Gleaming from Gardener Glee…
Hey gardening friends, I just want you to know that we are located in Ellis County which is part of North Central Texas. We are in zone 8 and sometime flirt with zone 9. We have had two unusually cold winters. In our area, Waxahachie, and most of the Dallas/Fort Worth area with some exceptions we have heavy, black clay, alkaline soil and we are on a caliche escarpment. Our average last frost date is March 15th.
I have lived here since 1996 and for the past 13 years I have worked at The Greenery, a landscape nursery. I chuckle often because a typical statement I say at the nursery is, “Well, this has been an unusual year.”….So I must say I am not sure what the normal year really is!
So if you are not from the big state of Texas and you do not have black clay or caliche, please remember to take that into consideration when following this gardening advice.
Good soil structure is the key to a productive garden. Tight, compacted soil is hard to work; plants grow best in loose, crumbly soil. Black clay and Caliche have some great nutrients, but they are locked in. Proper amendments will loosen the soil and release the nutrients to be usable to the plants. The ideal soil has a crumbly, granular structure that allows water to drain and oxygen and carbon dioxide to move freely from the air into the pore spaces.
When preparing a garden in black clay or caliche this is what I recommend:
1. Clean out debris and grass. Plow soil, allow soil to dry for several hours and then rake grass away.
2. Add amendments to the soil I use the following amendments and to this ratio.
• 1 bag mushroom compost (organic matter and adds life to soil)
• ½ bag expanded shale (absorbs water and slowly releases that water)
• ½ bag landscape mix (loosen the soil and adds more organic matter)
After mixing these amendments, add to the soil and plow again.
3. Now broadcast Sul-po-mag across the garden area.
4. Then broad cast Lady Bug Fertilizer 6-2-4 across the garden area.
5. Now plant the garden.
6. Mulch the garden with hardwood mulch between the plants or between the rows.
7. Hand water or set up irrigation system.
Vegetable Garden Planting Dates
|March 1st – April 15th||Nasturtium|
|March 16th –April 13th||Beans, Snap & lima Bush|
|March 16th – April 13th||Beans, Snap Pole|
|March 16th – April 17th||Corn, Sweet|
|March 16th – April 17th||Sunflowers|
|March 16th – April 27th||Cucumber|
|March 16th – April 27th||Cantaloupe|
|March 16th – April 27th||Mustard|
|March 23rd – June||Marigold|
|March 23rd – May 11th||Pepper|
|March 23rd – April 13th||Pumpkins|
|March 23rd – April 13th||Squash (summer)|
|March 23rd – April 13th||Squash (winter)|
|March 16th – May 11th||Tomato (plant)|
|March 16th – April 27th||Watermelon|
|March 30th – April 27th||Eggplant (plant)|
|March 30th – May 25th||Peas, Southern|
|March 30th – May 25th||Gourds|