How to Start a Vegetable Garden in Texas


To have a successful spring garden in Texas you need to prepare the garden area and get the vegetable plants started as early as possible. However, freezing weather can occur with short notice so you'll need to provide protection for tender warm season plants such as tomatoes or peppers. Every county in Texas has a county extension office that will assist you in testing your soil so you know what amendments need to be added and at what amounts in order to have a successful spring garden in Texas. Also, your county extension office can give you a planting schedule of when to plant different vegetable plants in your area.

Step 1

Clear the area where you plant to grow vegetables by pulling and digging all weeds and other plants from the site. Pulverize dirt clods with a shovel or hoe and loosen soil to a depth of 6 inches.

Step 2

Measure the length and width of the garden in feet and multiply the amounts to get the square feet area of the garden. For example, if the garden measures 20 feet by 50 feet, then the square feet area of the garden is 1,000 square feet. The soil test recommendations will be written as the amount of a certain amendment to add per so many square feet so you'll need to know how many square feet are in your garden.

Step 3

Add soil amendments such as nitrogen, phosphorous or lime at the level recommended on the soil test. Do not add any amendment that was not recommended on the soil test or you may damage your soil. Also, do not add more than the recommended amount.

Step 4

Spread a 2-inch layer of compost over the soil and work the compost and the amendments into the top 3 inches of soil; then rake the entire area smooth.

Step 5

Plant new vegetable plants with a distance between the plants that is recommended on the seed package or nursery label. Plants that are susceptible to frost damage should not be planted in the garden until after the danger of frost has passed unless you can add protection such as row covers. Prepare to water the garden regularly to prevent plants from becoming stressed and affecting vegetable yields.

Things You'll Need

  • Soil test results
  • Recommended soil amendments
  • Shovel
  • Compost
  • Source of water
  • Rake
  • Hoe
  • Vegetable plants


  • Texas Gardener: Ten Secrets to a Successful Spring Garden
  • Aggie Horticulture: Texas Home Gardening Guide
  • East Texas Gardening: Success with Spring Vegetable Gardening
Keywords: spring gardening in texas, texas gardening, beginning texas gardener

About this Author

Based in Rockdale Texas, Jim Gober has been writing garden-related articles for 25 years. His articles appear in several Texas newspapers including The Rockdale Reporter, The Lexington Leader, The Cameron Herald and The Hearne Democrat. He is a Master Gardener and Certified Texas Nursery and Landscape Professional. He holds bachelor degrees in English Writing from St. Edward's University and Finance from Lamar University.