Vegetable gardens in north Texas can be seen thriving during the milder times of the winter season. Once temperatures drop below freezing and do so for extended periods without warming up, changes can be seen among the plants. The foliage can become damaged, and plants may go dormant until temperatures warm back up. Some plants may be lost to extreme temperatures. Covering plants can help to prevent this.
See Protect Your Garden, tips from Happy Gardens on how to protect plants during harsh winter weather.
Any plants thriving up until the coldest times, such as leafy greens, cilantro, parsley, scallions, and chives can be kept alive throughout the winter with a little care. During this season, vegetables and herbs do need to be watered. A general guide is to water them once a week, unless it rains, or the soil is moist. Watering plants before a freeze can help protect the roots from damage.
Root crops such as onions, garlic, carrots, and beets are supposed to be grown throughout the winter and are harvested during the late spring and early summer.
In addition to tending exhisting plants, there is a variety of food that can be planted during the winter in north Texas.
Onions and Garlic
The recommended planting time for onions and garlic is during the late fall. However, these foods can still be planted. Late planting may not allow the foods to have enough time to fully mature, but they can be harvested at any time. The crops will have smaller bulbs, or heads. The tops of onions and garlic can also be harvested and used as chives.
Make your own chive starts:
Ever cook with onions or scallions? Reserve the root ends of these foods, for onions, place them root down on a small plate or lid of water. Pour off liquid and add fresh liquid every few days. For scallions, place them in a small jar of water and replace with fresh water every few days. Once the onions have sprouted, they can be planted in the garden, and harvested as chives.
Late winter is the recommended planting time for blackberries, raspberry, blueberries, and perennial strawberries.
Blackberries and raspberries can be grown in the north Texas region with the addition of organic soil amendments. Blueberries require a bit more soil preparation, since they need an acidic condition in order to grow. Strawberries can be grown in containers.
For more details on growing berries in north Texas, see the links below to the Dirt Doctor’s online library.
Persimmon and apple trees can be planted year round.
Many fruit trees can be planted in the spring such as pear, fig, plum and peach. Fruit trees can be kept in containers until the appropriate time for planting.
See article: Grow your own fruit trees
Vegetable and herb seeds
Cool weather crops can be started indoors during the winter. A seed planted in January will become a good sized plant start by late February, early March. Some of these crops include kale, arugula, Swiss chard, Italian broccoli, Brussels sprouts (to be harvested as greens), broccoli, lettuces, parsley, cilantro, chervil, chives, and carrots (for harvest of the tops).
See article: Winter the season for indoor seed sprouting
See article: How to separate and care for seedlings
Local source for berries and fruit trees:
Happy Gardens is now taking orders for berry plants and fruit trees.
For organic vegetable seeds, and organic soil ammendments: