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Getting Into Gardening

If you’re looking to spend more time outdoors this spring and aren’t afraid of getting a little dirty, gardening is a wonderful hobby to take up. Gardening not only allows you to connect with nature but provides a sense of satisfaction from watching your plants grow (and potentially even produce food)!


Here are a few tips to consider if you’re a newbie to gardening and are hoping to grow a green thumb in the Texas Hill Country.


Timing is Everything


May is an ideal month for gardening. There’s usually a healthy amount of rain, the possibility of a cold snap is in the rearview mirror, and it’s still not too hot out yet. While it’s a little late in the season to be planting spring flowers (those should have been planted in March), this is the ideal time for many vegetables.


Know Your Zone


Each part of the country is made up of various hardiness zones. These help gardeners know which types of plants will thrive best in their particular region, and Kyle happens to be in Zone 8. If you’ve been here for any amount of time, you know that hot summers and mild winters are the standard. It’s these conditions that make this area great for heat-loving vegetables. 


Prep Your Garden Area


Unless you aim to grow cattails, well-draining soil is going to be a must. You’ll also want to aim for a space that offers a good amount of sun.


Once you have your gardening spot picked out, there are a few things you’ll need to do to ensure your plants flourish.


  • Apply a compost layer of mulch to flower beds to suppress weeds and retain moisture.
  • Plant any bedding plants, such as shrubs, and give them ample water before the weather really heats up.
  • Water your plants deeply and infrequently to foster strong roots.
  • Loosen up the soil before planting any vegetable seeds.
  • Pull any weeds that may have popped up before they start seeding.


Grow What You Like


Some plants are going to be easier than others to grow, but regardless of difficulty, you should grow what you like. There’s no sense in growing tomatoes if nobody in your household can stand them. If you grow what you like, you’ll enjoy gardening that much more!


Vegetables that do well in Zone 8 and are perfect for planting in May:


  • Beans
  • Beets
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Eggplant
  • Peppers
  • Okra
  • Spinach
  • Cucumbers
  • Herbs
  • Summer squash


Because some vegetables grow faster than others, you’ll also want to stagger your plantings out rather than putting all your seeds in the ground at once.


Another key thing to consider is making sure those seeds get the right amount of water. A wooden chopstick or skewer is handy for gauging if the soil is too dry. If when you poke the chopstick in the ground, the top two inches are dry, you need to water it.


May is a wonderful month for gardening, and with so much natural beauty around Kyle, it’s a perfect outdoor hobby. If you’re looking for a home here, reach out to us to learn more about the master-planned Crosswinds community. 


3 Secrets for a Successful Texas Spring Garden

What better way to welcome spring than by getting outside and planting a garden in the backyard of your new home in Kyle? To help cultivate your Texas spring garden, our master-planned community put together some gardening tips and a planting guide for you to use.

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1. Prune Your Spring Garden

If any of your existing shrubs require pruning, a helpful trick is to wait until the flowers fade to take out your trimmers. This will ensure that your plants and trees bloom nicely in the coming year. Additionally, if you notice any of the flowers in your garden are dying, cut them back. The act of “deadheading” your flowers reduces pest and disease problems and encourages your plants to bloom. Lastly, be sure to clean up your spring garden by removing any fallen leaves from last season, as well as any debris or muck.

2. Mulch Matters

The absolute best way to save yourself time and energy when it comes to your Texas spring garden is to spread mulch! We recommend laying down 2-3 inches of mulch in your garden. This gardening tip will help prevent the growth of most weeds and will keep the soil moist during the hot Texas summer. For added nutrients, you can add clay or sand to your mulch.

3. A Helpful Planting Guide

During spring, you can plant cool-season varieties of vegetables, as they’ll survive any frosty weather that might occur. These vegetables include cauliflower, peas, broccoli, lettuce and radishes. Warm-season varieties, such as tomatoes, peppers, squash and okra, should be planted when the soil consistently reaches 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Test the soil temperature by walking across the soil barefoot. If the soil is still too cold, but you want to get a head start on planting your warm-season vegetables, start by planting them in pots indoors. When the weather warms up, you can begin to acclimate the vegetables to the outdoors by transporting them outside.

Add life to your new home in Kyle with beautiful flowers and fresh vegetables! As the weather gets warmer, you can use our gardening tips to help you plant and nurture a Texas spring garden. Looking for a new home where you can plant a spring garden? Contact Crosswinds today to learn more about available homes. You can also connect with our master-planned community on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Image via Getty Images. Creative number 173882756.