Vegetable gardening in Houston has many challenges and also lots of rewards. The summers are hot, oppressive, and humid as opposed to other areas of the country. However, the winters are mild, and home gardeners can grow fruit and vegetables all year round.
The success of growing vegetables in Houston is dependent upon adapting to the land and the weather conditions of the area. Deciding on vegetables that grow well in these surroundings is essential, and it is also crucial to protect more delicate veggies from the extreme temperature that summer months may bring.
Producing veggie varieties is a challenge but rewarding. You want to grow disease-resistant, high-yield, and early-to-maturity veggies. What spring vegetables to grow in Houston? The less time in the yard from growing to harvest, the less you need to consider elements that can harm your plants.
Successful garden harvest requires a few measures but is not very complicated. Below are a few guidelines as you prepare yourself for this gardening season.
Location of the Garden
Sunlight is vital for growing most plants. Understand that vegetable gardens require plenty of sunlight. Some vegetables, like lettuce and cabbage, and root vegetation, such as turnips and carrots, can be cultivated in partial shade. The majority of vegetables such as beans, tomatoes, and other fruiting vegetables should have a minimum of 8 – 10 hours of direct sunlight. This is enough for healthy vegetation and increases your harvest.
Preparing Your Soil
The best soils are generally abundant with nutrients and are highly organic. It is recommended to add compost and other organic matter to your soil constantly. Soils in Texas could be minimal in some nutrients, especially potassium, nitrogen, and sometimes calcium and magnesium. A soil test will reveal adequate and even high levels of specific components, which can be harmful at extreme levels. Phosphorus is essential for the seedling and transplant of plants, and soil pH is another critical factor to consider.
Poor growth and frustrating produce are due to acidic soils. Some Texas soils can be highly acidic but can be remedied with the addition of lime to raise the pH to an environmentally friendly level. Most veggies grow best with a pH of 6. 0 to 6. 5. I. Have your soil tested for the correct levels of pH.
Have Your Soil Tested
Make sure you have your soil tested by a reliable soil testing laboratory. The report from your soil analysis will tell you precisely what and how much, if anything, you have to add. Your local nurseries may provide free soil tests, as well as you can obtain a soil test from them. Ensure that you take various random samples from your garden area, comprehensively mixed, for the test.
For each type of vegetable, there are many types to choose from.
Cool Weather Vegetables to Plant
- Onions and Garlic
Warm Weather Vegetables to Plant
- Squash & Zucchini
- Sweet Potatoes
- Legumes – Southern Peas
Water all your plants when they are dry. However, new plantings can quickly dry out in prolonged spring winds. Use 3 – 4 inches of mulch on vegetable beds to help preserve moisture.
Correct Planting Date
Most plants should mature before the hot weather comes. The exclusions are okra, southern peas, and sweet potatoes, which require a warmer climate. Crops need to be planted at the earliest possible time and generally start in early to the mid of March. It is also ideal to wait until the soil has warmed to the upper 60s or low 70s before planting the seed of warm‑season veggies.
Five Plant Nurseries in Houston
Joshua’s Native Plants & Garden
502 W 18th St.
Houston, TX 77008
Joshua’s Native Plants & Garden specializes in plants indigenous to the Gulf Coast. These plants need no fertilizers, particular soils, or any ability to grow. They also have a massive variety of old-fashioned garden classics. joshuasnativeplants.net
RCW Nurseries Inc
15809 Texas 249 Access Rd.
Houston, TX 77086
RCW Nurseries Inc is an independent garden center for the Houston metropolitan area, having been in the business since 1979. At RCW, you will find many herbs, perennials, roses, annuals, shrubs, and native plants. They grow their trees specifically acclimated to Texas’ Gulf Coast. In their Garden Store, you will find a large selection of fertilizers, soil, gift items, gloves, pots, pruners, gardening books & magazines, etc. Visit their garden and browse through 4-acres of plants and displays. Enjoy the birds and relax in the most peaceful setting. rcwnurseries.com
Buchanan’s Native Plants
611 E 11th St.
Houston, TX 77008
Since 1986, Buchanan’s Native Plants has been serving Houston gardeners. Situated in the historic Houston Heights, this garden center is focused on native plants and organic gardening. You will see the best picks of hardy natives and vegetables, perennials, herbs, trees, shrubs & roses — all suitable to the Houston weather. buchanansplants.com
9191 Katy Fwy
Houston, TX 77024
Specializing in indoor plants and outdoor plants, Tall Plants aims to make your interior place healthier and more welcoming. They have a talented and experienced team ready to help gardeners find the plants that best suit their space and offer guidance on the best care for plants. They also provide delivery service and weekly interior plant service to help you maintain your garden plants. plantnurseryhouston.com
Plants For All Seasons
Houston, TX 77070
Plants For All Seasons is a retail garden center serving the Houston area since 1973. They are a family-owned and operated business, and their knowledgeable staff will help you give solutions to all your lawn and garden needs. plantsforallseasons.com