Texas Garden Favorites

Every day we inch closer to 100F here in Dallas, which makes gardening a challenge.  However, if you pick the correct hardy plants for the region, you can have delicious produce even in the heat of the summer.  Below are just a few of my favorites that succeed year after year.

Basil

With its tender, fragrant leaves, it’s hard to believe that this herb can stand up to high temperatures and dry soil.  However, this herb is actually hard to get rid of.  I added just one plant to the garden a few years ago and I have not had to plant it again since.  It blooms, seeds, and produces beautiful and delicious leaves pretty much from March to October.

If it is getting out of control, you can cut large branches off and put them in a vase in the kitchen.  The cuttings stay fresh and fragrant for weeks.  The leaves are then handy for your favorite pasta, all while creating a beautiful addition to your counter!

 

Chili Peppers

This veggie and spice is a quintessential southwestern cuisine ingredient.  Plus, it is just better fresh from the garden.   The fresh picked pepper will have more punch and a greater depth of flavor than any pepper you can get from the grocery store.

My personal favorite variety is the jalapeno, although I have successfully grown cayenne, bell, serrano, and poblano varieties as well.  Any variety will please the beginner gardener- They are really hard to mess up!

 

Okra

I’ll be honest- Okra was a tough sell for me the first year we grew it.  I’m still not appreciative of the fresh picked okra pod.  However, crisp pickled okra I will eat!  These guys also make a great gumbo.

These plants are also great for beginners.  They tolerate dry conditions and still produce 2-5 pods a week per plant.  The pods will keep coming all summer long too.  You are almost forced to pickle or freeze them because it is too much food!

 

Happy Gardening!

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