In Conroe, Texas, the Texas AgriLife Extension Services vegetable area is the perfect place to start planting herbs. Tomatoes, radishes, cucumbers, green beans, corn, broad beans, mustard greens, peppers and squash are all great choices to plant in April. Watermelons, cantaloupe, sweet potatoes, southern peas, okra, eggplant and squash should be planted in late April. The soils in Texas can be deficient in essential elements such as nitrogen, potassium, calcium and magnesium.
Many soil tests show normal or even high concentrations of elements that are harmful in large doses. To ensure your garden is healthy and thriving, it's important to choose companion plants that will help your vegetables grow. Some of the best companion plants for a garden in Conroe include Conoclinium coelestinum (blue haze), a perennial that grows up to three feet tall and blooms blue from July to November; Eryngium leavenworthii (Leavenworth's eryngo), a three-foot tall perennial; and Machaeranthera tanacetifolia (Tahoka daisy), an annual that grows up to one foot tall and blooms purple from July to September. Herbs such as basil, mint, sage and sweet marjoram should be harvested just before the plant begins to bloom.
Parsley leaves can be cut and dried at any time. After harvest, hang the herbs in loose bundles in a well-ventilated room or spread them on a mesh or metallic cloth on flat trays. Cover the herbs with a cloth that keeps dust away but allows moisture to pass through. When it comes to naturalizing bulbs such as daffodils and daylilies, the foliage should be left on after flowering as it feeds the bulb to produce the following year's flowers. However, grape hyacinths are an exception - their foliage can be removed when it starts to yellow.
Most bulbs that bloom in spring don't need watering in summer. Daylilies are great companion plantings for daffodils as their leaves help hide dying foliage. In East Texas, most spring-blooming bulbs should be planted between late September and early November in well-drained soil. Texas gardeners typically plant tomatoes twice a year - first in spring and again in late summer - taking a break during the hottest months of July and August when harvests often slow down or stop completely. To prevent mite populations from increasing to harmful numbers when fall vegetable crops grow, it might be easier to choose plants that thrive in fall weather if you buy transplants from a garden store. In most areas of Texas it's also possible to have a fall vegetable garden but it will need to be managed somewhat differently than a spring orchard. If you are using an established garden area, pull out all plant material, remnants of your spring harvest and any weeds that have grown in the garden. Marigolds can help eliminate mites when planted in August.
When the plants in your Texas orchard start to sprout it's essential to maintain a good harvest by regularly cutting back any plants that have grown too big. We'll look at plants native to North Central Texas - both annuals and perennials - and assume they can grow well in the same environment as your skullcap. For pre-planting irrigation you may need to spray the entire garden to settle the soil enough for drip irrigation water to move laterally - especially on sandy soils. Prepare your Texas garden for the warmer season by checking water retention, texture and soil density. The most common types of oregano in Texas are Origanum vulgare - the low-growing plant used in Italian or Greek food - and Lippia graveolens or Lippia palmeri - the bushy shrub known as Mexican oregano. A local nursery can help you determine what Texas planting zone you are in and what types of plants will thrive in your area. Planting summer vegetables in Texas should wait until after the last frost of the season which usually occurs in early March - only after the garden has been cleaned and reorganized. For those looking for companion plants for their garden in Conroe, Texas there are many options available.
From herbs like basil and mint to perennials like blue haze and Leavenworth's eryngo there is something for everyone. Annuals like Tahoka daisy can also add color and texture to any garden. It is important to remember that harvesting herbs should be done just before they begin blooming while bulbs like daffodils should have their foliage left on after flowering so they can feed off of it for next year's flowers. Additionally, marigolds can help eliminate mites when planted in August while pre-planting irrigation may need to be done with sprayers on sandy soils.
Finally, local nurseries can help determine what type of plants will thrive best in each planting zone.