Your guide to planting like a local

Whether you’re new to San Antonio or just to South Texas gardening — this list will guide you on what to plant and when.

San Antonio transplants often experience shock on their arrival to South Texas as they’re faced with dilemmas on what and when to plant. They are even more surprised to learn that we have three growing seasons in South Texas: spring, summer and fall/winter.

Fear not, new residents — I’ve compiled this simple guide just for you. In it I’ve included what to plant and when to get it in the ground. Of course, you can always ask the garden geek if you need more help.

Winter (January-February)

Spring (March-May)

  • As for grass, avoid planting, fertilizing, watering or mowing it until mid-April.
  • Plant woody perennials (flowering perennials, shrubs, roses, and trees) before May 1.
  • Grow these vegetables (pdf).
  • Plant all groundcovers

Summer (June-September)

  • This is the time to plant, water and mow grasses.
  • Forgo planting woody perennials until fall.Sago Palm
  • Plant palms and succulents through Oct. 1.
  • Summer vegetables to plant (pdf) include peppers, okra and eggplant; otherwise, remove all spring vegetables by July 4.
  • Plant herbs including basil, oregano, rosemary, lemon balm, sage and thyme.
  • Annuals for warm season color

Fall (October-December)

  • Before mid-December, use ryegrass, fescue, Poa and rescue grass for quick cover.
  • Begin planting all woody perennials Nov. 1.
  • Groundcovers can be planted now.
  • Stop planting palms and succulents Nov. 1.
  • There are plenty more herb options including cilantro, chives, dill, parsley and mint.
  • Plant cool season color.
Picture of Mark Peterson
Mark Peterson
Mark A. Peterson was a conservation project coordinator for San Antonio Water System before retiring. With over 30 years of experience as an urban forester and arborist, Mark is probably the only person you know who actually prunes trees for fun. When not expounding on the benefits of trees and limited lawns, you're likely to find him hiking San Antonio's wilderness parks or expounding on the virtues of geography and history to his friends.
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