Gardening has very long been the No. 1 pastime in The united states, but the effect of COVID-19 in 2020 introduced renewed interest in vegetable gardening and escalating food items at household. That enhanced fascination continues now, and there are numerous in the Concho Valley seeking information on how to get a backyard garden began.
There are several distinctive styles and solutions for expanding fruit and greens, but it’s vital to have a strong comprehension of the basic principles and know what functions greatest in West Texas. Some may perhaps want to till up a little bit of ground and maintain it as cheap as achievable and other people may possibly want to make big elevated beds to aid with limited mobility or to just appear appealing and match into the landscape style. However you choose to do it, start out by selecting a site with full sun, entry to water and nicely-drained soil. If the soil is hefty and compacted, until it up and integrate compost. If setting up raised beds, guarantee they drain perfectly and fill with a superior-quality leading soil.
The most economical way to get greens likely is to start out from seed, but some greens are less difficult to establish from a transplant. For case in point, if setting up tomatoes or peppers from seed, plant in a seed commencing tray in a sunny home windows within and meticulously plant in pots when germinated. Let to develop in the pot until eventually a strong root method kinds, then harden off by placing outdoors for a 7 days or two just before planting in the garden. Or invest in wholesome, vigorous transplants from a neighborhood nursery or back garden centre.
Gardening doesn’t have to be pricey, but I do propose investing in drip irrigation and mulch if feasible. Drip irrigation will make it substantially simpler to preserve plants balanced and successful with a lot less effort and hard work and without losing as a great deal water as sprinklers. A battery timer can be added to make watering even simpler – application it to h2o as extensive and as typically as essential. Drip irrigation applies water much more gradually, so unlike sprinklers which could operate for 20-30 minutes, drip irrigation should really be remaining on for an hour or two. Mulch will also make a significant variance in plant wellbeing – it will encourage much better growth, conserve h2o and decrease weeds.
Choose crops that improve effectively in the Concho Valley. For instance, blueberries and raspberries will not develop simply or thrive with no extraordinary exertion, but blackberries get the job done fairly properly. Also plant in the ideal season – heat-time vegetable like tomatoes, squash, okra and sweet potatoes can’t cope with freezing temperatures. But tomatoes like it cooler in the spring and slide, when okra and sweet potatoes like the heat of summertime. Amazing-season crops like spinach, broccoli, and lettuce ought to be planted in the slide by early spring.
There are plenty of very good resources out there to assistance get begun, take a look at the internet site https://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/vegetable/straightforward-gardening-sequence/ for valuable guides on numerous matters. Also take into account subscribing to the Concho Valley Horticulture Update publication (https://tomgreen.agrilife.org/horticulture) to get posts on landscaping and gardening subject areas, and find out about nearby lessons and academic possibilities. On Friday, July 15, we will be offering a Lunch N Study course on slide vegetable gardening.
Allison Watkins is the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Agent for horticulture in Tom Green County. Get hold of her at [email protected].