EL PASO, Texas - The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Office in El Paso County has several experts on all things garden related. Although we are still in the thick of summer and the yearly monsoon, now is the perfect time to start planning your fall garden!
If that is something you are thinking about doing this year, you are in luck. The experts shared some great money-saving tips on how to keep your garden running and help you save money in the grocery store.
"The last week of August and the first week of September would be the perfect time [to start your garden], where the temperatures drop and the veggies have the opportunity to take advantage of the cooler temperatures," Eduardo Rascon, the El Paso County Horticulture Extension Agent, shared with ABC-7.
"Lettuce, spinach, arugula, and broccoli does really great in the fall. And then you have the other aspect of things where you can plant carrots, radishes, turnips," said Rascon.
Planting your own garden in the first place is cost-effective. As inflation continues to impact us all, you would save money by producing your own fruits and veggies versus heading to the stores to buy the expensive products.
"You're going to get it for less money because you are taking care of it,"..."and you can go to your backyard and harvest whatever you'll use for that day. The plant will continue to grow for the season," the expert shared.
One suggestion he made was to install a drip irrigation system around the plants in your garden. Drip systems are efficient water conservers, and will give your plant the water they need on a certain schedule. That way, you don't have to worry about over-watering or underwatering your crop. Rascon explained the benefits of drip irrigation compared to flood irrigation and head watering.
"One of the big benefits of having drip irrigation is that you're able to irrigate it in a more organized or timely manner. That means that you're able to time your irrigation to 10-15 minutes which is when the plant takes the most water. Flood irrigation or head watering, what tends to happen is that's a general approach to irrigation where most of the water evaporates and the plants don't take it up as well. So [with a drip irrigation system], you're able to pinpoint exactly where the plant needs the most water, and that way you waste less water, and your water bill is not as high because you are watering more efficiently."
The El Paso County Master Gardener Association will hold a Texas Master Gardener Program for those who are interested. Registration ends on August 19, and there is a fee to enter the several-week program. The class will start on September 1 and continue every Thursday from 9-4PM through November 17. The class is geared towards those who are interested in becoming future educators who will teach gardening to others. If that sounds like you, click here for more information.
For more gardening resources, Rascon suggested anything and everything on the Texas A&M AgriLife website which can be found here.
Now we know that gardening can be cost-effective and fun too! Rascon shared it takes a lot of trial and error, but as the years go by, you will only get better at the skill. That being said, let's garden!