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Many think that all types of vegetables are suitable for planting in the spring or summer. But in fact, they have different growing conditions and preferences according to the characteristics of the vegetable. Therefore, it is crucial to know when to plant vegetables in North Texas before you decide to grow them in your vegetable garden.
Besides knowing when to plant vegetables in North Texas, you also need to know what the garden zone of North Texas is. It is because different parts of the state of Texas have different temperatures that may affect the soil temperature, growth of your veggies, and to determine the planting dates.
Hence, bear with us and read this gardening guide to the end to find out when to plant vegetables in North Texas. Let’s dive in!
When Can You Start Planting Vegetables In Texas?
Planting dates for vegetables in North Texas highly depends on the types of vegetables, whether they are warm-season vegetables or cool-season ones.
In addition, the garden zone also influences the decision of planting your vegetables. It is very important to determine when to plant vegetables in North Texas to obtain an abundant and the best harvest.
Spring is like breathing the fresh air because life seems to be dormant during the winter months, including the life of vegetable plants. Even though there are some hardy cold vegetables, most vegetables can’t tolerate cold winter temperatures that make them freeze.
In North Texas, the lowest temperature in early spring is around 7-20’C and will continue to get warm until it reaches 17-28’C in the late spring (around May). Those temperatures are preferable for warm-season vegetables, such as asparagus, beetroot, broad beans, leeks, onions, peas, and parsnips to grow outdoors.
Meanwhile, suppose you prefer to seed vegetables indoors. In that case, you can buy pumpkins, cucumber, and tomato seeds and grow them indoors until April, when they are ready to grow in your vegetable garden.
Furthermore, before you are too excited to grow your favorite vegetables, you must prepare their growing requirements to ensure they can thrive and produce a bountiful harvest.
- Make sure you know the characteristics of your soil. If you have sandy soil, add fertilizer to increase its organic matter.
- If your soil is heavy clay soil, postpone the outdoor soil to April to allow them to set and get warmer. It usually happens in cooler regions like North Texas.
Despite the hot weather, summer months are preferable to growing warm-weather vegetables as they can have their favorite growing conditions, such as more prolonged sun exposure, humid air, and warm temperatures.
Some warm-weather vegetables to grow in the hot summer in North Texas include cucumbers, eggplant, hot peppers, okra, and zucchini.
However, summer temperatures in Texas which generally range from 21 to 35’C, can be much hotter due to climate change that triggers a heat wave. With such temperatures, your vegetables may experience heat damage, such as wilting and yellowing of leaves, dryness, and eventually death.
But, don’t worry! We have some planting tips for you to prevent heat damage to your vegetables. Check them out below!
- Regular watering may be necessary, especially during the heat waves
- Providing shade by installing a cloth cover is recommended for leafy plants as the heat may scorch the leaves
- Mulching will be beneficial to prevent excessive water evaporation from the soil
Generally, fall gardening will offer you either winter or spring harvest you can enjoy through the seasons. Early fall, particularly September, is the most ideal time to sow the seeds of hardy salads, such as lettuce, mustard greens, and arugula, as the soil temperature is still pretty warm and not frozen yet.
Moreover, you can harvest these crops in November while preparing a few fall vegetables, for example, broad beans, broccoli, garlic, greens, and squash, and also some root vegetables like beet and green onion to grow in your fall garden.
In the case of board beans, some early varieties can grow in October soil for spring harvest. Besides, garlic is also the one you will love to plant in the fall as the temperatures are favorable to stimulate their new development.
- Avoid waterlogged soil for your garlic plants as they can easily rot under the circumstances
- Ensure good drainage before starting to plant your veggies in the fall
Even though it is not common to grow vegetables in the North Texas winter months, some cold-season vegetables can cope well with the temperatures.
In December when temperatures are still around 5-14’C, you can still grow fall garlic varieties, but later, it is not possible. This month offers the garlic well-draining soil for them to thrive since they do not prefer wet ones.
Besides the garlic, winter salads like lambs and winter gem lettuce, mustard greens, and mizuna can be grown outside in December.
However, you must provide a greenhouse or cold frame to prevent frost damage to these veggies. Additionally, winter is also a perfect time to prepare the soil for the next growing season.
- Choose winter-hardy vegetables to plant since not all vegetables tolerate low temperatures
- Provide a cold frame or heated greenhouse, especially if the temperatures drop rapidly
The Best Month To Plant Vegetables
After talking about when to plant vegetables in North Texas, now the question is: which one is the best month to plant vegetables? The answer is Spring, particularly from March to April!
The reason is simply that spring offers warm temperatures when the soil gets warmer after the last frost melts, ready to begin your vegetable gardening.
During this time, you can start preparing your garden beds by loosening the soil and applying fertilizer if your soil lacks organic matter. This preparation is beneficial to allow a new cycle of the soil before sowing some annual vegetable seeds.
Some vegetables you plant outdoors this month are carrots, cauliflower, kale, spinach, and parsnip outside. Meanwhile, tomatoes, eggplant, and peppers will seed indoors and remain under cover until April when the weather is better for them to bloom.
In addition to March, growing vegetables in April will be the best decision to have healthy and happy plants, offering you a full-swing of gardening experience. April provides warm weather and the optimum temperature for the veggies to thrive, around 12-24’C.
Furthermore, it is an ideal time to grow some cold-hardy vegetables outdoors, like broccoli, carrots, cabbage, swiss chard, and potatoes. You can also sow seeds of zucchini and sweetcorn indoors before transferring them into the soil beds in May.
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FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
What garden zone is North Texas?
According to the USDA planting map, the garden zone in North Texas is 6B with cold temperatures in comparison to the rest of the state that is soaking in warm temperatures.
Why you must know the vegetable planting schedule?
Knowing the best timing and schedule for vegetable planting is crucial because it can guide you in determining what plants to grow and when you have to buy the seeds to sow.
The vegetable calendar also helps you to have sufficient harvest as they meet their preferable growing conditions. In addition, you will know when to rotate the patch to alternate from one vegetable to another.
What vegetables will come back every year?
Vegetables that come back every year are called perennial vegetables. Some examples of perennial vegetables you can grow are asparagus, Jerusalem artichokes, globe artichokes, horseradish, and lovage.
Should I cut back my vegetables for winter?
Even though some vegetables may survive the frost date, it is necessary to cut back the vegetables in the winter especially the tender ones as they do not tolerate frozen temperatures.