in Texas during spring because they stimulate better vigorous growth and more robust root development. Healthier growth will lead to better yields, which, of course, benefits gardeners.
Additionally, spring planting also allows abundant harvest because they plant the veggies early in the season. Thus, the maturity stage is pretty shorter, while the growing period is more extended before summer hits. This practice is excellent for those living in hot climates with scorching summers.
In addition, the season gives you plenty of unique vegetable varieties for Texas spring planting, such as watermelon radish, purple hull peas, and Texas bird pepper. While planting vegetables in spring is generally more resistant to pest attack, we recommend growing spring vegetable companion planting for Texas as a preventive measure against pests and plant diseases.
Climate Considerations for Texas Gardeners
One of the important things that must be included in the Texas spring vegetable planting guide is climate considerations. This is crucial since not all types of vegetables can survive extreme conditions of heat or cold and temperature fluctuations that can hinder their growth. Besides, each region has varying weather conditions.
Here are the key points about climates in the state you need to consider before sowing organic spring vegetable seeds for Texas gardens:
- Heat. Talking about Texas, we can’t deny that the state has extreme temperatures in the summer, reaching over 90°F. Meanwhile, spring temperatures also fluctuate between 40°F and 80°F by the end of the season. Usually, such high temperatures will usually be followed by dry conditions due to lower humidity. Therefore, choosing drought-tolerant spring vegetables for Texas gardens is wiser if you don’t want to bother with their upkeep.
- Humidity. Even though Texas is popular with its dry climates, some regions have higher humidity levels, like Corpus Christi and Houston. While humid air is preferable to retain soil moisture, such a condition makes the vegetables prone to pests and diseases. Hence, one of the Texas-specific spring vegetable planting tips you can try is choosing disease and pest-resistant crops to grow. Also, provide proper air circulation if you grow them in a greenhouse. In addition, allow the topsoil to dry before adding more water to prevent root rot.
- Frost. Like summer heat, Texas also experiences freezing temperatures in early spring and winter, particularly in the western and northern parts. Hence, protecting plants is vital to ensure they thrive against frost. You can apply row covers or cold frames to minimize frost damage. Also, one of the helpful Texas-specific spring vegetable planting tips is to grow cold-hardy crops like kale, carrots, and spinach.
- Diverse vegetable season. Due to its regional variations, Texas has diverse spring vegetable growing seasons. Therefore, it is better to opt for a spring planting guide in Texas from local extension offices to learn about the best times to sow the seeds. You must also check the crops calendar to determine which unique vegetable varieties are for Texas spring planting. Consider spring vegetable companion planting for Texas to deter pests naturally from your garden during this season.
Top Spring Vegetables for Texas
After you know the various benefits of spring planting in Texas, it’s time to discover the best spring vegetables for Texas gardens. Some are cold-season veggies, while the rest are hearty warm-season crops you can try growing in Texas climates.
But don’t worry! All of them are nutritious and tasty to add to your everyday meals. Let’s have a look!
1. Artichokes (Cynara Cardunculus)
Cynara cardunculus, or Artichokes, is one of the hearty spring vegetables to plant in Texas you should try growing. It is also a popular crop in Mediterranean cuisines, especially in France and Italy. People generally include this veggie in dips and salads to add a refreshing taste.
This perennial plant has an edible part, the unique and large flower buds that are purplish. Meanwhile, the outer part, shaped like a flower petal, features silver-green color atop 3 to 4 feet of emerging spikes.
Furthermore, Artichokes prefer total sun exposure to perform well, yet tolerate partial shade pretty well. It also favors loamy soil with light, moist, but well-drained conditions. The soil pH must also be in the range of 6.0 to 7.5 to ensure they are thriving.
To conserve soil moisture, you need to set a regular watering schedule, once every 3 to 4 days. Water the ground deeply, around 2 inches. This moisture helps produce tender buds. Cut off spent flower heads and provide nitrogen-rich fertilizers to stimulate dense growth.
2. Asparagus (Asparagus Officinalis)
At first glance, Asparagus or Asparagus officinalis leaves look like ferns still closed with feathery textures. However, it is a perennial vegetable that is a crowd favorite for its tasty and delicate shoots.
This one of the best spring vegetables to plant in Texas is widely used in various dishes, including Asian, Mediterranean, and American. It is usually sauteed with garlic, meat, or chicken. In Japan, people typically add asparagus to their sushi rolls, while Americans love to roast them with olive oil, salt, and pepper.
Luckily, their upkeep is relatively easy. This crop thrives in full sunlight with a temperature of 60°F to 85°F but greatly tolerates partial shade. It performs well in loamy, moist, well-drained soils with a pH of 6.0 to 7.5. Knowing it requires moist soil, it is better to offer weekly watering, around 1-2 inches per week. You can also deep water the veggie and mist Asparagus rows to retain moisture occasionally.
In addition, adding mulch is a great idea to lock soil humidity, suppress weed growth, and infuse the soil with organic matter. Remember not to overharvest in the early years to allow strong root development.
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3. Beetroot (Beta Vulgaris)
One of the recommended spring vegetables to plant in a Texas garden is Beetroot. This root vegetable, which has the Latin name Beta vulgaris, is well-known for its bright magenta color and earthy taste. The roots are similar in shape to carrots but more rounded, with leafy green tops and hot pink stalks.
In Eastern Europe, especially Poland, Beetroot is the main ingredient in Polish Borscht, a traditional Beetroot soup with sour cream and dill. Meanwhile, Americans used to make pickled beets to include in their sandwiches and salads.
Just like other spring vegetables in Texas, Beetroot likes full sun exposure but deals with partial shade well. It favors cool temperatures around 50°F to 75°F with moist loamy soil conditions. The soil pH should also be in the 6.0 to 7.5 range to ensure they grow abundantly and healthily.
Since it needs humid soil, weekly watering of around an inch is necessary. Also, cover the ground with mulch to lock in moisture, especially during dry spells. In addition, fertilization may be required to offer additional nutrients.
4. Bell Pepper (Capsicum Annuum)
Suppose you are a spicy lover but are not interested in growing Jalapenos. In that case, Bell Pepper can be a solution to infuse a spicy taste in your meals. Bell Pepper or Capsicum annuum is one of the well-known spring vegetables to plant in Texas that features bright red, yellow, or green colors, depending on the varieties.
It has a unique shape, like a cube made of four lobes. Because of its crunchy texture with a sweet and slightly spicy taste, Bell Pepper is commonly used in various cuisines worldwide, such as Thai curry, Spanish paella, American-style pepper steak, and Fajitas.
Unlike asparagus, which cannot be harvested in the early years, regular collecting actually promotes abundant bell pepper production. However, you must fulfill its growing requirements, including 6 to 8 hours of full sun exposure. In addition, this warm-season crop also prefers temperatures around 70°F to 85°F.
Regarding the soil, provide sandy or loamy, fertile, moist, well-drained soil to ensure Bell Pepper performs well. Set regular watering, about one or two inches weekly to retain soil moisture. To stimulate healthy growth, stack trellises as support and provides the proper spacing between plants to prevent overcrowding.
5. Broccoli (Brassica Oleracea var. Italica)
This veggie is not an uncommon Texas spring vegetable to grow in your garden. Broccoli, or Brassica oleracea, is a cool-season vegetable that likes cold temperatures but adapts well to the spring weather in Texas. The cruciferous vegetable features deep green, small florets on the central head, which looks like a mini tree.
While the florets are delicate, the stalks are crunchy when cooked. Because of its unique texture, Broccoli is used in diverse, authentic cuisines around the world, one of which is Broccoli Casserole, a traditional American side dish.
If you want to experience harvesting your food, you can plant Broccoli in your backyard. But first, ensure the growing area obtains full sun exposure to promote healthy growth. Also, check the soil conditions. Broccoli prefers fertile, well-drained, moist, sandy loam soil with a pH of approximately 6.0 to 7.5 to thrive.
In addition, the temperatures must be within 60°F to 70°F. To provide such conditions, you can offer 1-1.5 inches of watering per week so that the soil is consistently humid. You may also need to mulch, remove weeds, and give proper spacing to prevent pest invasion and spreading disease.
6. Carrot (Daucus Carota)
Daucus carota, or Carrot, is generally well-known for its dense vitamin A content to maintain healthy vision. Similar to Beetroot, Carrot is an uncommon Texas spring vegetable to grow in your garden. This root vegetable highlights its vibrant orange color with an earthy, sweet flavor and crunchy texture.
In American cuisines, Carrot is popular to add in veggie salad by shredding the veggie. Some also make it a delicious carrot cake dessert which is the best alternative for kids who don’t like vegetables.
To get beautiful colors and ensure higher yields, you need to set an area with at least 6 to 8 hours of full sun exposure to grow Carrot. This earthy veggie also favors sandy loam, fertile, well-drained soil with a pH of 6.0 to 7.0. Also, the temperatures must be around 65°F to 75°F to perform best.
In addition, the key to ensuring Carrot grows well is providing proper spacing. You can start it when you start sowing the seeds or transplanting the seedlings. Besides that, mulching is helpful for inhibiting weeds and locking soil moisture.
7. Eggplant (Solanum Melongena)
Solanum melongena, or Eggplant, belongs to the nightshade family. It has deep purple skin with a flesh texture similar to a firm zucchini, a bit spongy, but will be tender when cooked. This texture makes Eggplant often included in various American dishes. Some of the most popular is Eggplant Parmesan, where you cook the Eggplant with parmesan cheese and grill them. Also, remember the famous Ratatouille? Eggplant is one of the main ingredients in that special dish featured in the movie with the same name.
Like other spring vegetables to plant in Texas, Eggplant also likes sunlight. You must ensure that the planting area receives 6 to 8 hours of sun exposure daily. In addition, the temperatures of your growing location must also be monitored within 70°F to 85°F.
As for the soil type, this nightshade veggie prefers organic, rich, moist, well-drained, sandy soil with a pH of 5.5 to 7.0 to thrive. Therefore, applying 1-2 inches deep weekly watering is crucial to maintaining soil moisture. In addition, pruning is necessary to encourage branches, control pests and promote healthy growth.
8. Kale (Brassica Oleracea var. Sabellica)
Belonging to the same family as Broccoli, Kale, or Brassica oleracea var. Sabellica is a leafy vegetable with dark green leaves that have wavy edges to curly. This feature sets it aside from other leafy veggies from the same family.
If it’s your first time trying Kale, you will be surprised by its slightly bitter taste. However, you can cover it up by adding it to your vegetable smoothies with apples and bananas. Besides that, you can saute Kale with garlic and animal-based protein, like meat or chicken.
Furthermore, Kale likes cool temperatures between 60°F to 75°F but with full sun exposure. This veggie also favors organically rich, loamy, moist, well-drained soil with a pH of around 6.0 to 7.5 to perform well.
If you want to get higher yields, you can add balanced fertilizer. But remember to provide weekly watering of around 1 to 1.5 inches to maximize nutrient absorption and conserve soil moisture. Regular weeding and mulching are also important to inhibit weed growth, nourish the soil, and protect soil from soil-borne pests and diseases.
9. Onion (Allium Cepa)
Onion or Allium cepa is one of the underutilized Texas spring vegetable options for growing in the home garden. Most people will prefer to plant leafy greens, beans, or root vegetables because they are easier to maintain.
Depending on the variety, this bulbous vegetable has a characteristic red, white, or yellow color with a distinctive aroma and pungent taste. However, onions are an important veggie to strengthen the taste of dishes. No wonder this veggie is almost always added to soups, stews, and even burgers!
Unlike other spring vegetables to plant in Texas, which tolerate partial shade, Onion prefers 6 to 8 hours of full sun exposure to stimulate higher yields. It also loves quite cool temperatures between 55°F to 75°F. Regarding the soil type, Onion prefers crumbly, loamy, moist, well-drained soil with a pH of 5.5 to 7.0 for best performance.
If there’s no rain, weekly watering is required to ensure constantly moist soil. But remember, due to its shallow roots, don’t overwater because onions are prone to root rot. In addition, Onion benefits from fertilizing, especially balanced on nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus. Give it once every two to three weeks after planting.
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10. Okra (Abelmoschus Esculentus)
Despite being a warm-season vegetable, Okra or Abelmoschus esculentus grows well in Texas spring weather. This vegetable features a unique elongated shape with a slightly fuzzy texture to the skin. It also has distinct, slimy, or goey textures caused by the soluble fiber content.
Some people find it a bit bothersome, while others enjoy this mouthfeel. Moreover, the taste of this crop is not as awkward as the texture, highlighting the sweet and grassy flavor. People usually include Okra in stews or make fried Okra to cover the odd texture.
If you are interested in raising Okra in your Texas gardens, you must incorporate your soil with fertilization and mulch if it lacks organic matter. Also, make sure that the soil is moist and well-drained to support the growth. You can offer 1 to 1.5 inches of water every week to retain moisture.
Apart from paying attention to soil conditions, you must prepare a site with at least 6 to 8 hours of sun exposure per day. The temperature must also be between 75°F to 90°F. In addition, regular harvest is necessary to promote abundant yields and control pests (aphids).
11. Swiss Chard (Beta Vulgaris subsp. Cicla)
This veggie is one of the popular spring vegetables to plant in Texas because the maintenance is relatively easy. Swiss Chard or Beta vulgaris subsp. Cicla is a leafy vegetable that has large, glossy deep green leaves. Interestingly, Swiss Chard’s stems are the vegetable’s most prominent feature, bearing a vibrant magenta to red color that creates beautiful contrast to its leaves.
However, this characteristic becomes natural because this cool-season crop belongs to the same family as beetroot. And since it tastes similar to spinach, people usually add Swiss Chard to soups and quiches.
As we mentioned earlier, Swiss Chard can handle simple upkeep. You just need to ensure the veggie gets full sun to partial shade for the light requirements. In addition, this leafy crop also does best in temperatures between 50°F to 75°F, with slightly acidic to neutral soil (pH 6.0 to 7.5).
In addition, the soil must be rich, constantly moist, fertile, and well-drained. Hence, you better water the veggie weekly around 2 inches. To maintain healthy growth, harvest the outer layers of the leaves regularly.
12. Tomatoes (Solanum Lycopersicum)
Last but not least, we have Tomatoes! Tomatoes belong to the same nightshade family as Eggplant. This fruit-bearing crop produces vibrant orange or red fruits, which are a favorite of many. Even though it looks like fruit, Tomatoes refer to vegetables in the culinary world.
Depending on varieties, Tomatoes have various sizes, colors, and types that you can choose according to preference. Due to their tasty, sweet flavor, Tomatoes are often eaten fresh with salads or cooked into salsa and sauce.
Many think that growing Tomatoes in Texas is a nightmare because of the state’s scorching temperatures. In fact, Tomatoes withstand temperatures between 70°F to 85°F and thrive under full sun exposure for 6 to 8 hours daily.
However, they need regular watering in the morning during their growing season. Increase the watering schedule to twice a day during dry spells and hot temperatures. In addition to watering, tomatoes prefer moist, fertile, well-drained soil with a pH of 6.0 to 7.0. You must also feed tomatoes with a balanced fertilizer to support their growth.
Tips for Planting and Caring Your Spring Vegetables
Spring garden tips for Texas vegetables are not far from paying attention to their maintenance and growing conditions. As long as you take good care of them, fulfill their needs, consider climates, and plant calendars, you are off to go! But if you still need spring garden tips for Texas vegetables to ensure they thrive well, planting time is one of the most critical points.
Timing is the key! You should start sowing the seeds right after the last frost, between late February and early March, when the soil begins melting. We recommend growing cold-season veggies, like lettuce and broccoli, because temperatures are still fluctuating and predominantly cold temperatures.
In the meantime, you can also prepare the land by removing weeds and adding organic matter to infuse nutrients into the soil. Consider applying compost and manure to improve soil structure and fertility. If you want to go further, try soil testing to learn more about soil conditions. That way, you can provide what is needed.
To prevent weeds from growing invasively, mulching is one of the best ways to get into the spring planting guide in Texas. This method will suppress weed growth while at the same time locking the moisture in the soil. Also, mulching is beneficial for enhancing soil nutrients and fertility.
Besides, mulch layers are a natural barrier against soil-borne diseases and pests. In addition to mulching, you can grow companion planting or use neem oil as a natural insecticide to deter pests from your Texas gardens.
Common Issues with Spring Vegetables Gardening in Texas
The problems that circulate spring vegetable gardening in Texas are generally related to extreme weather. Texas is a state with an extensive area coverage. Thus, the climate conditions are varied and unpredictable. Spring, which should have cool temperatures, suddenly rises dramatically to summer temperatures.
Of course, this harms vegetable plants that may experience heat shock, especially cold-season crops. In general, the leaves will wilt and experience discoloration. This condition also inhibits flowering and fruiting, resulting in yield loss.
To overcome this issue, you can apply mulch to retain soil moisture. Remember to water your plants deeply, particularly during dry spells. You can also offer row covers to prevent scorching sun exposure to your vegetables. In addition, opting for drought-resistant spring vegetables for Texas gardens can be a suitable alternative to reduce maintenance.
Apart from climates, soil conditions are also challenging for spring vegetable planting in Texas. Soil types in the state vary widely, from sandy and loam to clay and silty, which are famous for lacking organic matter. In fact, organic matter is vital to provide nutrients and enhance soil structure that supports vegetable growth.
You can add fertilizers, like compost and manure, to solve this problem. Alternatively, peat moss also works excellently to import soil drainage. Additionally, we recommend conducting a soil examination to determine your soil’s condition before planting.
There are several underutilized Texas spring vegetable options to grow, including Okra and Onion. Meanwhile, the rest are popular spring vegetables in Texas, such as Kale, Tomatoes, Eggplant, Carrot, and Bell Pepper. However, on average, all of these vegetables require full sun exposure to partial shade to thrive. They also need moist, well-drained soil to encourage robust root development and lock soil moisture.
To sum up, the key to ensuring spring vegetables’ healthy growth and abundant harvest is proper upkeep and care, including fertilizing, controlling pests and diseases, watering, and checking soil conditions prior to planting.
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FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
What types of soil are best for growing spring vegetables in Texas?
Growing spring vegetables in Texas can actually use various soil types depending on what kind of Texas spring vegetables you want to plant. However, several best soils are generally used to grow seasonal vegetables for Texas gardens, such as sandy loam soil, clay soil with organic matter, and silty soil.
Sandy loam soil has great properties for growing Texas garden vegetables, including lettuce and carrots, since the soil is loose, well-drained, and has good drainage. Due to excellent drainage, such features also allow better root development for the Texas spring gardens. Thus, they can absorb water and nutrients properly.
Besides sandy loam soil, clay soil with organic amendments is also great for growing Texas garden vegetables. Some of the recommended spring vegetables for the Texas garden that are suitable for this soil are tomatoes and bell peppers. These two Texas vegetable gardens benefit from nutrient content and water retention from the compost or manure added to the clay. The organic matter boosts soil nutrients for Texas vegetable garden growth and improves water retention.
In addition, silty soil can be an alternative to raising the best spring greens for Texas gardens. It is a combination of clay, sand, and sand. Some things you can grow here include Swiss chard, spinach, and cucumbers. Silty soil can retain nutrients and moisture, ensuring an ideal environment to boost their growth.
Can you grow spring vegetables in containers in Texas?
Instead of planting spring crops in a Texas garden, you can try growing spring vegetables in Texas using containers. In fact, container gardening is an excellent option for those who consider Texas vegetable planting but only have limited outdoor space.
This practice also allows you to move the pots in case you are dealing with pests, diseases, or extreme weather. In addition, you may easily adjust the temperature and growing conditions and control the soil. Some of the best spring veggies for Texas container gardening you can plant are tomatoes, peppers, and lettuce.
When should you start a spring garden in Texas?
Suppose you are wondering when to plant spring vegetables in Texas. In that case, you can start preparing your spring vegetable garden in Texas from late February to early March. During this timeframe, the frozen ground will start to melt away and get warmer. Hence, you can start planting them with the best spring veggies for Texas gardens.
Nonetheless, we recommend checking the Texas vegetable planting calendar because each spring crop in Texas has different planting conditions, including temperatures. It is also important to take a look at the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone map because each state has a different Texas vegetable planting area.
How often should you water your Spring vegetables in Texas?
One of the challenges of planting spring veggies in Texas is the climate. The general spring temperature ranges from 60°F to 70°F, according to weather service data. Thus, a spring vegetable garden in Texas requires regular watering.
You can offer one inch of watering per week during typical spring days. Nonetheless, we recommend adding more, around once per 2 to 3 days when the weather gets drier and hotter, to ensure successful spring planting in Texas.
But remember to avoid overwatering to avoid root rot. In addition, you can try growing heat-tolerant vegetables for spring planting in Texas that generally need less water, such as okra, sweet potatoes, and Malabar spinach, than other spring vegetables in Texas.
Is Texas too hot for tomatoes?
Texas can indeed get so hot in the spring and summer. However, such weather is favorable within the conditions of the tomatoes. Tomatoes are warm-season crops and recommended spring vegetables for Texas gardens. They thrive in temperatures between 70°F to 85°F to optimally produce fruits and enhance their growth. Some tomato cultivars even perform great in hot temperatures.
Some examples of tomato cultivars that belong to heat-tolerant vegetables for spring planting in Texas are ‘Solar Fire’, ‘Phoenix’, and ‘Heatwave II’. However, proper care is necessary, despite the fact they are hardy seasonal vegetables for Texas gardens. You must mulch the soil to retain moisture, especially during hot weather where excessive evaporation occurs. Also, consider providing afternoon shade to avoid heat damage to your tomato plants by using a shade cloth.