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Vegetables

 

Broccoli - Eaten raw, steamed or boiled, this relative of cabbage is high in vitamin C and other nutrients.  Broccoli tolerates heat better than cauliflower, but is best grown to maturity in cool conditions.  Harvest as soon as heads form or buds will open to produce flowers.  A fun way to introduce kids to broccoli is to offer it raw with Ranch Dip!  'Green Comet' matures in 55 days, ‘Waltham’ matures in 75 days.

 

Brussels sprouts - Known for their delicious, edible buds, brussels sprouts require cool weather to produce.  Likely named “Brussels” sprouts after the city in Belgium, for it seems it is from there that what was long a favorite in the region was discovered by the wider world.  Best grown for fall or winter harvest, sprouts are produced along a tall, slender stalk.  ‘Long Island Improved’ reaches maturity in 85 to 100 days.  

 

Cabbage - Cool season vegetable used in slaws, salads, sauerkraut, or as a cooked or pickled vegetable.  There are many varieties from which to choose a favorite.  Harvest when head becomes solid.  

 

Flat Dutch: Heat resistant heirloom varieties do well in the South and along the coast.  Forms a large, flattened head up to 12-inches.

    The “Early” Flat Dutch matures in 85 days, and the “Late” Flat Dutch matures in 100 days

Early Jersey Wakefield: Heirloom variety resistant to frost, it produces sweet, elongated dense heads up to 7-inches.  Favored for

    slaws and salads.  Matures in 75 days.

Rio Verde: Blue-green with a somewhat flattened 5 lb. head. Plant in the fall in the southern areas.  Cold hardy.  Matures in 85 days.

Ruby Perfection: Flavorful red cabbage is both delicious and decorative.  Heads are uniform round, and from 7 to 8 inches in size.

    Matures in 85 days.

Stonehead: So called for its dense, round head that can average 4 lbs. or so.  Good texture and flavor.  Matures in 70 days.

 

Cantaloupe - Popular melon with orange, sweet, aromatic flesh.  Should harvest when the stem breaks away as the melon is lifted.  Tastes great room temperature or chilled.  Serve as part of the main meal or as dessert.  Salt and/or pepper to taste, if you like!  ‘Hales Best’ heirloom cantaloupe matures in 86 days.

 

Cauliflower - Similar to broccoli, a cool weather plant grown for its large, edible heads.  Serve raw, steamed or boiled.  Harvest when plant forms a firm, round head by cutting stem 5 to 6 inches below base of head.  Like broccoli, a fun way to introduce kids to cauliflower is to serve it raw with Ranch Dip!  ‘Snowball’ matures in 65 days.

 

Celery - Crisp leaf stalks can be eaten raw or cooked.  Harvest as soon as edible stalks are large enough to pull.  An enjoyable treat is to fill the celery sticks with pimento cheese spread!  Matures in 105 to 115 days.

 

Collards - Collards are non-heading cabbages that produce tasty, nutritious leaves.  They are a good source of vitamin C and K, as well as other nutrients.  Pick leaves as soon as plants are established, younger leaves having the best texture.  Serve as a cooked green.  'Georgia', ‘Vates’ and ‘Morris’ mature in 75 to 80 days.

 

Cucumbers - A popular salad and pickle vegetable.  Harvesting typically begins 45 to 55 days from planting and lasts for about 6 weeks.  Keep fruit picked as soon as it attains a usable size for continued production.  'Burpless' and 'Slicing' are among the most common varieties.

 

Eggplant - Sliced, fried or in casseroles, this popular veggie comes with lots of vitamins and minerals.  Harvest fruit when they reach a usable size.  'Dusky' matures in 60 days, 'Black Beauty' in 65 to 70 days,  'Ichiban' in 65 days.  'Green' or 'White' in 70 days.

 

Lettuce - A leafy vegetable, there are many different kinds to choose from.  Prefers the cool season; some produce leaf bunches and others heads.  Uses include as the base for salads or a tasty addition to sandwiches.   ‘Buttercrunch’ matures in 20 days for leaf use and 55 days for head.  ‘Great Lakes’ matures in 70-90 days.  ‘Red Sails’ matures 45 days.

 

Okra - Long, slender green pods are cooked as a side dish, added to stews, gumbos and soups, sliced and fried, or deliciously pickled.  Should be harvested when the pods are young otherwise they become fibrous as the seeds mature.  ‘Clemson Spineless’ matures in 60 days.

 

Onion - These large, edible bulbs are valued for many types of culinary uses.  Harvest after the tops of the plants have died down and leave to dry in the sun before storage.  '1015Y' matures in 110 days.  

 

McCoy’s Special C-Tex Multiplying Onion (Allium cepa) - A true multiplying onion, and a favorite for a very long time, this heirloom onion was originally introduced to southern Louisiana from Europe and then was brought to Texas.  Very popular for its full flavored white bulbs.  Matures 100 days.

 

Peppers - Generally classified as 'hot' or 'sweet', peppers are an essential for many culinary preparations.  They require warm temperatures, consistent moisture and humidity to produce abundantly.  Peppers are a good source of several vitamins.  Harvest when mature, having reached full size, and enjoy cooked or uncooked.

 

Hot Varieties

Anaheim - Medium hot, dark green chili pepper ripens to bright red.  Matures 75 days.

Apache - Medium hot, green peppers ripen to very red.  Makes a fine ornamental bush when loaded.  Matures 90 days.

Caribbean Red Hot - Green to ripened red habanero chili.  Much hotter than the common habanero!  Matures 90 days.

Cayenne - Cooked, uncooked or powdered, has a wide range of uses.  Ripens to a nice red.  Matures 75 days.

Cayenne Long Red Slim - Very hot cayenne.  Great for chili and hot salsas.  Ripens to bright red.  Matures 75 days.

Chenzo - Hot pepper with excellent ornamental quality.  Black peppers mature to bright red.  Matures 85 days.

Chile Pequin - Very hot pepper.  A favorite use is for hot pepper sauce.  Ripens to bright red.  Matures 105 days.

Garden Salsa- Medium hot pepper popular for making salsas.  Usually used green, it ripens to red.  Matures 73 days.

Habanero - Very hot chili, enjoyed in salsas and sauces.  Light green pods ripen to a golden orange.  Matures 95 days.

Hungarian Wax (Hot Banana) - Moderately hot, peppers ripen from yellow, to orange, to red. Matures 67 days.

Jalapeño - Widely popular, moderately hot chili favored for salsas, nachos and anything else.  Matures 75 days.

T.A.M. Jalapeño - Mild jalapeño developed by Texas A&M University.  Great taste without so much fire.  Matures 65-75 days.

Mucho Nacho Jalapeño - Larger version of the jalapeño with a little more heat.  Excellent for nachos!  Matures 70 days.

Red Hot Cherry - Moderately hot, round cherry size fruits ripen from green to red.  Delicious pickled.  Matures 75 days.

Serrano - Very hot, flavorful pepper.  Ripens from dark green to red.  Use for salsas, sauces and vinegars. Matures 85 days.

Spanish Spice - More spicy than it is hot, enjoy these stuffed, roasted or grilled.  Ripens to a dark green.  Matures 65 days.

Super Chili - Super hot chili pepper!  Ripens from green, to orange, to red. Use any way you dare.  Matures 75 days.

Tabasco - Very hot pepper famous for use in Tabasco sauce. Ripens light green to bright red.  Matures 80 days.

 

Sweet Varieties

Bell Boy - Delicious medium size bell with mild, sweet flesh.  Use green or when ripened to red.  Matures 70 days.

Big Bertha - Extra large giant of a bell, 7” long and 3.5” to 4” wide.  Great for stuffing with lots of good stuff!  Matures 70 days.

California Wonder - Medium glossy pepper with thick flesh.  Uniform 4”x4” shape is appealing for stuffing. Matures 75 days.

Chocolate Beauty - Medium-large, flavorful pepper ripens to a chocolate color.  Considered a gourmet bell.  Matures 85 days.

Golden Bell - Bright, colorful addition to salads.  3” peppers have thick, sweet flesh.  Ripens to golden color.  Matures 70 days.

Gypsy - Early, heavy producer of elongated, tasty bell peppers.  Colorful fruit ripens from light green, to orange to red.  60 days.

Pimento - A large, very mild, sweet cherry pepper.  Tasty in salads and stuffed in olives.  Matures 85 days.

Purple Beauty - Deep purple bell with mild, sweet flavor.  Colorful gourmet pepper.  Matures 70 days.

Red Beauty - Heavy, thick-walled early sweet bell.  Bright red gourmet pepper.  Matures 68 days.

Sweet Banana - Mild, sweet heirloom pepper on high yield plant.  Delicious in salads and on pizza.  Matures yellow, 70 days.

Sweet Cherry Pepper - Sweet peppers are produced profusely.  A treat right off the bush or pickled.  Matures 68 days.

 

Shallots - Small edible onions, generally with chestnut-brown skin, multiply in the garden.  Shallots were thought to originate at the ancient city of Ashkelon - hence the name.  It has a milder onion flavor and can be used principally like any onion, even pickled.  You can harvest some of the leaves for use while the bulb is growing, just don’t over do it.  Harvest when the tops have died down, save some bulbs to propagate.

 

Strawberries - Delicious taste, aroma and red color, strawberries are used in jellies, jams, preserves, cakes, sliced in cereal, added to ice cream, or eaten by the handfuls just as they are.  Harvest the “berries” (it’s declared a fruit, horticulturally) as they ripen so as to promote continued production.  Perennial.

 

Eversweet: Self-pollinating, everbearing.  Sweet berries are produced over an extended time, even where warm.  Matures 80 days.

Ozark Beauty: An old favorite for freezing and preserves.  Vigorous and hardy everbearing, flavorful berries.  Matures 70 days.

Quinault: Self-pollinating, everbearing.  Produces large red, sweet berries over an extended time.  Matures 70 days.

Sequoia: Considered a “June bearing”, it actually produces large, flavorful, sweet berries for a fairly long period.  Matures 70 days.  

 

Spinach - Very nutritious, and delicious steamed, cooked or as a salad green.  Matures in 45 days

 

Summer Squash - Boiled, fried or steamed, summer squashes can be used for a remarkable number of tasty dishes.  Keep the ready-to-pick picked to promote more produce.  Here are a few, they  mature in 50 to 55 days:

 

Yellow Crookneck: Heirloom variety, easy to grow.  Has a firm texture and buttery flavor.  Pick young from 4” to 6” for best results.

Yellow Straightneck: An All-American Selection winner, it produces tasty, lemon-yellow fruit.  A prolific producer.  Pick at 5” to 7”.

Zucchini: They come in many different colors, sizes and shapes suitable for a wide variety of culinary uses.  Good stuffed too!

 

Swiss Chard - Young green leaves and stems can be used in salads, larger leaves can be cooked or steamed as their own dish.  Even enjoy sauteed with onions.  Tolerates poor soil well, but needs consistent moisture.  Grows both cool and warm seasons, but to promote continued production cut off the bloom stalks.  Harvest outer leaves beginning when at 6-inches.

 

Bright Lights Swiss Chard - Stalks in multiple colors with large deep-green leaves make for an excellent show-piece plant!  Use not only in the vegetable garden but also as an attractive landscape addition.  The various color stems are great eye-catchers for salads and landscape!       

Tomatoes - Tomatoes are America's most popular “vegetable”!  Tomatoes are fruits which come in several colors and sizes, and are used fresh, cooked or steamed in a wide variety of ways.  Tomatoes do not require light to ripen, so one can harvest as soon as they reach a usable size.  Tomatoes are divided into two classes of vines, determinate and indeterminate.  Determinate varieties are compact bush type, and tend to have one large crop that ripens at the same time, perhaps followed by some later ripening fruit until the plant dies.  They do not need to be trimmed and should not have “suckers” removed.  For canning purposes, a determinate variety is the easier way to go.   Determinate varieties are generally easier for patio container gardens as well.  Indeterminate tomatoes are vining varieties that bloom, set and ripen fruit continuously through the growing season or until frost.  They can grow to 6 feet, or even to 10 feet.  Indeterminate varieties benefit from pruning and the removal of the lower “suckers”, and should be staked or caged for support.  For a longer supply of fresh tomatoes, indeterminate vines are an easy choice.  

 

Tomatoes, unfortunately, can become the victims of various bacterial, viral and pest attacks.  The initials following the tomato name on labels in parentheses indicate disease and pest resistance bred into the variety:  V-verticillium.  F-fusarium wilt (races 1&2).  N-nematodes.  A-alternaria stem canker.  T-tobacco mosaic.  St-stemphylium (gray leaf spot).  L-septoria leaf spot.  As-early blight.  B-bacterial speck (pseudomonas).  Below is a list of several varieties we’ve grown:

 

Amish Paste - Heirloom.  Sauces and canning.  Matures 75 days, 8 oz.  Indeterminate.

Arkansas Traveler - Heirloom.  Mild, creamy flavor.  Matures 90 days, 6 oz.  Indeterminate.

Beefmaster (VFNAST) - Perfect size for sandwiches.  Matures 80 days, 2 lbs.  Indeterminate.

Beefsteak (VFFT) - Meaty slicer.  Matures 80 days, 2 lbs.  Indeterminate.

Better Boy (VFNAST) - Juicy and plump.  Matures 70 days, 10-14 oz.  Indeterminate.

Better Bush (VFN) - Sweet and meaty.  Matures 70 days, 8 oz.  Determinate.

Big Beef (VFFNAST) - Traditional flavor in a hybrid, uniform.  Matures 73 days, 9 oz to 1 lb.  Indeterminate.

Big Boy (VFFTASt) - Rich flavor.  Matures 78 days, 10 oz to 1 lb.  Indeterminate.

Black Krim - Heirloom.  Dark maroon and delicious.  Matures 80 days.  Indeterminate.

Brandywine - Heirloom.  Rosy pink and flavorful.  Matures 90 days.  Indeterminate.

Bush Champion (VFFASt) - Big, early producer on 24” plant.  Matures 65 days, 8-12 oz.  Determinate.

Bush Early Girl (VFFNT) - Flavorful, meaty produce.  Matures 55 days, 6-7 oz.  Determinate.

Carnival (VFFNTA) - Early ripening.  Matures 72 days, 7-8 oz.  Semi-determinate.

Celebrity (VFFNT) - Very popular, delicious tomato.  Matures 70 days, 7 oz.  Semi-determinate.

Champion (VFNT) - Meaty and flavorful.  Matures 62 days, 10 oz.  Indeterminate.

Cherokee Purple - Heirloom.  Very tasty, dark red interior.  Matures 80 days, 10-12 oz.  Indeterminate.

Crimson Fancy (VFFAST) - Sweet and tasty.  Matures 75 days, 8 oz.  Determinate.

Early Girl (VFF) - Early producer.  Matures 52 days, 4-6 oz.  Indeterminate.

Health Kick (VFFASt) - Well flavored and disease resistant.  Matures 72 days, 4 oz.  Determinate.

Homestead (FA) - Heirloom.  Heat tolerant and tasty.  Matures 80 days, 8 oz.  Determinate.

Husky Gold (VF) - Dwarf and compact golden tomato.  Matures 70 days, 5-7 oz.  Indeterminate.

Husky Pink (F) - Dwarf, compact plant, fruit of pinkish flesh.  Matures 68 days, 5-7 oz.  Indeterminate.

Husky Red (VFFASt) - Dwarf, compact, heavy producer.  Matures 68 days, 5-7 oz.  Indeterminate.

Indigo Rose - High in beneficial anthocyanin.  Produces lots of purple, two-tone fruit.  Matures 75 days, 2-4 oz.  Indeterminate.

Juliet (F1) - Sweet grape tomato.  Matures 60 days, 1 oz.  Indeterminate.

La Roma (VFFTNA) - Heirloom.  Excellent for canning, or for sauces and pastes.  Matures 76 days, 5-8 oz.  Determinate.

Marglobe (VFA) - Heirloom.  Very sweet, uniform fruit.  Matures 72 days, 6 oz.  Determinate.

Mortgage Lifter (VFN) - Heirloom.  Rich tasting pink, sweet fruit.  Matures 75 days, 1 lb.  Indeterminate.

Patio (FASt) - Very compact plant produces tasty medium-size fruit.  Matures 70 days, 3-4 oz.  Determinate.

Red Cherry - A favorite for snacks and salads.  Matures 72 days, 1 to 1.25" fruits.  Indeterminate.

Red Grape - Small, tasty bite-size tomatoes, and lots of them.  Matures 75 days, grape size.  Indeterminate.

Red Pear - Produces small, pear-shaped fruit.  Excellent for salads.  Matures 70 days, 4 oz.  Indeterminate.

Rutgers (VFASt) - Full flavored tomato ideal for canning.  Matures 75 days, 7 oz..  Determinate.

San Marzano - Delicious clusters of long tomatoes.  Matures 80 days, 1.5” X 3.5”.  Indeterminate.

Sunmaster (VFFASt) - Heat tolerant plant produces flavorful fruit.  Matures 72 days, 7-8 oz.  Determinate.

Super Bush (VFN) - Stout, compact, richly green foliage and lots of fruit.  Matures 70 days.  Determinate.  

Super Fantastic (VFN) - High yields of meaty fruit.  Matures 70 days, 10 oz.  Indeterminate.

Sweet 100 - Lots of small, sweet, red cherry tomatoes.  Matures 65 days.  Indeterminate.  

Terrific (VFNAST) - Heavy producer of very flavorful red fruit.  Matures 70 days.  Indeterminate.

Tumbling Tom Red - Cascading habit, ideal for hanging baskets.  Matures 70 days, 1-2” fruits.  Indeterminate.

Yellow Pear - Produces small, yellow, pear-shaped fruit.  Great for salads or snacks.  Matures 78 days, 4 oz.  Indeterminate.

 

JD’s Special C-Tex Early Black Tomato - a Brann family variety, this dark, deep red tomato, so dark it is almost black, was developed and promoted by JD Brann many years ago and is exclusive to Conroe Greenhouses, Inc.  His son, Paul Brann, still grows this tomato in his garden and collects the seeds for our production.  It is very sweet and an early producer.  Fertilize monthly for best yield.  Matures in 50 - 60 days.  Indeterminate.

 

Tomatillo Husk Tomato - the fruit is enclosed in a husk that turns brown as the fruit ripens.  The fruit ripens to a golden color.  Can be eaten raw or used in a variety of other ways, most popularly used in salsas like salsa verde.  Matures in 70 days.

 

Watermelon - Loves hot summers, watermelons need adequate moisture at every stage to produce full-sized fruit.  Once ripe it makes a hollow sound when tapped with a knuckle.  Delicious chilled.  ‘Charleston Gray’ matures in 87 days, and the fruit can be 20 to 40 lbs.  Very sweet and tasty.