Hi, Show Diva!
Here are some tips that might help North Texas gardeners be more successful in 2009. These are critical facts that people need to remember as they garden in and around the DFW Metroplex.
What Hardiness Zone are we in? USDA Plant Hardiness Zone 7 (8 in downtown areas and south of DFW). That means that most of the area can expect winter temperatures to fall to 10 to 15 degrees. Buy trees and shrubs that can survive at those temperatures. Ask your nurseryman, or check the plant tag.
The average date of last killing freeze in spring in Dallas/Fort Worth is March 17-20. At that time, you have a 50 percent chance of at least one more killing frost or freeze.
The average date of our first killing freeze in fall is November 17-20. You need to schedule your fall gardening plantings accordingly so that crops will have ample time to grow, bloom and produce before frost.
The predominant soil type for the Metroplex is black clay gumbo. It is alkaline, and it’s often sitting atop even more alkaline white rock caliche. Since good soils are the foundation to all successful gardening, you need to amend your soil carefully.
The best things to add to any soil to improve it: organic matter (peat, compost, finely ground pine bark mulch, rotted manure) …plus expanded shale if you’re amending a clay.
Horticulturist and Publisher, Neil Sperry’s GARDENS Magazine