Growing Guide for Fruits and Vegetables
The state of Texas has six growing zones, ranging from 6b to 9a, which are on the warm season side. However, each of these zones have specific individual growing conditions, such as temperature ranges, amount of humidity and rainfall. Growing zone 6b will have the shortest growing season in the state, which makes having a greenhouse a practical way to extend the season. The higher the growing zone number is, the longer the growing season and more varieties of plants can be grown. To see which crops are suitable for your zone and dates to sow or plant by, go to this link and enter your city or zip code in Texas for spring and fall planting options. Start planning your garden.
Remember to check seed packets for recommended planting zones. Hybrid and heirloom seeds of the same vegetable or fruit can have different days to maturity and even growing zones. Because greenhouses draw more heat earlier and later in the year than growing in ground without one, there is some flexibility to stated planting dates.
Growing Challenges in Texas
Crop Eating Animals:
Our Solutions: Critter exclusion
High Winds / Extreme Weather:
Our Solutions: Strong tie-downs, connectors & structural components
We use ratchet straps that have a working load limit of 3333 lbs / strap and a breaking strength of 10,000 lbs / strap. A 70-mph ind produces a force of 12.5 lbs/sf, which produces a total force on our 12’ x 20’ model’s surface area of 4583 lbs. We use 3 lengths of straps on this model, as pictured above, meaning the cover alone has a working load limit of 10,000 lbs with a breaking strength of 30,000 lbs. Overkill? We’re guilty.
We use heavy-duty long lasting galvanized steel components to connect all bows, purlins, and end struts to make a solid cohesive structure. To brace for Northern Arizona snow loads our bows for 10’ & 12’ wide units are at 4’ centers rated at 40,000 psi yield / 45,000 psi tensile strength per bow. 24’ wide greenhouses are rated at 50,000 psi yield / 55,000 psi tensile strength and further supported by seven lengths of steel purlins.
Intense Heat and Sun
Our Solution: Adjustable low tech UV protected cover system for ventilation
Shade cloth blocks out mid-day hot sun
Low tech roll-up roll-down assembly provides more than adequate ventilation for cooling
Drip systems are easily integrated into raised beds, while mesh covers allow rain to add natural nutrients to the soil and plant roots
In the state of Texas there are more than 1300 different types of soil. For example, Trans-Pecos soils, west of the Pecos River, have varying surface drainage capabilities from slow to fast. Other regions have soils that have high alkalinity or slightly acid. They also vary in color for light reddish brown to brown clay loams, suggesting different mineral contents in each. The reasons for this variety tie to the fact that Texas has a large diverse land mass area that is affected by climate, vegetation, geology, and landscape. To ensure success with growing plants and crops, soils may need to be amended and balanced with the right texture and by adding nutrients to ensure growth and allow water and air to reach roots properly. Raised beds help control the quality of amended soil for season after season. To have your soil tested, go to this link:
Our Solution: Structurally integrated container gardening system
Raised beds not only help control the quality of the soil; they also support the structure of the greenhouse so there is no digging or concrete involved, while lending long term stability.
Gardening Comfort / Texas Demographics
Texans that are 45 years and up comprise just under 37% of the population. Gardeners in Texas have a relatively easy time due to the moderate climate in most of the state. Thus, 86% of the land in Texas is used for agriculture. Community gardens, especially, are becoming very popular. Retirees have more time to garden but are physically limited as they get older. Up and down movements required when sowing seeds and weeding, squatting, and reaching while planting and harvesting all take a physical toll on the body that may discourage this activity.
Our Solution: An outdoor living space built for gardening & comfort
Simple! Benches on top of the raised beds for potting and entertaining.