Spring cleaning, okra, vertical gardens, and more.
For this article, we had a conversation with Theresa, a homeowner in Dallas with a beautiful garden. High Quality Landscape Services has done regular maintenance on her property for years – though she’s a lady with a serious green thumb. She likes to do a lot of the gardenwork herself, and we’ve gathered some tips and inspiration from her for the springtime, as well as in preparation for the summer and fall.
She’s currently focusing on a spring clean-up, pulling out weeds and clipping out dead branches. She’s preparing the soil for her raised beds, on which she’ll grow okra plants, tomato plants, peppers, rosemary, chives and basil.
Up and coming are 5 suggestions for a beautiful and thriving Dallas garden in the spring:
1. Okra & Eggplant
Okra loves Texas, and Texas loves okra. It’s a plant with large yields. Plant it in the spring, after the last freeze. Sometime between April and May is best to get good yields in the summer. Plant anytime before August to get good crops before the first fall frost.
Make sure to harvest on time and not let your okra pods get too big, otherwise, it will be too hard to eat. The ideal time to cut okra pods is when they are about 2 to 4 inches in length, which is when okra will be the softest and most digestible. Here is a video of John, from Community Home Services talking to us about the okra in his family’s garden.
We’ve also successfully grown tomatoes and eggplants during these seasons. Below is another short clip of John, this time sharing about eggplants.
2. Unique Planters
The containers in which your plants live are important visual points in your garden. They can elevate a space and give it your own personal touch, as well as give you reasons to grow a wider variety of plants. Here is some inspiration:
Concrete Cube Planters
Large Dragon Ceramic Planters:
Vertical Garden / Fence Pocket Planter (See tip 4 for more on vertical gardens):
Playful, Intentional Placement of Varied Planters
3. Stepping Stones
Stepping stones, statues and hanging ornaments make spaces in your garden more inviting and accessible. They are visually impactful and can make your garden feel complete. They’re also fun for kids.
4. Vertical Gardens
Here is a successful test case of our outdoor herb vertical gardens. Theresa has planted over 15 varieties of herbs and vegetables including lettuce, lavender, rosemary, thyme, basil, cilantro, and more.
She noted that lavender especially seemed to take a liking to the vertical garden, and has thrived the best out of all of the herbs she planted.
As for chives, they grew too thin for her liking on the vertical garden. She prefers the results of the thicker chives she’s able to maintain in a regular horizontal bed planter.
5. Water Propagation
Finally, we suggest water propagation as a fun, and relatively easy project that can increase your abundance of plants. Theresa placed clippings of a few plants in water jars, propagating them indoors on bedside tables with good sunlight. Now that it’s warmer, they’re ready to be placed outside. Here you can see some of Theresa’s successful propagation, including beautiful Wandering Jews.
In this method, plant cuttings are placed in water to encourage the growth of new roots, allowing the cuttings to develop into new plants without soil. This is a great method for pothos, philodendrons, and many other varieties of houseplants.
As our current spotlight client, Theresa has inspired us in both the practical and the artful elements of gardening.
- She’s getting ready for the North Texas spring and summer seasons with cleanup and soil prep.
- She’s growing okra and a variety of other vegetables in her home garden, fried okra cooked with rice and eggs being one of her son’s favorite dishes.
- She’s setting up a series of unique planters appropriate for the plants she’ll be growing, also adding an interesting visual element to her yard, including a hanging herb garden.
- She’s added stepping stones, statues, and hanging ornaments which has successfully made her garden a place that is a joy to tend for.
- With the help of the crew at High Quality Ladscape, she set up a successful and thriving outdoor vertical garden in a sunny area, already having harvested lettuce and a wide variety of herbs her family has used for cooking.
- She’s successfully propagated a variety of plants indoors, which are ready to be moved outdoors to enjoy the warm weather.