Maybe you are like me and you built a garden box last spring but then didn’t actually plant anything. Or maybe you’ve just never planted a garden at all, but never fear my gardenless friends you can still plant one this year! I’m going to admit my novice status by stating that I didn’t realize I still had time to plant one, but Sarah pointed out that we don’t get our first hard freeze here in central Texas until the end of November. So there is still plenty of time to plant most vegetables.
The trick to know what you can still plant for your area is to look up your areas average first hard freeze. You can find that by typing in your area code here. Ours is November 25th.
The next step would be to go seed or starter shopping. We headed to Home Depot and our local grocery store HEB. All of the packets and tags include the grow time until your plant reaches maturity. So all you need to do is count that many days and make sure it will produce before your first freeze date.
For example, items like arugula, mustard, spinach, turnips, and red radishes usually grow in a quick 40 days so as long as you have 40 days until your first freeze you are good to go!
We have a bit more time so I choose to grow zucchini, cucumbers, lots of peppers and carrots. We also choose to go with starters as opposed to seeds. Mainly because they were on sale and well…I’m not very patient.
Now, I’m going to let Sarah take over this post and help with a few tips about getting a garden space ready and planting.
Sarah here. I’m not much of a garden expert. My mom’s dad and my dad’s mom both had amazing gardens, and I have lofty ambitions, but mostly we do a lot of reading, and then I let the kids go to town! My husband built me a garden box a few years ago, and it’s the perfect size for us to manage. He also built a bench to go between the box and the fence for out tomatoes. The great thing about south Texas is that if you’re willing to water your garden, you should be able to get things to grow!
This year I let me kids pick out the seeds they wanted. The only thing we didn’t end up planting was pumpkin. We planted carrots, corn, peppers, squash, beans and peas. It’s been almost three weeks and the beans and peas are amazing. I’m not sure if the carrots are going to work out, but I don’t know if that’s the plants or my three year old “helping” in the garden.
The kids planted all the seeds, and they’re responsible for watering. We added some mulch to the soil that was already in the box, and then we added a little Miracle Gro for good measure. We have some tomatoes, and they’ve always worked well for us. This year I’m trying blackberries … again! I haven’t had any luck with blueberries in the past, but this year I’m extra dedicated! Fingers crossed they’ll still be around next year!
Because this is really my kids’ garden I don’t have a lot of advice about placement. Seed packages are really helpful. We did build a little bamboo A frame to support the beans and peas, which is working so far! I think next year I might actually draw out a plan. I do know that I have already marked on my calendar that I need to start my pumpkin seeds in the garage in February!
Do you have a vegetable garden? What are you favorite things to grow?