If you have not noticed, pollen has covered everything in a thin coat of yellow powder. Redbud trees and pear trees have come alive with blooms. Spring is here! Consequently, March is the time for vegetable gardening in the Lake Conroe area. Therefore, let’s look at two tips for successful vegetable gardening: knowing your zone and planting the correct vegetables.
Knowing Your Planting Zone
The first step to a successful garden is knowing your plant hardiness zone. For example, a gardener in Amarillo would plant at a different time than in Galveston because they live in two totally different climates. The Lake Conroe/Montgomery area sits in both Zone 8 and Zone 9. The zones are based primarily on the predicted date of the last freeze. According to Zone 8’s planting schedule, March 15th is a key date. Since we are past that date, we should not expect any more freezes. Hence it should be safe to begin planting your summer vegetables. If you are reading this from a different area, check out the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map.
Planting the Correct Vegetables
Both Zones 8 and 9 have long growing seasons with hot summers. Therefore, you have plenty of time to cultivate a great garden. It is too late to plant cold-weather vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower from seeds, but you can purchase seedlings from your local garden center or feed store. However, there are numerous vegetables you can plant from seeds between now and the end of March. Corn, cantaloupe, leaf lettuce, radishes, and squash need the soil to be warmer to germinate. Also you can plant spinach, cucumbers, beets, and carrots. If you look at the back of a seed packet, it should tell you when the best time is to plant as well as how long until you can harvest.
Armed with the knowledge of your planting zone and what kind of vegetables to plant now, you are well on your way to a successful garden this year. Vegetable gardening takes some work, but eating fresh vegetables from your own garden is rewarding. Get your kids or grandkids out there to help and they will not only learn a great life skill, but also learn to enjoy the fruits of their own labor. What are you excited about planting this year?