Return to the Texas Gardening Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
What Vegetables to Grow in Dallas

Posted by clipetyclop Dallas (My Page) on
Sun, Apr 6, 08 at 22:26

I'm new to TX and also to gardening- Hoping in 2 weeks to build a raised bed so for now here is what I have in pots:

Herbs:
Sage
Lavender
Rosemary
Basil

Veggies:
Cucumber
Yellow Onion
Red Onion
Garlic
Bell Pepper
Jalapenos
Eggplant

What else could I consider? I was thinking perhaps Tomatoes - is it too hot for lettuces to grow? even if they had shade?

Also- What grows well here in the fall and when would I need to start planting it?


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: What Vegetables to Grow in Dallas

I would try Tomatoes, the lettuces do not do to well. You might be able to get some micro greens in before it gets to hot.I am gonna try salad greens soon.

I will also be trying carrots as well. Those are suppose to be pretty easy.


 o
RE: What Vegetables to Grow in Dallas

whatever you do, don't plant a lot of squash or bird house gourds. Apparantly these grow exceptionally well in Dallas area. I made the mistake of planting a lot of seeds several years ago. I was so sick of eating squash and tried to give it away, but after awhile my neighbors and family members were sick of it too.My neighbors hated seeing me coming to their house. The bird house gourds took over my fence and for the next several years I was having to pull up seedlings in the Spring. I had enough gourds to supply the entire 3rd grade of my kids' elementary school.
Other good summer growers are : tomatoes, onions, peppers, ocra, beans. I like to get my seeds from Feed Stores, they have a good choice of things and can give good advice too.
Don't know how big your yard is, but fruit trees do very well in this area too: peaches, pears, plums, persimmon, pecan.


 o
RE: What Vegetables to Grow in Dallas

OMG ok good to know- stay AWAY from squash. I contemplated it for HALF a second and thought - I better REALLY like squash! so i passed.

Beans sound good- is it too late to grow them? As for fruit tree's I like all that you mentioned. Which is the smallest?


 o
RE: What Vegetables to Grow in Dallas

  • Posted by suze9 z8b SE Texas (My Page) on
    Mon, Apr 7, 08 at 23:07

In a couple of weeks, you'll be a bit on the late side for a lot of things, but hopefully not too late if you water the plants in well and mulch. I'd also suggest that your plants do not need to be in all day, full blazing sun. A little afternoon or midday shade is sometimes helpful for vegetables and some herbs here in Texas. Yet another suggestion I would make is just because you might see transplants for certain things at the stores does not mean it is still the best/optimal time to plant them.

Here's a link that will get you to a good gardening calendar for the Austin area -->> See Travis county calendar. Unfortunately they've relocated or removed the direct link :-(, but I have it saved as a pdf file. Austin is a half zone warmer than you, but the recommendations should be "good enough" for the most part, especially if you add a few days in the spring, and subtract a few in the fall. I am not aware of a similar calendar for your specific area, or I would post that instead.

I agree that it is too late for lettuce. Mine is already starting to bolt and wilt. It is still not too late for chard, especially if you site it properly (not in full sun).

All the herbs you listed can be planted in April. They are also somewhat xeric (expect perhaps the basil) and really don't like a lot of water, so go easy. Re lavenders, I have the best luck with "spanish" types.

For veg you listed, the cukes, eggplants, and peppers should be okay if planted in a couple of weeks, except maybe for the bell pepper. I've found bell types to sometimes be iffy in Texas, especially when planted a bit late. Also, don't let your cukes get too rootbound before planting (this can happen quickly and they don't like it).

Beans are great as both a spring and fall crop -- I find bush beans tend to do better here in the heat (Dragon Tongue is a favorite), but don't let that stop you from trying out a few pole beans too. I would not plant beans in mid-summer, though. Third week of April is still do-able, but perhaps a bit late (imo). Wouldn't go any later than that.

Garlic gets planted in the fall, and some types do better here than others. You have a little more leeway than I do because your winters are a little colder (garlic prefers some winter chill), but ones you'll tend to have the best success with might include Creole and Asiatic/Turban types, and some Artichoke types. See the Gourmet Garlic Gardens site for some excellent recommendations on types that do well here and how and when to plant. Onions generally get planted in the late winter/early spring or the fall.

I think the third week of April is awfully late to plant tomatoes, so hope for a cool summer, shake your plants to help with pollination, and mulch well. :-) I would try to get them in as soon as you possibly can -- the problem with planting them late is the heat has a tendency to kill (denature) the pollen. Also, humidity can cause pollen to clump (which shaking the plants will help with to some extent). The best time in your area to plant out tomato transplants is the second or third week of March, earlier if you have backups in the event of a late frost. My target plantout date when I lived in the metroplex was the 15-18th of March, subject to what the long-range forecast said.

Hope this helps a little.


 o
RE: What Vegetables to Grow in Dallas

I have been growing my Tomatoes in Containers in a seed closet they are in gallon containers. my peppers are in the same type of setup.

I was going to plant them in 5 gallon buckets in my backyard.I was going to plant them the last weekend of April. They are doing great and they grow quite well in there. My plan was to grow them until they out grew the closest (another 8 inches or they out grow the pots they are in). Is this a bad idea?


 o
RE: What Vegetables to Grow in Dallas

This is my fourth year for asparagus and it's by far the easiest vegetable to grow. Plant it once and it will produce for 20+ years. In the DFW area, I've never seen a bug on it and no diseases either. We had such a bumper crop last year from 50 crowns that I was giving it away.

Once it starts heating up, it grows beautiful ferny foliage (5' to 6' high) and I always put tomato cages over the plant to keep it from falling over (the cages are quickly hidden by new growth). And I put a thick, 6" layer of shredded leaves as mulch and never have to weed. If you have a little extra space, I highly recommend it.

Recommended varieties for this area are: : Jersey Gem, Jersey Knight, and UC 157.


 o
RE: What Vegetables to Grow in Dallas

  • Posted by suze9 z8b SE Texas (My Page) on
    Wed, Apr 9, 08 at 3:00

element321, it took me a minute to figure out exactly what you meant by a "seed closet", but I did by looking at your blog. IOW, your light setup. :-)

Anyhow, I would get your plants in their buckets as soon as possible. Don't wait. You'll need to harden off your plants first (you may already know this) by gradually exposing them to the sun and wind over the course of a week or so. After you do that, plant in final buckets. It's plenty warm enough to have them outside, and if you wait much longer to plant, it will be difficult to get good fruit set most years because the heat will tend to kill (denature) a lot of the pollen. I think we are in for a hot summer, and doubt it will be as unseasonably cool as it was last year.

Not sure exactly where you are at, but even in a zone 8a, an ideal planting time would have been the second or third week of March, especially since you are planting in containers (buckets), which gives you the ability to protect from the occasional light frosts/freezes if need be.

More suggestions for future reference: for the current size of your plants, they would likely be better off in 4 inch pots, not gallon containers. Overpotting a seeding when it is small can sometimes slow growth. Also, I'd recommend you start your seeds a week or two sooner next year so they can be large enough size to be planted out earlier.


 o
RE: What Vegetables to Grow in Dallas

I live in the dallas area. Since I transplanted them we had 2 cold spells below 40 degrees.

Several people told me I had started to early. I know I planted my peppers to late. ( 2 weeks ago) But I have a nice screened in porch that I line w/ plastic that I can heat and has a light setup that I will use to keep my peppers alive until they have fruited.

But as for my tomatoes I will get them planted this weekend after the swap if I have the time. Right now they get 16 hours of light and the temp sits about 85 - 90 degrees ( a little high but the Tomatoes have grown several inches faster than if they were outside. Right now I have a box fan setup and blows on them when the light is on them. They should be wind hardened. Once I transplant them to their buckets. I am not sure how to harden off for the sun. should I put them under a tree where its shady most of the day and if so how many days should I harden them?


 o
RE: What Vegetables to Grow in Dallas

  • Posted by suze9 z8b SE Texas (My Page) on
    Wed, Apr 9, 08 at 18:56

I live in the dallas area. Since I transplanted them we had 2 cold spells below 40 degrees.

While not optimal, an occasional dip below 40 is not a big deal for a well hardened off transplant. Mid-thirties or below may be another story. But, since you're planting in buckets, those buckets could be put in the garage, shed, etc. if something like that were to happen.

In addition, the plants can be taken out to harden off and catch the sun even when temps are still occasionally freezing at night. Just bring them in at night. :)

If I waited until it was *guaranteed* consistently above 40 every single night to plant, most years I'd get my plants in too late to do much of anything in the way of good fruitset.

I am careful at first when I harden them off - for example I would not deliberately expose seedlings to 40F the first night. But after a week or so, I might come close to it (around 42F). Before that happens, they will have first seen a couple of temps in the low 50's, then the mid 40's, etc. The reason why is because I want them tough and able to withstand the inevitable cool night or two they will get after I plant them out.

Several people told me I had started to early.

A good time to start seeds in your area is around the 15th-18th of Jan. Here I start seeds around the 7th to 9th.

My recommendation to start them a couple weeks earlier next year is based on how your plants look at this time. They are now about (or close to) the size you would have wanted to have planted a couple of weeks ago. Actually, I prefer transplants to be just a little larger than that, but yours are big enough.

I know I planted my peppers to late.

I always start my peppers later than I should, because I am usually busy in late Dec. They tend to germinate and grow slower than tomatoes, so I prefer to start them a week or two before the tomatoes. To make up for it somewhat, I use a heat mat to help them germinate quickly. Plus, they can be planted a week or two later than tomatoes. In general, peppers do not tolerate cool nights as well as tomatoes.

But yes, start earlier next year with peppers if you can.

But as for my tomatoes I will get them planted this weekend after the swap if I have the time. Right now they get 16 hours of light and the temp sits about 85 - 90 degrees ( a little high but the Tomatoes have grown several inches faster than if they were outside.

In general, growing seedlings on the cool side (temps at 55-68F range) is my preferred method, as it makes for a stocky plant with better root development. Sure, the plants will grow slower, but warmer conditions will tend to favor top growth, and cooler conditions will tend to favor root development. You want the latter.

Right now I have a box fan setup and blows on them when the light is on them. They should be wind hardened.

That's good and does help, but be aware there will still be some adjustment when you put them outside as the wind is normally much stronger than the breeze from a fan.

Once I transplant them to their buckets. I am not sure how to harden off for the sun. should I put them under a tree where its shady most of the day and if so how many days should I harden them?

I would harden off first before you plant in the buckets. Take about a week to do this, especially if you have several hot days when doing so.

Under a tree would be fine, if you know that area is going to be shady most of the day, especially midday and hot afternoon sun. Go easy the first day (no more than an 30-45 min total of direct sun unless it is overcast), then gradually move them out further away from the tree for more exposure.


 o
RE: What Vegetables to Grow in Dallas

Seeds, which produces a healthier crop ? Can't you grow store brands organically or is it best to start with organic grown seeds?


 o
RE: What Vegetables to Grow in Dallas

Here is the Aggie page that recommends planting dates for spring and fall for North Texas

Here is a link that might be useful: Veggie Planting Dates for North Texas


 o
RE: What Vegetables to Grow in Dallas

For next spring, snow peas (Oregon Sugar Pods) do GREAT here! Plant them the 1st or 2nd week of February and you'll have a bumper crop. Also, plant radishes early as well as bibb lettuce. Herbs do well in the sun too.


 o
RE: What Vegetables to Grow in Dallas

I am glad you mentioned lettuce - Don't be afraid to try it here, but stay away from full blazing sun. We are able to grow lettuce almost year-round in various spots/gardens in our yard. I seriously don't think I've bought lettuce from a store in close to 3 years. We usually have bibb, romaine and Amish deer tongue going along with several other salad greens like arugula.


 o
RE: What Vegetables to Grow in Dallas

HI :)

Is there a new link for that TAMU vegetable planting date table?

Thanks :)


I have some arugula and spinnach from seeds in peat pots - I'll let you know how they fare in north texas as time goes on


 o
RE: What Vegetables to Grow in Dallas

  • Posted by shebear z8 NCentralTex (My Page) on
    Tue, Feb 24, 09 at 14:49

Try this

Here is a link that might be useful: Tarrant county planting dates


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Texas Gardening Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here