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
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
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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 - thefruit 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.