Learn the 6 Basics of the Vegetable Garden in Houston. In 2014, I adopted a new school garden and had been thinking about how to re-design it and make the most of it. I will serve a kindergarten class so it must be effortless to access for short arms 🙂
As always when designing a new location, you should consider the Basics of the Vegetable Garden in Houston:
- Location: always choose the sunniest spot in your yard; everything else is secondary.
- Preparation of the soil: if you have the time: cover the ground with black bags for 2-3 weeks (secure with rocks or planks of wood), to “cook the soil” and kill weeds. If not, weeding by hand is needed.
- Installing raised beds: although in many places you can grow directly in the ground, this is not the case in Houston. I recommend raised beds since it creates a barrier to prevent weed growth and prevent the soil from getting compacted so that the roots can quickly grow. Also, they protect your crop from minor flooding events.
- Soil: The essential thing (only secondary to sun exposure), is the quality of the soil. It will determine the quality of the vegetables you grow. Buy organic soil if possible and specifically develop to grown vegetables (mix of compost and sand).
- Irrigation: your water source should be close to the garden, so that during the summer when it is sometimes necessary to water two times a day, this is no problem. Soaker hoses are the best method to provide even watering during our hot summers.
- Records: Always keep records of where you grow the plants in each bed so you can establish a proper crop rotation. Do not think you are going to remember next year. A simple diagram will save you time and disease to your plants.
Visit our collection of articles on how to grow vegetables in Houston.
The transition from abandon garden to a productive vegetable garden is magnificent. This garden is located in the Medical Center Area in Houston.
It is a small vegetable garden with four raised beds for children from pre-K and Kindergarten. When planning a garden for this age group, 4-5 years, it is essential to focus on deep raised beds; higher is more accessible for children to work on them. And the beds cannot be too broad, as his short arms should be able to reach the middle of the bed to cultivate and plant.
This garden had been abandoned during a couple of years, and they used to grow in plastic buckets. I do not recommend this, because, for large plants like tomatoes, you do not have enough soil and nutrients. And small buckets dry out almost immediately, requiring permanent irrigation for the plants not to get stressed.
The first thing I did was weeding and pulling out all the grass and weeds. Then, we set up the raised beds; these are plastic, found on Amazon. We cover the bottom of each bed with five layers of newspaper. Filled them with the best quality soil we could buy. Position the plants and cover with mulch around them. Now is ready to be enjoyed with the kids for years to come.
If you have questions, leave me a comment.