Can I Plant This?


There are lots rules out there for one to be successful in gardening. Books and neighborly advice will often say you must do this or you can’t do that if you want a successful yard or garden. And yes, good advice should be well headed.


There are weather patterns, soil types, certain pests and other factors that have a huge effect on what grows well here and what doesn’t. Matching plant varieties to our environment is key to the success of many outstanding gardeners.
And yet I get the question, “can I plant this here?” or “will this work at my place?” While I used to be all about saying, “No, you must follow the rules!” I’ve lately started suggesting, “Why not give it a try!”
Let’s look at some successful examples first. Vineyards had for ages thought to only able to grown in near idyllic areas such as France or Napa Valley. Our humid East Texas was thought to difficult a climate for the proper grape production.
But travel to Tyler, Palestine, and Jasper (to name a few) and you’ll find successful commercial vineyards producing an excellent product. Simply identifying those varieties that do well in our climate has allowed those barriers to be broken.
Citrus was forever reserved to the warmer climates of south Texas and Florida. Today, Meyer lemons, Satsuma’s and other can be successfully grown if moved indoors during cold spells or covered and protected when left outdoors. As folks continue to branch out, there are several more citrus varieties are being experimented with successfully.
To be clear, experimentation will have its failures. Some of the wonderful plants that are found in other parts just do not perform well in our area. Some arid climate types won’t tolerate our humidity. Many plants adapted to northern climates won’t tolerate our heat.
Even some species that are identified as adapted may or may not work well in your specific locale. Pecans and other fruit trees that are very well adapted to our area may not work in some of our shallow soils. Most fruit and nut trees demand a well-drained soil. Much of Angelina County has good sandy-loam top soil that is very shallow. Underneath is probably a red or gray clay soil that holds moisture and does not drain well at all.
Even still, with good soil structure, you’ll find that many varieties of the will not work well here due to other factors. Peaches and other fruit trees do well in certain weather conditions and not in others. Peaches that perform well in Houston may bloom too early for Lufkin.   Peach trees that do well in Dallas would certainly wait too long to bloom for our conditions.
So can you grow it? I’ll advise you to stay with the tried and true varieties, and follow the sage advice that exists to be successful. But push me a little and I may encourage you to branch out, break a few gardening rules and see if your efforts thrive.
The Angelina County Extension office will be holding a seminar on southern bulbs on Monday, Oct 20 at 6:30 pm. Chris Wiesinger will be speaking on bulbs that have naturalized and thrive in our area.   Cost is $10 per person, kids come free.
Educational programs of the Texas AgriLife Extension Service are open to all people without regard to race, color, sex, disability, religion, age, or national origin.
Cary Sims is the County Extension Agent for agriculture and natural resources for Angelina County. His email address is

Lee Miller
Lee Miller was born in Denison, TX and grew up in East Texas with his family. He studied music education at Stephen F. Austin State University taking a job in television on his last day of student teaching. Lee also provides business authoritative expertise to the broadcast industry as a consultant. Presently he is CEO of MSG Resources LLC, which specializes in consulting within broadcast best practices, distribution technologies and media strategy mastery. - - - - - Lee Miller is a well-known veteran of the broadcast media industry with particular experience in leading for-profit and non-profit broadcasting organizations. His career began in Lufkin, Texas in the early 80’s where he progressed from studio operations to creative services and network management. Mr. Miller has since received various professional designations and memberships such as Society of Broadcast Engineers accredited frequency coordinator, The Energy Professionals Association Certified Energy Consultant, and National Religious Broadcasters Television Committee & past Chair. Lee also serves as the Executive Director of the Advanced Television Broadcasting Alliance, is a member of the Advanced Television Systems Committee and is proud to be part of Texas Association of Broadcasters Golden Mic Club, highlighting extraordinary careers in broadcasting. Continued engagement with his community is at the core of his business practices serving on the board of the Salvation Army and as keyboardist for the contemporary worship band at Harmony Hill Baptist Church. Lee lives near Lufkin Texas on one of his family’s tree farms located in the Texas Forest Country region north of Houston. He is married to Kenla and has two grown children, Joshua, COO of MSGPR Ltd Co and Morgan, a Critical Care ICU RN.

Share post:



More like this

Capitol Update: Celebrating Independence and Legislative Progress

On an unseasonably cool Thursday, July 4, 1776, the...

That #&$%! Nutgrass

How to control sedges, nutsedge, or what is commonly...

A Return to Carnegie Hall: Comptons to Perform with Grammy-Winning Artist Daigle

When she received the word about her big invitation...

Traffic Switch Planned in Corrigan Near Project

LUFKIN – A major construction project is scheduled for a...