March 1, 2011
One of the main reasons the Las Lomas community wishes to have a community garden is to enable them to grow some of their own fruits and vegetables.
Vegetable Gardening Online is an excellent website I found that talks about how to maximize vegetable growth in minimal space using vertical gardening.
“Vertical gardening can be anything from training one or two of your vegetables to grow upward in the garden, to creating an elaborate structure with a frame and cross shelving to contain an entire garden in a small space. Or anything in between! You can use wooden or metal trellises, hanging baskets, shelves, containers, a wood frame, or any combination of these, to create a space-saving vertical garden.”
Some of the vegetables that require vertical support (they are climbers):
- Green Beans
- Lima Beans
Some vegetables that do NOT require vertical supports:
As far as garden location, the site has the following helpful tips:
- Most vegetable plants need 6+ hours of sunlight
- Avoid shading trees or shrubs
- Best if facing south
However, the leafy vegetables do grow well in shade or partial shade.
For region-specific produce, I found this article “The Best Vegetables to Grow in South Texas” by Christie Gross. She identifies the three “best” vegetables to be potatoes (especially red-skinned varieties), tomatoes (which need specific soil conditions), and eggplant (especially as a winter crop).
Also, the Texas AgriLIFE Extension of the Texas A&M System has produced an 11-page Texas Home Vegetable Gardening Guide. This is a fantastic and concise resource, discussing advantages for different crops in both small and large gardens. As well as covering specific needs, harvesting and yield of different crops, the guide identifies different growing regions and schedules through Texas and recommends various methods for soil fertilizing, pest control, and weed control.