The winter garden – North Texas e-News

There is not much activity in the garden at this time of year. The garden is quiet as the holiday season approaches. Summer vegetables have succumbed to frost and freeze, so now is a great time to think about cool season plants. Early spring in Texas can bring very warm temperatures. These warm temperatures make cool weather plants very unhappy. So December and January are the best times to plant and establish these plants in the ground.

The nursery school is now full of colorful flowers. Check out your local nursery that carries plants that are suitable for your growing zone. sometimes not. Winter-hardy transplants of calendula, dianthus, flowering kale, pansies, violas and snapdragons are abundant. Once you walk into a garden center, there are so many options that it’s hard to narrow down. You will find established transplants ready for your garden. Once you’ve planted it in your space, it’s also very helpful to see how it looks.

Remember, cool season vegetables. Plant kale, spinach, chard and lettuce in December. Most greens thrive in these cooler conditions. Cool climate crops can tolerate light freezes and frosts and can be protected from more extreme cold and winds with light blankets and sheets. You can also purchase row covers from the nursery for a permanent solution. Checking the weather forecast is essential at this time of year.

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Herbs are another category that we can plant now. Cold-hardy varieties include chives, mint, oregano, sage, and thyme. It will take some time for the herbs to take root. It is best to plant early in the month to protect it from sudden drops in temperature. Rosemary is not on this list, but mine survived two cold winters with minimal protection.

Remember that mulch is your best protection against high winds and cold. Mulching the bed at planting will also prevent moisture loss. For best results, use organic materials such as straw, arborist wood chips, and chopped leaves.

Now is the time to curl up in your favorite chair with all these seed catalogs. Growing from seed yields many varieties that are not available as transplants from nurseries. When considering seeds for your garden, look for varieties that can withstand the Texas climate. Texas A&M has information and recommendations on the best plants for our area. If you plan to start sowing indoors in the spring, consider what kind of grow station you want. There are countless choices for lighting, heat mats and shelving units. 2023 is the year to start your seed-growing adventure.

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