Debbie Roland, Master Gardener
I know it’s almost October and still 100 degrees, but now is the time to plan and prepare your beds for Spring, 2021. 2020 will soon be over – I hear your cheers!
This is the time to decide what you want your garden to look like next year. Your gardening life will be so much easier in 2021 if you put forth some effort now.
If you have beds you are happy with, it’s time to add compost and turn it in with a spade. I also add small bark mulch and turn it in at the same time. The compost adds nutrients and the bark mulch helps to keep the soil from compacting.
If you are adding new beds or want to make changes with the beds you currently have, you will need to decide if you need better edging or raised beds. There are many options for edging, from wood (cedar is a great choice but more expensive) to cedar blocks and metal. If you have health concerns, an elevated bed might be the best way to go. You can build a bed with legs to the height you need so that you won’t have to bend over when you work the bed. It is important to be sure that the soil will not be washed out of the bed when you water.
If you are on social media, there is a new option available for us all. West Texas Vegetable Gardeners is a site that uses knowledge from Texas A&M AgriLife and practical knowledge gathered in our area. The challenges we face with the high and fluctuating heat and lack of rain are unlike anything that the rest of Texas gardeners face, so what works in other parts of Texas will not make you a successful gardener here. This site is providing helpful gardening instruction to many gardeners.
If you have questions, please call the AgriLife office in Odessa at 498-4071 or in Midland at 686-4700 for more gardening information. Additional information is available at https://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu and westtexasgardening.org.