We find ourselves in the midst of a challenging moment in history. For many of us sheltered at home as a result of the spread of coronavirus, however, it’s important to keep active and look for ways to let the sunshine into our lives.
With all of the negativity surrounding 24-hour news cycles and familial discussion, we hope to inspire you today to take advantage of this time not dwell on the scarier aspects of these uncertain times, but to beautify your perspective and home’s landscape with a new activity the whole family can enjoy: beginning a spring garden with a variety of hardy fruits and vegetables.
Those of us fortunate enough to live in Texas benefit from the best sun and soil to produce gorgeous gardens, and at Santa Cruz Properties, we believe that everyone should have the property to build their dreams upon. With that said, here are a few suggestions for in-season crops, coupled with some helpful advice on how to get your spring gardens growing to ultimately enjoy your bounty.
Delicious Seasonal Texas Fruits and Vegetables Ripe for the Picking
It may only seem like there are two seasons in Texas–summer and slightly-less-summer. All kidding aside, there are a bevy of nutritious fruits and vegetables that you can plant on your owner-financed land for a delicious reward for your work, some, however, that won’t yield for quite some time.
Gather the family, and plant a few of these fruits:
- Grapefruit, oranges, and other citrus, most of which grow best from October through April. In most cases, the citrus trees would have to grow to be at least 3 years old to bear fruit.
- Melons of all sorts (like cantaloupes, watermelons, and more), growable through May and into winter.
- Berries like blackberries, strawberries, and blueberries. You can harvest these May through July.
And don’t forget about these seasonal Texas vegetables as well:
- Broccoli, October through May
- Cauliflower, October through May
- Corn, late May into August
- Cucumbers, April through December
- Fava beans, April through June
- New potatoes, March and April
- Onions, March through September
- Spinach, January through May
- Sweet Onions, spring
- Tomatoes, April through October
- Zucchini & Summer Squash, May through October
Other produce can be planted in a specific growing season but offer an extended harvest season and store well, making them available for a longer portion of the year:
- Sweet potatoes, April and May
- Turnips, March, April, and May
Don’t Forget to Plant These Delights for a Year-Round Bounty
The warm Texas climate is an ideal ingredient to produce an abundance of fruits and vegetables, and allows for several varieties to be able to be planted, grown, and harvested year-round. Some year-round selections include:
- Greens of all sorts, from collards to turnips
- Mushrooms (cultivated)
Of course, in order to plot out the garden of your dreams, you’re going to have to start with the basics.
Tips on Preparing Your Spring Garden
The following are a few great tips that you can use to plan out a bountiful garden from start to finish:
- Select a sun-filled spot for your garden’s location. Most vegetables require full sun exposure, and for a healthy garden, direct sunshine is a must.
- Identify what vegetables you’d like to plant, and chart out a timeline for when you’d like to begin growing them. Start with a manageable plan, and if you’re a novice, include produce that won’t require too much work to grow (e.g. tomatoes, zucchini, etc.).
- Once you know what crops you’d like in your garden, you’re ready to shop for seeds and plants. Check out online forums from master gardeners, or call your local nursery–or if they’re closed because of the pandemic, reach out to them on social media–to speak to an expert if you have any questions about varieties, soils, or general advice on creating a healthy garden. Online tutorials are an easy way to access knowledge and become motivated as well. Once you see the potential of your garden, you’ll be able to envision more ambitious techniques to use for future harvests.
- Clean up and till your garden area, and don’t forget to use quality and balanced slow-release fertilizer or compost. Before you begin planting, build up your soil with a bit of compost or other nutrients your soil may be lacking. A soil test helps give you a starting point that lets you know what you’re working with and how much, if anything, you may need to add for rich soil.
- Knowing horticulture basics and putting into practice what you’ve learned can help your garden grow well. Make sure you have adequate drainage as well, and anticipate spring rains to design accordingly.
- Have fun, but remember that patience and dedication are cornerstones of any gardener’s philosophy. Make it a family-friendly activity, and enjoy being outside cultivating crops that you and your loved ones are sure to enjoy throughout the year.