If you haven't tilled your garden and added compost or manure yet, it's time to get it done. And, if you haven't tested your soil in awhile, it would be a good idea to get a soil test done through the Smith County Extension office (535-0885). Soil in East Texas tends to be acid, so lime is often needed. Other nutrients sometimes in short supply include nitrogen, potassium, calcium and magnesium - but only a soil test will show exactly what's needed in yours. Once your soil is ready, here's what to plant when:
February - broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, asparagus, beets, carrots, Swiss chard, collards, kale, English peas, potatoes, turnips, spinach and garlic.
March - bush beans, pole beans, lima beans, beets, Swiss chard, corn, cucumber, cantaloupe, radish, squash, tomatoes and watermelon.
April - beans, eggplant, okra, southern peas, peppers, sweet potatoes,
pumpkins, squash, and watermelon.
To have the most success with your garden, be sure to select varieties that do well in East Texas, and buy quality seeds. Some varieties recommended for our area include:
A more complete list of varieties is available on the web. Go to http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/ and click "East Texas Gardening." The East Texas Piney Woods site will direct you to vegetable gardening. For Smith County and Northeast Texas you will find four pages of vegetable varieties listed.
Carol Runnels, Smith County Master Gardener
Texas AgriLife Extension Service