Texas is the second most populated state in the country, and for a good reason. It might’ve been the warm weather that pushed you towards the Lone Star, the melting pot of cultures, or the quintessential ranch living.
Either way, you’re getting ready to move, and your spacious new home has enough backyard room for a garden. If you lived further up North, however, you might worry about your landscaping aspirations.
Luckily, the South makes it easy for a long list of plants and herbs to flourish. Let’s discuss your upcoming move and go through a brief gardening guide.
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In this article:
Why Move to Texas
If you’re still toying with the idea of a Texas home, there are numerous reasons to make this step.
For one, the economy is booming. The GDP growth is high, startup activity is increasing, and jobs are easy to come by. No matter your profession, you’re likely to find plenty of employment offers.
Moreover, Texas is among the rare states that boast affordable housing options, even in bustling city hubs.
The tax friendliness is also a significant bonus. There’s no income tax, allowing you to save up your hard-earned income for vacations, tuitions, and pressing expenses.
If the healthy economy and home purchase prospects aren’t enough to persuade you, consider the culture. From the cowboy boots and rodeos to tacos and a vibrant art scene, you’ll find your niche.
Sports fans will find crowded stadiums and bars filled to the brim with enthusiasts. The food’s certainly far from the healthiest, but the taste is unprecedented. The Mexican influence combined with the American tendency towards hearty meals makes the food oh-so-good.
Best Texas Locations
Persuaded but yet to select your exact new hometown? This moving to Texas article explores the topic in great depth to help you decide. In short, though, some of the notable places to consider are:
- Austin. All about great food, music, and vibrant nightlife. The ‘Keep Austin Weird’ slogan tells you all you need to know.
- San Marco. A city with an Austin vibe that keeps things a bit smaller and more affordable, San Marco is home to many college students. It also attracted numerous young professionals, creating a buoyant, energetic community.
- Plano. This affluent city has business people flocking for employment opportunities.
- Denton. The music city has two major universities, highly rated public schools, and a suburban feel.
- San Antonio. The second-largest city is quite affordable, making itself a go-to for growing families.
The list goes on. There’s something for everybody in Texas – you only need to look hard enough.
Gardening in Texas
Gardening is all about location, and Texas leaves you spoilt for choice.
When you first move, take a look around your property. If you purchased a home with a backyard, you likely already have some native trees and bushes around the property. Decide whether you’ll keep them or start building your green haven from scratch.
Newbies to cultivating greenery in this part of the country could take advantage of the following tips.
Sunshine Is Key
Begin by walking around the yard and taking note of sunny and shaded areas. This information can help you determine which plants you can cultivate. Consider this stage a blueprinting process for your garden.
Check Your Soil
Unfortunately, the soils around Austin and other big cities aren’t as rich as other Midwest locations.
You’ll often see black clay earth, which can get quite rocky and not that conducive to gardening. However, you can improve the area by composting often.
Keep Rainfall in Mind
The summers in Central Texas tend to be hot with little rainfall or even extended periods of drought. So, you should plan and plant accordingly.
Going for native, drought-tolerant plants is your best bet. Apart from that, you could introduce smart irrigation systems into your backyard for gentler greenery that needs more water.
Add Color Year-Round
Imagine a bleak winter day, and you go outside to a still-vivid backyard. The weather in your new home state is mild enough to support annuals and perennials alike. Planting both is a fantastic way to add some creativity to your garden.
Best Plants to Grow in Texas
Let’s first discuss the top landscape plants you could grow in Texas. Use this list as a source of inspiration, not a limitation.
Henry Duelberg Salvia
This gorgeous native plant is easy to grow and maintain. Heat- and drought-tolerant, it doesn’t attract deer but draws hummingbirds and butterflies. Does it get more story-like than that? The purplish-blue flowers on a 2-3 feet base bloom at any season.
Tip: Cut back the spikes after the flowers have blossomed to encourage the Salvia to rebloom.
Lord Baltimore Hibiscus
This hibiscus bush comes with massive, 10-foot-wide scarlet flowers that blossom from July until frost settles.
Once you plant it well, this flower will provide you with years of vivid colors. Plus, its size and appearance make it ideal for multiple usages, from decorative pots to a perennial border.
Tip: Try to keep the soil moist to see your Lord Baltimore rebloom each spring.
Texas Gold Columbine
This flower also goes under the name of Hinckley. People call it ‘Texas Gold’ because it’s native to only one area in this state and very rare in the wild.
It’s beautiful and gentle, with buttercup-yellow flowers and fern-like foliage. As long as you ensure part shade and adequate moisture, it’ll tolerate some heat.
Tip: Let the seedlings grow after the first year. Columbine can be a perennial under the right conditions.
This native southern Texas plant resembles hibiscus. The flowers can range from red to pink in color, and they blossom quickly and easily into tall and wide shrubs. It’s drought-tolerant and makes an outstanding ornamental.
Tip: While the North of Texas isn’t the ideal location for this plant, you can cultivate it annually.
Cape plumbago got this dreamy name thanks to its sky-blue blossoms. This tender perennial plant enjoys the Texas heat, starting to flower in May and not stopping until sub-zero temperatures. It flourishes in light, sandy soil with good drainage.
Tip: This one works wonderfully sprawling over a wall.
If you’re looking for a big plant to cater to your residential garden, this small tree is a fantastic option. It grows up to 25-35 feet tall, and its width makes it the ideal source of shade for summer gatherings.
Tip: While lacy oak is quite resilient to high-pH soils once established, try to make the ground conducive to its growth.
Best Herbs to Grow in Texas
If you like mixing beauty with practicality, it doesn’t get better than growing herbs. Herbs are termed ‘useful plants’ for their uses in medicine, aromatherapy, and especially for cooking. Plus, they attract bees and butterflies to your garden.
Your array of options in this area is truly endless. For example:
- Hyssop, comfrey, and fennel to attract butterflies.
- Rosemary, chives, mint, and sage to repel less-desirable visitors.
- Basil and bee balm to send fragrances across your yard.
Apart from the bushes’ beauty and practicality, you can use these texture champions for landscaping needs. They work for low borders and hedges, filling spaces between other plants, or in pots on your patio.
The Bottom Line
Overall, don’t think that your gardening aspirations will die with your move to Texas.
This sunny state opens the door for many planting possibilities, potentially even increasing the scope of available options. Embrace the sun and your new hobby, and you’ll soon find yourself in a vast, lush garden you always dreamed of.