Urban Gardening for the Texas High Plains and Surrounding Regions - A New Booklet

Dr. Russell W. Wallace, Extension Vegetable Specialist
Texas AgriLife Extension Service, Lubbock, TX

Dr. Russell Wallace, Extension Vegetable Specialist, is an authority on High Plains Vegetable Production. He has announced that there is now a new booklet available titled, "Urban Gardening for the Texas High Plains and Surrounding Regions". It is basically much of the information that he typically uses in his Master Gardener Training on vegetables, but in a text format with adapted tables for small gardens. Please feel free to make copies and distribute as-needed within your counties. Also included is a copy of his tomato guide for High Plains gardeners.

What is meant by 'The High Plains?' The High Plains is a semiarid region of Northwest Texas that receives on average about 18" of rainfall each year. The region and its surrounding areas in Texas includes Midland/Odessa (Permian Basin to the south), Lubbock and Amarillo to the north. It is region that once contained mostly shortgrass prairie, prickly pear cacti and scrub vegetation. It averages about 3,500 feet in elevation, and temperatures range from very cold in the winter to very hot during mid-summers. However, night temperatures are generally cool. The region is also known for its steady, often intense winds which generally prevail from the west or southwest. Hail storms, tornados, severe lightning and heavy rainfall are common during the early growing season. Soils are very productive and today it has significant agronomic agriculture production including cotton, wheat, sunflowers, sorghum and cattle ranching. Vegetable production includes blackeyed peas, potatoes, snap beans, watermelons, pumpkins, cucumbers, chile peppers, onions, and small pockets of other vegetables. Production is generally dryland farming (cotton, sorghum or wheat) or irrigation (all crops including vegetables) with most of the water coming from the Ogallala Aquifer.

The information can be found on the Texas AgriLife Research and Extension Center at Lubbock Website and at Russell Wallace's website, Texas High Plains Vegetable Program, where they may be viewed and downloaded.

Russ Wallace urges everyone with an interest in "tunnel vegetable growing" to attend the Texas High Tunnel Conference & Tour to be held on July 29, 2010. Please distribute all materials to those you feel may have an interest in such production in your counties.

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