Texas has many challenges for gardeners, such as shallow and alkaline soils in west and central Texas, enduring summer heat, high humidity in east and southeast Texas and occasional droughts intermingled with floods. But with a plan to accommodate these conditions, gardeners can be successful in producing healthy crops and flowers. It is easier to incorporate essential elements into a garden plan than it is to try to fix what goes wrong after the fact.
Select a level site that receives at least six hours of sunlight per day and has access to water. Measure the dimensions of the site with a measuring tape.
Make a list of the vegetables your family likes to eat. You may be able to grow zucchini easily in your Texas garden, but if no one will eat it, you have wasted that space.
Investigate the requirements and growth habits of the plants you want to include in your garden plan. Make sure those types and varieties can be grown in your area of Texas. Find out when each type of plant should be planted, its space requirements and date to maturity. In many parts of Texas, vegetables can be grown all year. Therefore, with careful planning, you can rotate crops two or three times in the same garden area.
Use graph paper and pencil to lay out your garden plan using each square on the paper to represent a square foot of garden space.
Place the paths first on the garden layout to define the growing areas.
Add an irrigation system to the plan. Because water is a precious and expensive resource in Texas, drip irrigation is the most efficient way to add supplemental water to garden plants. On the plan, place the irrigation pipes along one side.
Place plant identifiers onto sections of the graph paper based on each plant’s space requirements. Do not forget to add herbs into your garden plan as well as some flowering plants that invite pollinators and repel harmful insects.