Everything is bigger in Texas—even the growing season. That’s especially true in East Texas, which has a fantastic growing season. However, compared to the rest of this desert state, East Texas receives harsher weather during the winter. That means you need to be particular with what you plant. Lucky for you, this article will teach you the best vegetables to grow in East Texas.
The type of vegetables that do best in the East Texas climate are those that can be grown year-round and have acclimated to the high summer temperatures. If you don’t know these off the top of your head, don’t worry, we’ll cover that next.
What’s the Climate in East Texas?
As we mentioned East Texas has a milder climate than West Texas. While it does receive harsher winters, the summer weather is less extreme. While East Texas is undoubtedly hot, it receives a good amount of annual rainfall, unlike the rest of the state.
Overall East Texas has a humid subtropical climate. In the summer temperatures range from 85°F to 95°F. In the winter temperatures range from 41°F to 25°F. East Texas receives 40 to 60 inches of rain annually—which is ideal for growing veggies.
Want to live off grid in Texas? We’ve written a few articles on off grid living in Texas.
Best Vegetables to Grow in East Texas
Here are the ten best vegetables to grow in East Texas.
Asparagus is one of East Texas’s most frequently farmed vegetables, largely due to Texas’s favorable conditions. While it takes 2-3 years for asparagus to reach its maximum size, once it’s mature, it will continue to produce the vegetable for many years, if not decades.
While it’s always cheaper to start growing your plants from seeds if you want to see quicker results we recommend purchasing already growing plants from your local nursery.
In East Texas, you won’t have any trouble growing broccoli—one of the most popular veggies for growing. Although it may seem like a long time, the usual growing period for broccoli in East Texas is between 14 and 22 weeks. Despite this, thanks to the ample sun the broccoli tends to be enormous.
Broccoli is full of nutrients that give you all the sustenance you need. I recommend buying this survival pack of seeds—just in case you’re ever in a survival situation. It has all the vegetables and fruit you’d ever need to start a garden.
In East Texas, where potatoes can be grown year-round. Additionally, they’re quite simple to grow and you’ll see several homesteaders cultivating potatoes. The only thing you need to worry bout when growing potatoes is pests—which can dry to dig up your potatoes to eat them.
In East Texas, potatoes typically take 8 to 11 weeks to reach full maturity—you can find some mature bulbs for planting here.
Cabbage grows quite slowly but has a slight tolerance to frost, making it a great crop for East Texas. In fact, you can grow it year-round—however, we recommend growing cabbages as a late fall crop. That way you’ll have fresh food at a time when it’s usually too cold for fruits and vegetables.
Of course, the more favorable the climate is, the shorter it will take for your cabbages to develop. However, generally speaking, it takes between 12 and 25 weeks until you’ll have ready-to-eat cabbages.
Tomato plants flourish in East Texas due to the warm climate. Unlike cabbages, these aren’t cold-weather-friendly plants and should be cultivated during the summer months.
Even though it’s dry, your tomato plants won’t have trouble growing as long as you give them plenty of water. There are many different tomato plant varieties, and you may grow many of them. However, cherry tomatoes and beefsteak tomatoes are the most widely grown ones in East Texas. The maturation of the tomatoes takes, on average, 7 to 12 weeks.
If you want more successful tomato plants, you should be mulching them. Learn what type of mulch to use here.
In East Texas, cauliflowers are a pretty popular crop since they are hardy plants that may get quite big quickly. While they’re seedlings (if you’re growing from seeds), make sure you keep their soil moist—as dry soil will harm the growth of the plants.
Cauliflowers typically take 8 to 14 weeks to grow if you are growing them in East Texas.
Because of the warm summer days in East Texas, cucumbers grow well. And, let’s face it—who doesn’t want to eat cucumbers on a warm summer day? I know I do!
The only downside of cucumbers is that they require a lot of water. In Texas, this can be tough. However, if you can give them the required water, cucumbers can be expected to grow for 7 to 10 weeks.
In East Texas, spinach is a simple vegetable to grow. It’s also impressively adaptable. Our favorite thing about spinach though, is that it grows quickly and can be cultivated multiple times a year. Spinach takes between 8 and 9 weeks to completely develop.
Onions are cold-weather vegetables making them another great choice for a late fall crop in East Texas. In fact, they pair great with cabbages, which, if you remember is another hearty plant.
Another big benefit is that onion plants are low maintenance. You can expect to have onions after 10 to 12 weeks after growing.
East Texas is a good place to grow peppers (especially sweet peppers). Peppers are often cultivated in the summer, though some individuals may grow them in the winter if the climate permits it. For the best results, we recommend growing your peppers in the summer though.
If you have the right climate, hot peppers mature in about 18 to 21 weeks, whereas sweet peppers require about 8 to 12 weeks (which is partly why we love sweet peppers so much).
As you can see, East Texas offers a wide range of alternatives for growing veggies. The nicest thing about growing vegetables in this state is that you may do it year-round. However, some crops must be planted in the early months while others must be grown in the late months.
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