Home Gardening for Beginners: What to Plant in Houston
Gardening professionals share their top tips and essentials for growing a thriving garden.
There is nothing more exciting than planting a garden from scratch. Very little compares to the thrill of watching the seeds and soil become a bed of fresh vegetables or fragrant flowers in full bloom! The possibilities are endless, but so are the questions of how to get started.
We asked three Houston-area green gardening gurus for tips on how aspiring gardeners can avoid rookie mistakes, get through the Texas heat, and find the best seeds and plants in town. We think you’ll ‘dig in’ what they had to say.
RELATED: Starting Over In The Garden After Frost
Your edible garden awaits you
Not many people can say that they are a master gardener, but Karena Poke is not most people. As the founder of Lettuce Live, she leads a team of designers who work with budding planters to build edible gardens that promote the accessibility of fresh fruits and vegetables in city communities.
To help you get started with planting your own edible garden, Karen has some simple tips that any beginning gardener can follow.
Karena’s expert advice for new gardeners
1. Take the floor seriously
Good quality soil or compost is the most important investment. Keep your soil covered with leaves or untreated mulch. This will help the soil to retain moisture while keeping weeds and grass away.
2. Plant in sight
Place your garden in a visible and accessible location. If your garden is out of sight, it is out of sight. Plant your vegetable garden in a sunny location to make sure your vegetables get the recommended 6 hours of sunlight per day.
3. Take out your calendar
Grow the right foods for the right season. Plant your vegetables according to the schedule in your local extensions plant guide.
For starters, Karena suggests purchasing your plants from the local extension office to find vegetation preselected based on its ability to thrive in the Houston climate. To further improve the health of your plants, she suggests purchasing organic soil or compost.
Shop all garden flooring at Home Depot – homedepot.com
Local Resource: The Best Garden Centers in Houston
Growing plants in a raised bed
If you think it takes an expert to grow a vegetable garden, then meet Krista – an everyday Houstonian whose backyard is filled with four raised beds overflowing with ripe produce. When asked why she loves gardening, Krista explains, âI love that there is always something to learn in the garden and in the garden. [feeling of] achievement when growing flowers and vegetables from seeds.
Krista’s gardening tips come with years of research, time, patience, and a lot of experience.
Krista’s daily tips for new gardeners
1. Attract bees
In addition to your vegetables, be sure to plant flowers that will attract pollinators and add color to your garden.
2. Do your research before you plant
In Houston, many spring vegetables need to be planted in late February or early March to ripen before temperatures start to rise. Now is the time to plant eggplants, sweet corn, summer squash, and winter squash for fall harvest.
3. Know your enemy
Pests will always find their way into your garden. Plan ahead by looking for common pests like aphids, leaf bugs, cucumber beetles, squash moth and spider mites.
Krista recommends using raised gardens to better manage the quality of your soil and your growing environment. For recommendations on sourcing your plants and supplies, she recommends The native plants of Buchanan in the heights and Enchanted gardens in Richmond. If you are starting your garden from scratch, she suggests buying seeds online from Botanical interests, Baker Creek, Where Johnny’s.
11.8 ” H x 31.5 ” W x 11.8 ” D Marzano Metal Raised Garden Bed – wayfair.com
Find Your Nearest Local Nursery: Houston’s Best Garden Centers
Green and hearty
1. Start small
When planting vegetables, plant the varieties you love to eat to avoid waste and ensure sustained enthusiasm throughout the growing process.
2. Limit your enthusiasm
The most common mistake new gardeners make is overplanting. When a variety of plants are rooted in a space that does not adapt well to their growth, your vegetables will compete for space and resources in the soil, resulting in weak or dying plants.
3. Possess Your zone
Plant things that are native to your farming area. Your garden will flourish when you work to the rhythm of nature. Your environment determines what you can grow and when.
When asked where to find the best plants in Houston, Chasaty recommends shopping at local producers and greenhouses. âThey usually carry plants that are already used to our climate. “
Features Mist Pattern
GREEN MOUNT watering wand with 8 watering modes – amazon.com
Want to be the next contributor on Chron Shopping? Contact our User Generated Content Coordinator for review at Erin.Creeks@Hearst.com.
Hearst Newspapers participates in various affiliate marketing programs which means that we may receive paid commissions on products chosen by the editorial staff and purchased through our links to retailer sites.
Erin Creeks is the User Generated Content Coordinator for Chron Shopping at Hearst Newspapers. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.