At North Haven Gardens, we are passionate about gardening and about having fresh, organic, plant-based food options. One of the best ways to ensure your family is eating healthy is vegetable gardening. When you take control of what’s in your garden, you can control what’s on your plate. Not only that, foodscaping can be fun and beautiful.
Preparing Your Gardening Plot
The first thing you’ll need to do is come up with a location for your vegetable garden. One of the great things about vegetables is that the greens are often beautiful enough to use them in your regular landscaping. An edible garden will need at least six hours of sunlight every day, so this can get you started in thinking about where to plant your garden.
One of the questions we often get is, “Do you design landscapes?” While we don’t currently offer full landscape design services, we do have a fee-based Garden Coach program, with talented, experienced staff who can meet with you privately, either at home or at NHG, to walk you through vegetable (as well as landscape and ornamental) gardening. In addition, NHG’s landscape concierge service offers a list of many established local companies offering a range of gardening and landscape services to choose from. Foodscaping is an art, so you want to ensure the professionals you choose to work with have the skills required for your specific goals..
The second thing you’ll need to do is prepare the soil. Are you using raised boxes? Try the Mayer Materials Raised Bed mixed. If you’re using an area that has previously been gardened in, use products like Espoma’s Bio-Tone and Vital Earth’s Garden Soil Builder to revitalize garden soil. Depending on what you’ll be growing, you may also need specialized amendments to enhance the soil. NHG’s Garden Advisors are always available to help you get started.
Planting the Seeds
At NHG, we are experts at seeding for the weather and soil situations throughout the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex. We can direct you on when to plant seeds, whether to do it outdoors or start indoors, how deep to plant them, how far to space them, and growing guidelines one your seeds sprout. It’s also important you know which plants to pair with others, so you have the most success. For example:
- Pair basil with tomatoes and lettuce. It dramatically attracts bees, and it improves the flavor of the lettuce and tomatoes.
- Pair corn with green beans. The beans can grow up the corn stalks, but they also create nitrogen in the soil, something the corn needs.
- Pair tomatoes with carrots. The tomatoes provide needed shade for the carrots and a natural insecticide that targets carrot-loving pests. The carrots also aerate the soil for the tomatoes, so more water and oxygen can get to the roots.
As you plant seeds, you’ll also want to plant pollinator gardens surrounding your edible garden. This is just one way to attract the bees and other pollinators you need to keep your plants producing. Some of the best flowers for attracting pollinators are annual marigolds, cosmos, sunflowers, lavender, and zinnias. There are also flowering perennials that come back every year – many of them drought-tolerant Texas natives. Blooming perennials not only attract pollinators but offer beauty throughout the growing season and can be a long-term, cost effective addition to any part of the garden.
Understanding When To Harvest
You must know when it’s optimal to harvest your produce. Different vegetables will be ready to harvest throughout the season. The weather in Dallas, TX offers a unique opportunity to be able to garden and harvest from spring through fall. At NHG, we have the information you need to know when it’s time to harvest.
Come Visit Us Today
Edible gardening isn’t just something that reaps delicious benefits. It’s also a way to spruce up the yard and relieve some stress. If you’re interested in learning more about vegetable gardening, contact NHG in Dallas today at 214-363-5316, check our website and Facebook page for helpful tips on gardening, and come visit us at 7700 Northaven Road, Dallas TX 75230.
Featured Image: Irina Fischer / Shutterstock