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Spring Vegetables To Grow

Early Plantings for Success: Spring Vegetables To Grow in Texas

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by Helen
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As spring draws near, many gardeners like me prefer to start vegetable and flower seedlings indoors before transplanting them outside.  Starting seedlings indoors gives us a head start on the growing season.  It can help produce healthier, more robust plants.  However, careful attention to detail and planning is required to ensure that seedlings have the best chances of success.  I like to start my seedlings early because I know they need to be hardened off before transplanting them outside.  Because we tend to have short springs, and then the hot Texas heat comes.  I have several raised beds to rotate my crops.  By starting my spring vegetables indoors, when I transition them to a pot, planters, or raised beds, they tend to grow so much faster.

Texas gardening and producing a variety of vegetables can be challenging, but it is a very rewarding experience.  When deciding what spring vegetables to grow in Texas, disease-resistant ones with a high yield and that mature early are essential.  Frozen vegetables are a great alternative if you're not a gardener or there are specific vegetables that don't grow in your region.

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The less time your crops spend in your garden, from the time you plant to harvest, the less you have to worry about damage to your crop.  

  • Disease and insect pests include moth larvae, field mice, and wild rabbits.
  • Watering and extreme summer heat prematurely end your harvest.

A successful garden harvest requires a few steps but is relatively easy. Below are some tips as you get started early for this gardening season.

Harvesting fresh vegetables from your garden is a rewarding experience. However, it's important to know how to store your fresh veggies properly to ensure they stay fresh for as long as possible. Here are some tips for storing fresh vegetables from your garden:

Location

 

In general, vegetable gardens need plenty of sunlight to thrive. While some vegetables like lettuce, cabbage, carrots, and turnips can grow in partial shade.  Most vegetables, such as beans, okra, tomatoes, and other fruiting vegetables, require at least 8 to 10 hours of direct sun for healthy growth and maximum yield.

Vegetables To Grow During The Spring

  • In March, plant spinach, radishes, and lettuce through mid-April.
  • Late March, plant snap beans, cucumbers, sweet corn, lima beans, mustard, tomatoes, and squash when soil temperatures are warm enough for each variety.
  • During April: tomatoes, snap beans, radishes, cucumbers, corn, lima beans, mustard, peppers and squash.
  • Late April plant: watermelon, southern peas, okra, cantaloupe, sweet potatoes, eggplant, and pumpkin.
  • Ending in May: Finish planting black-eyed peas, cantaloupe, cucumber, eggplant, green beans (pole or bush type), okra, peppers, pumpkin, sweet corn, sweet potato, squash, and watermelon.
  • Plant perennial herbs in prepared soil or containers anytime during the spring.

Water your plants when dry.  Newly planted ones can dry out in spring winds, so use 3-4 inches of mulch or hay on all beds to retain moisture.  Fall is also a great time to plant with pollinators in mind.

Soil Preparation For Spring Vegetables Planting

The best soils for gardening are rich in nutrients and highly organic.  It is recommended to add compost and other organic matter to your soil frequently.

In Texas, soils may be low in some beneficial nutrients, particularly nitrogen, potassium, and sometimes calcium and magnesium.  Soil tests can reveal adequate or high levels of certain elements, which can be harmful in excess.

Phosphorus is crucial for establishing seedlings and transplants and can be supplied to individual transplants.  Soil pH is also essential, as most vegetables grow best at 6.0 to 6.5.  Acidic soils can lead to poor growth and disappointing yields.  Although, you can correct it by adding lime to raise the pH sustainably.

The amount of lime needed depends on your soil type and the pH of your soil.  You can perform a soil test to determine the correct levels.  We like to amend the soil with compost from our compost bin or our vermicompost.

Soil Test

As mentioned earlier, getting your soil tested by a reputable soil testing lab is recommended.  There are several ways to get your soil tested. 

You can contact your county's AgriLife Extension office for information on submitting a soil sample to the Texas AgriLife Extension Soil Testing Lab in College Station.  The soil analysis report will provide exact details on what and how much you need to add, if anything. 

Alternatively, you can check with your local nurseries, as they might offer free soil testing.  You can also purchase a soil test from them or your local Home Depot or Lowes. 

Make sure to take several random samples from your garden spot, mix them thoroughly, and then submit them for the test.  All vegetables and plants have specific oil requirements to thrive and produce abundant crops in the Spring, Summer, or Fall.

Variety Selection

When it comes to spring, summer and fall vegetables, the options are endless. Each type of vegetable has countless varieties to choose from – some look and taste vastly different from others. From the vibrant colors of heirloom tomatoes to the unique shapes of exotic squashes, the world of vegetables is full of diverse and exciting options. Whether you're a seasoned chef or a novice cook, exploring different vegetable varieties can be a fun and delicious adventure.

Spring Vegetables To Grow

Spring Vegetables to Grow Planting Date

It is essential to remember that different crops have different temperature requirements for growth and maturity.  While most crops thrive in moderate temperatures, some, such as okra, southern peas, and sweet potatoes, require warmer weather to grow.  Therefore, it is advisable to plant these crops later in the season when the weather is warmer.  Plant all spring vegetable crops as early as possible to ensure a healthy and timely crop.  Usually from early to mid-March.  Learn how to garden 101 with Eden Brothers.

It is also important to wait until the soil has warmed up to the upper 60s or low 70s before planting seeds of warm-season vegetables.  This will provide the optimum conditions for seed germination and growth, resulting in a bountiful harvest.

Final Thoughts: Spring Vegetables To Grow In Texas

In conclusion, cultivating spring vegetables in Texas is a rewarding endeavor for novice and experienced gardeners alike. The diverse climate of the state, characterized by mild temperatures and abundant sunlight, creates an ideal environment for a variety of vegetables to thrive during the spring season. Texas offers a fertile ground for a bountiful harvest, from the vibrant colors of tomatoes and bell peppers to the crisp freshness of lettuce and spinach.

Embracing sustainable and organic gardening practices further enhances the quality of the produce, ensuring that the fruits of your labor taste delicious and contribute to a healthier and more environmentally conscious lifestyle. By selecting the suitable varieties that are well-suited to Texas' climate, implementing proper soil preparation, and adopting water-efficient irrigation methods, you can maximize the success of your spring vegetable garden.

Whether you're a backyard gardener or part of a community initiative, growing spring vegetables in Texas nurtures your connection to the land and promotes a sense of community and self-sufficiency. It is a testament to the rich agricultural heritage of the state and a celebration of the abundance that the spring season brings.

So, as you embark on your journey to cultivate spring vegetables in Texas, may your gardens flourish with the vibrant colors and flavors nature generously provides. Happy gardening!

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