It’s time to start your fall vegetable garden in Houston!
Houston is known for being hot and humid. But now that fall is approaching, many local residents are starting their fall vegetable gardens in spite of the unpredictable weather.
That said, Houston fall weather can be ideal for a wide range of vegetables.
Understanding which vegetables work best for the varying Houston temperatures and soil types is the key to ensuring that you have a healthy garden that produces colorful and great-tasting vegetables to include on your dinner table.
Growing vegetables in Houston
Houston residents can depend on plenty of sunshine and sufficient levels of rainfall for their gardens. September is ideal for vegetables such as kale, broccoli, and cauliflower.
These vegetables require between 6 and 8 hours of sunlight with an adequate circulation of the surrounding air. By removing weeds and properly preparing the soil, you’ll ensure a plentiful and high-quality harvest from your garden.
You can expect to use about 1 pound of fertilizer for every 50 square feet of soil bed you’ll be using. When using compost, an ideal amount to incorporate in the soil is approximately 6 inches.
Finally, your vegetables will need the right drainage to grow properly. Many Houston gardeners use raised beds to ensure a consistent level of moisture in their gardens.
Growing delicious broccoli
If you’re looking to harvest a full yield, you can begin planting broccoli seeds in the middle of the summer season. Fall broccoli crops grow in approximately 5 to 6 weeks, while summer crops take a bit longer.
Houston fall temperatures can reach between 65 and 75 degrees, which makes it ideal for growing broccoli. Use this as a gauge when deciding when to plant your seeds for the best results.
Seeds should be planted in rows that are about 3 feet apart from each other. Each plant should be placed about 2 feet apart for optimum growth.
The texture of your soil should strike a balance between sandy and clay. Also, pH levels should remain lower than 6.5 but above 5.8.
When watering broccoli plants, try to maintain consistency over time. The best times for watering are in the early morning. This ensures that they are dry later in the day before sunset.
Too little water keeps the roots shallow, which interferes with their ability to obtain the nutrients they need. The soil should receive water that reaches a depth of about 6 inches.
Cauliflower in Houston
Cauliflower, like broccoli, grows best in cooler temperatures that have a moderate to high level of humidity. It can also be planted in the middle of summer for harvesting in the fall season.
In general, fall cauliflower crops are higher in quality than those harvested in the summer.
Cauliflower grows best using a high level of nutrients. So choose a rich soil bed when planting them in your garden. Cauliflower plants require high levels of magnesium. If your soil is too acidic, it could lead to a deficiency and impair the quality and growth of the plants.
Seeds should be planted just less than an inch deep in rows that are approximately 6 inches apart from each other. Cauliflower requires consistent water levels. Irrigation keeps the plants adequately hydrated without undue stress.
Kale has become one of the most popular vegetables for health-conscious consumers. Kale is easy to plant and grow, making it a staple in many vegetable gardens.
Kale can grow in a variety of soil types, but using well-drained soil with a minimum pH of 6.0 provides the greatest results. Fertilizer should be worked into the top 3 inches of the soil before planting the seeds.
Kale can also be planted as late as October for a fall and winter harvest. This makes it a versatile vegetable to plant and harvest in Houston.
These are just a few of the vegetables you can include in your fall vegetable garden. Houston weather provides adequate sunlight and rainfall to grow these and other vegetables in the fall season.
If you’re in Houston, following these steps will give you the greatest results and help you get the most out of your garden for years to come.