Growing Food in Texas GardensJul 28th, 2012 | By Cecilia | Category: show tips, the show
We have a slogan here in the Lone Star State: Texas — It’s like a whole other country.®.
In fact, it’s like a bunch of different countries with different climates and soils conditions all stitched together. Is it any wonder, then, when it comes to offering a statewide perspective on growing fruit and vegetable crops that what works in Dumas, up in Texas’ Panhandle, just won’t fly in Brownsville, down in the Rio Grande Valley?
So what’s a food gardener to do?
If you want to get started growing fruits, vegetables and herbs where you live — visit someone who is already doing it successfully. These folks have experienced the tough Texas learning curve, and can help you steer clear of any hazards where you live.
Check in with a nearby botanic garden or Master Gardener program to see if they have a demonstration plot. You can see what grows well in your area, and ask questions of the folks who maintain the space. You can also inquire about continuing education classes on growing food in your area. With interest in growing food in the home garden on the rise, it’s easier than ever to find classes to help you get started.
Books such as Greg Grant’s Texas Fruit & Vegetable Gardening: Plant, Grow, and Eat the Best Edibles for Texas Gardens will give you a great start. It is a book for Texas gardeners written by a lifelong Texas gardener (who also happens to be an award-winning professional horticulturist). He outlines the 60 fruits, vegetables and herbs that grow in the state with simple to understand instructions on how to have a successful, productive food garden.
Choose varieties that work in your area. You can find out which those are by asking current food gardeners what work in their plots, and by contacting your local AgriLife Extension office. The Extension service has knowledgeable folks with a wealth of information to share (and plenty of pamphlets to take away).