Get a Jump Start on Spring Gardening

By Keri Houchin
Although the weather may be chaotic, believe it or not, spring is just around the corner. The first day of spring is March 20th and now is the time to plant for many vegetables. According to the Texas A&M AgriLIFE Extension, here is what you can be planting now.
  greens – lettuce, kale, swiss chard,   potatoes, • turnips • onions
• more greens  •  squash  •  tomatoes   peppers   •  cucumbers

Much of the planting season depends on the weather, of course. If you choose to plant in early March and another cold spell comes through, be sure to cover the plants to prevent freezing. If you wait until later March, freezing is less likely, but not unheard of. Most garden stores carry light fabric row covers and a plastic pot or bucket can work too.
(photo: Keri Houchin)

We checked in with several local garden centers to see what they have available. Most are under $5 per plant. Considering the price of produce at the supermarket, you could save quite a bit by growing your favorite veggie or two. For those new to backyard gardening or seasoned pros who just want a refresher, we also rounded up a few gardening classes.
  Tomatoes have just arrived at Redenta’s Garden in both Arlington and Dallas. They have celebrity tomatoes in four inch pots at $2.29 each.


         Redenta Celebrity Tomato Plants           HomeGrown Tomatos
                  (photo Redentas)                                           (photo Keri Houghins)

North Haven Gardens recommends planting fruit trees now too. They have several varieties that grow well in this area including apple, pear, peach, fig, and plum. North Haven also has 25 different varieties of tomatoes, though they might not all be in stock every day. Six inch pots are $6.99. North Haven’s Edible Festival will take place the first weekend in April. On Saturday April 6th, stop by for a free class on herbs at 11 a.m. Then a class on veggies, chickens, and bees in the city will take place from 12:30 to 4:30. Cost is $30 for this class.

The Dallas Arboretum is offering an organic gardening class over two weekends on March 2nd and 9th. Learn what to plant and when from expert Andrea Bithell. The first class will introduce gardening topics and provide everything you need to know to get started. The second class will take place at the We Over Me Farm at Paul Quinn College. Following a tour, everyone will have the chance to get messy and help plant a vegetable bed. Both classes are from 9 to 11 am. Cost is $40 per person ($36 for members).
To register, visit the Dallas Arboretum online.

Gardening can be a fun family activity. If you are interested in getting your kids involved, the Fort Worth Botanic Garden is having a family gardening class on March 2nd from 10 am to noon. Spring Gardening in the Children’s Vegetable Garden will teach you how to grow warm-season vegetables in a raised bed. Cost is $10 per person, $15 for an adult with one child, or $20 for an adult with two children. The recommended age is five and up.
To register, send an email to or call 817-884-1296.

Keri Houchin is a freelance writer from Fort Worth. She previously wrote Fort Worth Frugal Family Examiner and currently contributes to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and Contact her at

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