I'm looking for folks' favorite varieties of vegetables, in or around the Houston area. Specific varieties that are always a winner for you, that you HAVE to grow because they do so well here.
I haven't lived in Houston for 15 years, but my first suggestion would be to locate a local nursery with knowledgeable staff. The Big Box nurseries carry mostly the same things at every store---all over the US. They don't care if it belongs here or not.
I located something online that might be helpful.
Here is a link that might be useful: Veggie varieties for Houston
Cherry Tomato (Sweet 100s)(Baby Girl)(Husky),Sweet Banana Peppers, Kentucky wonder pole bean, cucumbers, cantaloupe,
I'm about 25 miles east Hou. and these are my mass producers.
Here is a link that might be useful: Trinity Bay
I live about 12 miles north of Kingwood and the varieties that I plant every year are: Tomatoes - Better Boy, Brandywine, Viva Italia (paste), Super Italian Paste, and some variety of a black tomato along with new "adventures!" Peppers - NuMex Joe Parker Green Chilis, Jalapenos, Costa Rican sweet, and a variety of orange or yellow sweet peppers. Beans - jade and purple burgundy. eggplant - Rosa Bianca - mild and sweet and so tender you can almost eat the skin! And I always try new things - mostly from seed. In the herb garden I plant purple ruffles basil (my favorite), sweet genovesa basil and some kind of dill.
That's very helpful, I live right near you in Roman Forest and this is my first year with a Texas garden. It sounds like you make some Italian meals with all those fresh ingrediants... Have you been to the Mercer plant sale before? I heard it was great, but didn't know if I should make the early morning trip with two little ones tagging along!
Thanks very much for the suggestions ya'll! They are much appreciated. We got our area cleared, now on to getting the soil loosened and amended with gypsum, compost and organic fertilizer. I have to admit this soil is much heavier than I've ever had to deal with. :-)
Don't get me started! Tomatoes:
Carmello, Goliath, JD's C-Tex Early Black, Taxi, Dona, best cherry: Sugary, next is Matts Wild
Look for nurseries that carry plants that are not just the bar coded plastic tag. I like the popsicle stick plants by Gunthers and the straight plastic tags from a grower in Liverpool Tx. I also like the wide varieties at Another Place in Time. I too, try and stay away from big boxes and Chef Jeff(I think he is grown in Michigan).
Cukes: I grow from seed. my favorite is Renne's Garden, Chelsea Prize which is a seedless English cuke. You just have to wait till it is warm. straight 8's are good too.
Blueberries: BeckiBlue is best this year ( assuming squirrels leave anything!)
Big Bertha pepper and Fooled You is good too.
Agree with above, skip big box store for advice. They are the ones selling tomatoes to people in June. Drive into Houston, drive to Tomball...worth the drive. Go to : Wabash, Another Place in Time, Buchanans, Backyard Gardener and Joshua's Natives. This is a circle you can do in the Heights.
Just found these forums when looking for answers to tomato questions. My problems are all weather related too much or not enough rain. What does yummykaz have against Chef Jeff and Bonnie? Been growing Chef Jeff for years and love all the varieties never found anything better lots to chose from and great quality. Tags are locked into the pot somehow so I get what the tag says and not some other variety. Hate the little stick in tags that kids can take out and move to whatever plant is handy. Maybe yummykkaz hasn't noticed but Chef Jeff is only found at local independent or family owned garden centers and not in any of the big boxes.
Go to a local nursery like Buchanan's Native Plants and pick up a copy of Dr. Bob Randal's book "Year round fruits, nuts, and vegetables" the book focuses on the greater houston metropolitan area. He has the best varieties for everything you can grow here listed and marked for time-tested. It even breaks things out by Micro-Climate (i.e. diff planting dates for tomatoes North v South of fm 1960)