Tuesday, March 5, 2013

South Texas Gardening Seasons

I am super lucky to live in South Texas for about 8 months of the year. The end of September ‘til May I can plant almost anything because whenever really get very cold. If we do have a freeze it doesn't last long here at my house. We live about 4 blocks from the water and that means we are always warmer than other parts of South Texas. I can literally plant and grow all fall, winter, and spring.
Summer? Summer is a whole different thing. It gets HOT here. Like days of 100 degree temps. Keeping the garden going means A LOT of water and that can get expensive and wasteful. So when I redid the garden I put in soaker hoses. I figured as hard and yucky as our water is I wouldn't get very far with a drip irrigation system. The soakers run for less than 15 minutes and do a fine job right now, in February, but I'm waiting to see how the summer goes.
Last year, in September, it was still super-hot. I wanted to get some peppers and tomatoes in so I tried something new - making shade. I used old sheers and lace curtains that were just taking up space in the cabinet and shaded the plants from about 3 o'clock until the shade from the garage hit them - about 5 or so. It seems to have worked great. This tear I'll be looking to put the material on frames or something to make it easier than trying to sort of drape the material over the cages.
We'll see. Half the fun of gardening is trying to figure out ways to work with Mother Nature. I love a challenge!