By Special to the Odessa American

A class will be offered to the public from 9 a.m. to noon on Feb. 10, at the Odessa West Texas Food Bank on how to successfully grow a vegetable garden in the challenging Permian Basin. Master Gardeners who have had success with different vegetables will be teaching the class as they share their many techniques and ways to overcome the numerous challenges as well as the varieties of plants that do well in our region.

One of our greatest challenges here in West Texas is our alkaline soil and water. Most vegetables and fruit prefer acidic soil; thus, we need to amend our soil if we want to succeed in growing our dinner. Master Gardeners will share various techniques in soil preparation.

Another challenge is our climate and short growing season for many veggies. The window of opportunity can be so short and timing is everything so techniques will be offered on how to maximize our window and push our alleged limits.

Many of us in the Permian Basin live in either Midland or Odessa and think that we do not have space enough for a garden given all the shaded areas of our properties. Ideas will be shared on how to maximize the space that we do have, and most people will be amazed to discover how much potential their property offers for growing vegetables.

Those attending will be encouraged to work (not against but) with the One who has given us so many opportunities in nature to grow the most delicious food and to have that satisfaction of a productive partnership. The class will also encourage creativity and ingenuity because conformity in methods and style may not best suit the conditions that each potential gardener faces.

Call 498-4071 to register or visit to learn more. Register by Feb. 6 for $10 or Register after Feb. 6 for $15. Permian Basin Master Gardeners is a part of Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service in both Ector County and Midland County.