Growing a garden and getting your hands dirty can be a very rewarding hobby. You can grow decorative plants like a juniper shrub, a hydrangea bush, or drought-tolerant grasses like fescue to make creative landscapes. Or you can tend to a functional at-home garden that produces vegetables and fruits from winter to summer.
Here in Texas, we’re fortunate to experience warm weather all year round, but seasonality still plays a role in growing a successful garden. As a community founded around a rich family farming heritage, the property experts and residents of Harvest by Hillwood know a thing or two about modern agriculture and cultivating gardens in their own backyards. Harvest offers residents the opportunity to grow fresh foods in their own spaces, and there is even an on-site farmer who hosts gardening classes and tends to all the parks’ vegetable and flower gardens.
If you aren’t sure where to begin or which plants and veggies can survive the Texas heat, check out our tips for planting the perfect Texas garden to fit all your growing needs.
Whether you want to grow vegetables or your favorite flowers, there are a few things you should consider before planting seeds. Variables like climate, available space, and timing will all determine the type of garden you can maintain.
Veggies like peas and cucumbers thrive in cooler temperatures and may have difficulty growing in the Texas heat. Whereas some of the best vegetables to grow in Texas are heat- and humidity-tolerant like artichoke, carrots and okra. Find a spot on your property where your veggies or flowers will get the right amount of sun exposure and start plotting your garden beds.
For the residents of Harvest, every home is equipped with bountiful yard space to plant all of the wonderful summer vegetables of Texas in a vegetable garden as well as beds of perennials in flowering gardens you can enjoy every spring. You can reserve a private plot in our community garden to farm alongside your neighbors and get tips for sustaining a proper Texas garden through every season.
Fall is the season most people associate with farming and gardening, but growing plants and veggies in autumn requires a different approach than spring and summer. To get started planting a fall vegetable garden in Texas, it’s important to plant seeds at the right time: 12-14 weeks before the first frost, in late September or even October.
But which vegetables can grow in Texas in late autumn? For the residents of the Harvest community, living outside of the Dallas-Fort Worth area in Northeast Texas, the average low temperature reaches 58°F in the fall. That means, when you plant seeds 12-14 weeks prior to autumn frost, the vegetables should be able to survive and grow when temperatures dip into the 50s.
Beets, lettuce, mustard greens, radish, and carrots are all frost-tolerant veggies that can survive temperatures as low as 32°F and will do nicely in a fall vegetable garden in Texas. Once you plant your seeds, they need to be watered daily for two weeks until the roots are mature enough to support plant growth. Your fall veggies should thrive in the Texas heat and produce a bountiful harvest in the Fall.
Like fall veggies, winter vegetables in Texas need to be cold-hardy, able to withstand temperatures in the 50s and even 40s. Radish, spinach, swiss chard, and carrots are all cold weather tolerant veggies that will do well in a winter garden providing your family with fresh produce.
But while the selection of vegetables able to grow in Texas in the winter may not be that diverse, winter is a great time to prepare soil and seedlings for spring. Prepare your Texas garden for warmer weather by testing water capacity, texture, and density of your garden plot. Your winter garden is the perfect place to fine tune your soil and prepare it for the warmer months to come.
You can also study growing patterns of seedlings by planting them in mason jars in doors and determining the ample amount of water and sunlight for the vegetables you plan to grow in your garden in spring and summer.
Taking time in the winter to prepare for the upcoming seasons will help your Texas garden’s yield come spring and summer. To kick off late-season gardening, start by gauging your soil’s quality as well as the health of any remaining winter crops.
Texas winter vegetables like turnips, lettuce, and peas, typically, don’t thrive in warm temperatures. You can safely remove those plants from your garden and add two inches of compost or manure to replenish the soil. After the garden has been cleared and refreshed, spring and summer vegetables in Texas should be planted after the final frost of the seasons which occurs in early March.
Unlike winter crops, the selection of the best vegetables to grow in Texas in the summer is much more diverse! You can enjoy planting cucumbers, eggplant, peppers, okra, squash, and even corn (space permitting) in your summer vegetable garden. Plant the seeds after the last frost, then water daily for two weeks. Once your Texas summer vegetables start to grow, trim away withering and overgrown plants frequently to keep your garden healthy.
Spending time in your Texas garden, caring for plants with friends and family by your side, is an incredibly rewarding experience. To find out more about the Harvest community, available homes, or our work with the North Texas Food Bank, head over to Harvest by Hillwood for more information. We can’t wait to hear from you!