Vegetable Garden The “Veggie Team”, a group of Brazos County Master Gardeners, selects the varieties of vegetables grown and conducts demonstrations on planting, maintaining, and harvesting (check our event calendar). This part of the Demonstration Idea Garden (DIG) and the efforts of the Veggie Team demonstrate growing vegetables in raised beds or small spaces, using research-proven Earth-Kind® gardening techniques.
Two Earth-Kind gardening techniques regularly used at the DIG are amending the soil with compost prepared at the DIG, and mulching to preserve moisture, discourage weeds, and cool the soil.
Critical for planning and planting a vegetable garden-planting zone and frost dates. The Bryan-College Station area is in USDA Planting Zone 8b, or the Lower South Zone. The average date for the first freeze in the fall is Nov. 28, and the average date for the last freeze in the spring is March 5.
The produce is donated to the Twin City Mission, which is a regular practice at the DIG. Twin City Mission is a foundation of support for those in need in the area.
Two resources have been developed to assist you in planning your vegetable garden. The Vegetable Planting Guide for Brazos County shows the suggested planting dates for our area. Recommended varieties and the number of days to harvest are listed in Brazos Vegetable Varieties.
Where to Buy
Garden seeds, bedding plants and other supplies are available at area garden centers. In addition, seed catalogs are full of helpful information on new varieties and products. The catalogs include pictures and descriptions of the best heirloom and newer varieties of flowers, fruits and vegetables. The description usually includes their adaptability to climate, resistance to diseases and insects, flavor, size, color, expected number of days to maturity and the number of days for harvesting. Note: Temperatures above 86 F cause stress on fruit and vegetable plants. Heat-tolerant varieties should be more healthy and productive in this climate, soil and water.
Raised Vegetable Beds
Construction of the DIG vegetable garden as a series of 10 raised beds made from wood landscape logs and concrete blocks, ranging in size from 7 to 32 square feet.
See our Vegetable Garden Raised Bed Brochurefor details.
Raised beds offer many advantages for the home gardener:
- Soil drains more quickly and completely
- Soil can be easily amended to provide a better growing medium
- Soil warms up earlier in spring
- Beds are easier to maintain and can be built to individual height requirements
Building a Raised Bed Garden – AgriLife Extension Publication E-560