What Can I Plant Mid- to Late-March in Dallas?

Getting the itch to really garden with the great sunny days?  Here’s a guide to what you can plant now and for the next 2-3 weeks.

It’s still not too late to seed in

lettuces (look especially for the heat resistant varieties if you want to lettuce to last longer)
Swiss chard

Late March (depending on our having received our last freeze – usually mid-March), you can seed in:

Beans – all types
Malabar Spinach (a climber, but beautiful!)
Water melon
Summer Squash
Winter Squash (acorn, butternut)

And you can start setting in those transplants for tomatoes!  Wait a bit on the peppers till after April 1.

SEEDING Dallas II is Next Saturday!

Our mini-conference on urban ag is scheduled for November 11, 2017, at the Owenwood Neighbor Space (formerly Owenwood UMC).  We have three tracks:  learning gardening, community garden management, and market gardening.

Registration is only $10, and it starts at 8:30 am, ends by 1:30 pm.

Here’s the link to register:  http://www.grownorthtexas.org/events

See you there!

Community Gardens Are Busting Out All Over!

potting trashThe last two weeks have been hectic.  The Community Garden Conference in Grand Prairie, sponsored by the Tarrant County Food Bank and assisted by the North Texas Food Bank, was well attended.  I was there with GROW North Texas; we team-taught a seed starting class.  Andrea, the GNT Farmer Advocate talked about soil mixes, while I got my hands dirty and muddy, mixing up the seed starting concoction, and then I lead the “trash talk”.  In other words, how to start seeds by repurposing things like toilet paper rolls and empty water bottles; how to roll a newspaper pot with a spice jar, and how to convert a strawberry clamshell into a mini-greenhouse.  It was lots of fun, and a majority of the attendees took advantage of the hands-on, to plant some seeds and make some seed-starting pots.

DK raised bed

On Sunday I had a chance to visit Divine Kinship’s project in southern Dallas County.  They are working with permaculture instructor Nicholas Burtner to transform a 3+ acre piece of property that is currently grass and cedars.  It has a lot of elevation changes, a seasonal creek on one side, and a variety of soils ranging from caliche to sand.  It’s almost overwhelming all that they have to do to transform the property into a food forest and permaculture scape.  But large jobs are best broken into manageable pieces, and they are setting up raised beds, with plans to start planting in the next few weeks.  The beds are crafted from logs, and filled with wonderful mulch that will break down into incredible soil.  The mulch will also hold water from the rains.

Note in the middle of the bed you can see some reddish bumps with white dots on top.  Those are terra cotta pots, made into ollas, with rocks covering the holes on the top.  I’ll be teaching a DIY olla class, as well as using other recyclables for repurposing soon.