All posts by Joshua Kersey

Know Your Frost Dates

If you are new to gardening, you probably want to maximize your gardening season. To get the most out of your garden, know your frost dates. There’s a spring frost date, and a fall frost date. For plants sensitive to frost, you should plant after the spring frost date and before the fall frost date. Because Texas is so large, we have a wide variety of frost dates. You should check The Farmer’s Almanac to determine your frost dates, and plant accordingly.

  • Dallas is typically March 12th and November 22nd. This is easy to remember because it covers St Patrick’s Day to the day JFK was shot.
  • El Paso is a little shorter, March 25th through November 8th.
  • Austin is just a little longer, March 1st to November 30th. Again this is pretty easy to remember.
  • Houston has a couple more weeks, February 19th to December 10th.
  • Amarillo has the shortest, April 21st through October 18th.
  • Brownsville is virtually frost free the entire year, with frost possible from December 20th through January 25th.

It should be noted though, that there’s a 30% chance of error on these dates according to The Farmer’s Almanac. If you know anything about Texas, you know the weather can be quite unpredictable. For things that are not frost tolerant at all, like many pepper plants, it’s best to keep them in a container that can be carried indoors if you’re planting between the spring frost date and the absolute last frost date, which can be as late as April 12th in Dallas. After the last frost date, your tender plants should be safe in the ground.

12 Health Benefits of Gardening

12 Health Benefits Of Gardening

Gardening has long been known to have valuable health benefits. We encourage you to shop around and buy your plants, seeds, and products from reputable local garden center.

1. Nutritious produce

Clearly, the obvious benefit of gardening is the abundance and availability of produce that exceeds comparable items found in grocery stores. More vitamins. More minerals. When done right, far superior quality than anything you can get at the average market.

2. Reduce stress by connecting with nature

Numerous studies have shown how gardening is used to treat PTSD, Alzheimer’s, substance abuse, and other mental illness. While the real benefit here could be the culmination of the other benefits, without doubt gardening helps people sleep and deal with mental issues in ways that those who don’t garden are just missing out on.

3. Increase vitamin D

Gardening in the sun, even on an overcast day, will deliver substantial quantities of vitamin D when compared to a day spent indoors with artificial light. The body will use vitamin D to build bones and restore cells.

4. Heal Faster

The additional nutrients and vitamin D also support a reduction in healing time. This is true for cuts, scrapes, bruises, broken bones, and other disease. For example, I notice that my eczema is sufficiently warded off as I toil in the garden.

5. Direct your focus to healthier food sources

As you begin focusing on your produce and the effort involved in growing them, you will learn to value each different food in new light. You will become familiar with superior produce and you will know first hand of any additional additives or modifications to the food you produce.

6. Boost confidence with a sense of accomplishment

As you grow your garden and reap the rewards, you will learn new skills and see what you are capable of producing. Doing this is sure to increase your confidence.

7. Beneficial bacteria

The mycobacterium veccae, identified as harmless and common in soil, has found to be beneficial to immune systems. This contributes to lower inflammation, aiding digestion and general reduction in the frequency of illness.

8. Exercise from physical tasks

While gardening is not always labor intensive, certain tasks require physical exertion. Carrying dirt, shoveling, tilling, plowing, and harvesting burn calories.

9. Increase social interaction

Gardening virtually forces you to experience social interaction. Gardening can involve lots of time. By engaging others for help with planting, preparing, harvesting, and sharing the vegetables and fruit, the amount of time you spend can be reduced, goals can be reached. Gardening can definitely be a family or community affair.

10. Gardening is beneficial for the environment

Gardening reduces our reliance on fossil fuels. Most grocery market items are trucked or shipped long distance. The additional fossil fuel expended to deliver the items increase carbon into the air. Despite a decrease in air quality, the carbon is described as contributing to global warming. The plants we grow instead use this carbon as food and release oxygen countering the climbing carbon dioxide.

11. Lower BMI.

Recent studies directly show a correlation between BMI and gardening. Across 2 separate studies, gardeners on average ranged from 1.8 to 2.6 lower BMI. As a function of height and weight, this equates to 10 to 30 pounds less across age and gender groups measured in the studies when compared to their non-gardening counterparts.

12. Improve mood with instant feedback gratification

You get to see what you can do in every aspect of gardening. From tilling unused ground to planting seeds and producing fruits and vegetables, you can visually tell what you have accomplished.

10 Gardening Health Benefits

Central Texas Gardener

Central Texas Gardener

The Public Access show Central Texas Gardener has a blog. The show and web site are very informative. They are also both very rich in beautiful photography and scenes.

Central Texas Gardener Episodes

Watch 139 full episodes of Central Texas Gardener on their web site. The long-running program has covered everything from azaleas to zenias.

Central Texas Gardener Resources

Be sure and check out CTG’s long list of gardener resources. While usually brief, they cut to the chase and highlight the important information.

Perennials for Texas on Dallas News Texas Gardening Calendar

Choosing Perennials for Texas

The Dallas News has information for a Texas gardening calendar in August this year. It focuses on perennials that can withstand the tough Texas elements.

Other Topics

It also mentions garden education, building a butterfly puddle, vegetables, rare and limited quantity bulbs available in Collin County, and a contest for residents in Fort Worth.