Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Gardening in Texas: A Gardening Book for New Texans

Month by Month Gardening in Texas: What to Do Each Month to Have a Beautiful Garden All YearI first started getting interested in gardening in High School.  Then, I lived in the California mountains, a place where the main  challenges for gardeners was the short growing season and too much shade.  Texas couldn't be more different.

I was clueless about how to garden in Texas.  I knew that there were two growing seasons here, but didn't really understand how to garden for them.  I started my plants way too late in the Spring, and wasn't sure when the fall season started so just didn't try.  Not knowing that different plants should be grown in different seasons, I planted a lot of things at the wrong time.  I didn't even know there was such a thing as cool season and warm season annuals.  And lets not even get into how little I know about maintaining a lawn...living on a boat and then in the mountains, we never even had a lawn growing up.

This year has been different, cause I've had help.  The book Month-to-Month Gardening in Texas has been teaching me when to plant things, and I've even been starting to inch my way towards proper lawn maintenance.   I wish I had gotten this book years ago...it would have saved me, and the poor plants I was trying to grow, a lot of agony!

I love the month to month guidance!  I like knowing exactly what to plant, and what maintenance to do on my plants each month, what conditions to expect, etc.  It's written in a way that's simple to understand, and the layout makes it easy to find what you need.  I recommend this for anyone who's new to Texas.

While I absolutely love this book, there's a few things I think could be improved.
  • While I love the month to month layout, I wish they hadn't separated it into different types of plants (grass, trees, shrubs, vegetables, etc.) they way they did.  I think a better layout would be to have all the things you do in a certain month in one place, to cause less flipping around.  
  • They could have given more guidance on when to plant herbs.  I realize herbs can be planted with more flexibility, but if they had been included in the "what to plant this month" section, that would have been nice.  A few herbs, like Basil, were mentioned, but not many.
  • Though the book is perfect for a newcomer like me, I should note that many people who reviewed this book mentioned that it was too basic, so if you feel like you've got the basics of Texas gardening down, this may not be the book for you. 

Other Resources

Though I highly recommend this book for new Texans, you can also find a lot of this info online.  Also, if you have a local garden club, they may have info on their website, or sell a book of their own, with even more specific info for your area.

Here's some online resources for gardeing in Texas:

For Finding Planting Times 
General Resources
Regional Resources

Roses and Other Gardening Joys


  1. Your book sounds like a winner. I lived in Abilene, TX once for 5 mos. Every time I moved (military) to a new state, I'd buy a book just like the one you described to help me get a feel for the area. Books like that are real lifesavers. :o)

  2. Welcome to Texas! So glad you linked in with your review! I was so excited when I saw the book you reviewed - I have this book, and I agree with everything you say, especially the part about how it could have been improved by not separating out the different categories. I put tabs on each category so they would be easier for me to find. I had almost forgotten I had this book. Thanks for reminding me of a great resource. I'm going to start using it again!

  3. I have never lived in Texas, so I would be as clueless as you were. To find a book to help with gardening in the Texas terrain and climate must have been very nice.