Hundreds of North Texans are heading to their backyards to find alternatives to rising costs in their grocery bills. Many are realizing that having a garden is an enjoyable family experience as well as a cost-saving way to maintain household expenses. Gardening is not a concept only reserved for those with green thumbs, but one that anyone can do–especially if you follow these tips for a foolproof garden.
1. Follow directions. When planting a garden, particularly vegetables and fruits, remember to read the directions on the seed packets. You should not plant vegetables like tomatoes in cool weather lower than 70 degrees. “Fruits that are easier to grow in North Texas include blackberries, pecans, plums, pears, figs and pomegranates. Next easiest would be grapes, apples and peaches. Strawberries, citrus, cherries and apricots are much more difficult for most Texas gardeners,” says Neil Sperry of Garden Magazine.
2. Mind the weather. Keep in mind that Dallas has seemingly unstable weather conditions, from extreme heat to extreme cold weather and a wide variation in-between. With that in mind, gardeners have to regularly tend to their garden. This simply means to cover plants in colder weather and to ensure the plants are properly hydrated during hotter days. There are nursery blankets available for cold or frosty days.
3. Water your plants. Expert gardeners suggest watering plants early in the morning as to prevent drying during high temperatures, but if you feel your garden is a bit parched, water and water deep. Never water the leaves in high temperatures, as this can cause burning to the leaves. Be mindful not to plant items that need a lot of water because of the consistent and rolling water restrictions many counties in Texas place on residents. Contact your local county for water restrictions and guidelines before you plant your garden.
4. Use the correct soil. Your soil is very important and oftentimes Dallas area soil can become dry and very hard to manage plant life. Neil Sperry recommends “having your soil tested every couple of years to show which nutrients are deficient. Don’t be surprised if nitrogen is the main concern. It’s not uncommon, especially in clay soils.” Fertilization is often needed for specific types of plants.
5. Watch out for bugs. Bugs are a problem in Dallas and you might find that some of the items you plant in your garden may be a favorite of certain pest types. In order to avoid pests, remember to use nontoxic insecticide every two to three weeks once you see that damage is being caused to your garden. For animals such as squirrels and gophers, try a low voltage shock fence. It may seem cruel, but it will train the animal to avoid your garden.
Jackson’s Home and Garden
6950 Lemmon Avenue
Dallas, Texas 75209
Hours: Mon to Sat – 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sun – Noon to 5 p.m.
For advice on climate conditions for vegetables and fruits, try visiting a representative at Jackson’s Home and Garden.
Rubial’s Plants of Texas Grand Avenue
7219 E. Grand Ave.
Dallas, TX 75214
Hours: Sun to Sat – 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Closed Christmas Day
Visit Rubial’s Plants of Texas Grand Avenue for blankets and weather protecting needs.
Soil Building System
1770 “Y” Street
Dallas, TX 75229
Hours: Mon to Fri – 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sat – 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Soil Building System supplies organic composts, mulch and different soil mixes, depending on your needs.
Bizzy Bees Pest Control
3333 Earhart Dr. #150
Carrollton, Texas 75006
Hours: Call for an appointment
Bizzy Bees Pest Control can safely ward off bugs and pests from your yard and garden.
Related: Best Gardens In North Texas
For more great tricks, tips and advice about your home, visit CBSDFW/YourHome.
Ivy N. Carter has been professionally writing since 1998 when she started writing for the Texas Southern University The Herald student newspaper. Since then Ivy has enjoyed writing for several magazines, newspapers, businesses and other publications throughout the country. She has a MBA is the owner of Written By INC a professional writing and editing company. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.