5 Backyard Gardening Tips for Dallas Fort Worth
Plant sales soared during the COVID-19 pandemic. Whether you already had a green thumb prior to quarantine or you inadvertently killed a few succulents while learning how to garden through trial and error, few hobbies are as relaxing or rewarding as caring for plants. And if you’re lucky enough to live in the Dallas Fort Worth Metroplex, you’ve got access to ample sunshine and some of the best plant shops in the country (admittedly, we’re kind of biased about that last part).
Coronavirus restrictions may be easing, but that’s no reason to abandon your backyard garden—and you can still start one if you’ve been meaning to but haven’t yet! Fall is the perfect time in North Texas to make your backyard gardening dreams bloom. Here are a few tips to get you started:
Know Your Zone
Give a gardening professional just about any zip code and they can tell you which USDA Plant Hardiness Zone it’s located in. This isn’t common knowledge for gardening newbies, so here’s the rundown: the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone is a numbered system that divides regions of the US by climate and other conditions. Dallas and the surrounding communities are in zones 8a and 8b. You can use this information to buy plants, soils, and fertilizers that are appropriate for the region.
Grow in the Early Fall
When summer temps stop sizzling in Dallas but it’s still plenty warm, it’s time to start planting. This is a great time to plant flowers, vegetables, and anything else your heart desires. And let’s admit it; it’s just so much more relaxing to garden outside when it’s not blistering hot.
Keep Cacti in Pots
DFW is certainly not the desert, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have cacti in your backyard! Just keep them in pots. The harsh winter cold and rainy season is too much for most species of cacti to survive if you plant them in the ground. Keeping them in pots allows you to move them when conditions are not so warm and sunny. There are a few types of cacti—golden barrel, for one—that will do okay planted in the ground, but for the most part, keep them in pots to avoid the heartache of a dead plant.
Tailor Your Gardening Routine by the Month
Weather patterns can be a little bit drastic, to say the least, when you’re living in this part of Texas. The Dallas Arboretum has an awesome detailed guide on how to maintain your garden year-round. Some of our favorite tips include:
- Cover plants in January (the coldest month of the year).
- Prune roses right around Valentine’s Day. Easy to remember—and kind of romantic?
- Plant heat tolerant plants in May and use a nitrogen rich fertilizer.
- June is when you want to start watering more to beat the summer heat (two inches a week). Keep it going through August.
- October is for planting herbs and watering those newly planted plants you added to the garden in September.
- November means it’s time to start insulating your backyard garden for winter. Buy some mulch!
Support Local Nurseries
Warning: Plant shopping can be kind of addictive, especially if you head to these awesome Dallas Fort Worth nurseries. There are so many awesome places to choose from, but we love Ruibal’s, especially their main location which covers several blocks in Dallas.
Calloway’s Nursery is also great. They’ve got 19 locations including spots in Arlington, Denton, Fort Worth, Hurst, Plano, Lewisville, and Mesquite.
And lastly, if you want an Instagram-worthy experience, check out Grow in Fort Worth. They sell plants out of a 1978 Airstream and have a lovely selection of unique ceramic pots to keep them in.