FALL AND WINTER VEGETABLES

These varieties were tested in our Central Texas test gardens for over four years (2004-2008) with excellent success. All of the plants listed in this category, with the exception of the tomatoes, can be planted as seedlings from September through April in our area (especially with the help of row covers on the coldest nights). We have achieved the best production from the tomato varieties listed below when they are planted as well established plants (6″ pots) in late August, for fall production, and in early March, for summer production. We have found that covering the tomatoes with row cover fabric to protect them from extreme heat and cold nights, as required, significantly extends the growing season length for these tomatos which results in increased production.


Big Beef Tomato

Big Beef Tomato

Big Beef Tomato

  • Indeterminate
  • 70-75 days to maturity
  • Hybrid Italian beefsteak variety
  • Resistant to Tobacco Mosaic Virus, Verticillium wilt, Fusarium wilt
  • Vigorous growth except during the extreme heat
  • Large fuits, uniform, high yielding
  • Fruit is smaller during heat and drought stress, but splitting of the skin is rare
  • Heat tolerant as long as it is kept evenly moist
  • Plant 2-3 feet apart in the garden after danger of frost is past
  • Not grown from organic seed stock
  • Texas all-star selection

Celebrity Tomato

Celebrity Tomato Photo

Celebrity Tomato

  • Determinate
  • 70 days to maturity
  • Heat and pest resistant
  • Resistant to Tobacco Mosaic Virus, Verticillium wilt, Fusarium wilt
  • This hybrid tolerates the widest range of growing conditions of any tomato variety which makes it well suited to Central Texas where temperatures can vary up to forty degrees a day in the spring and fall months.
  • Produces uniform, medium sized fruits until first frost
  • High yielding, with very flavorful fruit
  • Not grown from organic seed stock
  • Texas all-star selection
  • All American selection

Packman Broccoli

Packman Broccoli Photo

Packman Broccoli

  • F-1 Hybrid Variety
  • 50 days to maturity
  • Heat and pest resistant
  • Tolerant of different soil types
  • This hybrid tolerates a wide range of growing conditions which makes it well suited to Central Texas where temperatures can vary up to forty degrees a day in the spring and fall months.
  • Produces a large (5″) main head followed by continuous production of smaller side shoots
  • Taste is mild, side shoots are good in salads and stir frys
  • Not grown from organic seed stock
  • Texas all-star selection
  • Lost Valley Gardens selection

Ruby Ball Early Red Cabbage

Ruby Ball Cabbage Photo

Ruby Ball Cabbage

  • 55-60 Days to maturity after planting in the garden
  • Forms solid, compact heads 6-8 inches, 3-4 pounds
  • Heads are deep red with a mild and sweet flavor
  • Keep evenly moist but not wet
  • Grows well in raised beds
  • Very reisistant to both cold and heat, making it a very good choice for Central Texas fall and spring gardens
  • Resistant to fusarium wilt
  • Excellent in salads and steamed or boiled
  • Not grown from organic seed stock
  • Lost Valley Gardens selection

Snow Crown Cauliflower

Cauliflower Photo

Snow Crown Cauliflower

  • 55-65 Days to maturity after planting in the garden
  • Produces 6-8″ white heads
  • Some blushing may occur when temperatures exceed 90 degrees, but the flavor and quality of the head remains unaffected
  • Excellent fresh or cooked
  • Provide steady, even moisture, and full sun
  • Flavor is mild and sweet
  • Grows rapidly and vigorously
  • Heat tolerant to lower 90s as long as steady moisture is applied
  • Maintain its prime eating quality in the garden for up to 10 days
  • Not grown from organic seed stock
  • Texas all-star selection
  • All-America selections winner 1975

Bright Lights Swiss Chard

BrightLightsChard

Bright Lights Chard

  • Colorful stems in shades of orange, red, white, and yellow make this an ornamental as well as an excellent garden vegetable
  • 55 days to maturity
  • Heat tolerant, slow to bolt
  • Tolerant of different soil types, prefers a well drained soil
  • Cold tolerant, can be grown all winter if covered when below freezing
  • Produces large, curly deep green leaves
  • Excellent in salads, steamed, or in stir frys
  • Not grown from organic seed stock
  • Texas all-star selection
  • Lost Valley Gardens selection

Red Ursa Kale

Red Ursa Kale Photo

Red Ursa Kale

  • Combines the ruffled leaves of Siberian kale with the color of Red Russian kale
  • 55-65 days to maturity
  • Heat and bolt resistant variety of kale well suited to Central Texas
  • Tolerant of different soil types, prefers a well drained soil
  • Cold tolerant, can be grown all winter if covered when below freezing
  • Produces large, curly and frilly, green and maroon leaves
  • Excellent in salads, steamed, or in stir frys
  • Grown from organic seed stock (Seeds of Change)
  • Of all the vegetables, kale has the highest concentrations of phytonutrients, especially the carotenoid phytonutrients, lutein and zeaxanthin
  • Extremely nutritious, very high in vitamins A and C
  • Lost Valley Gardens selection

True Siberian Kale

True Siberian Kale Photo

Siberian Kale

  • Large ruffled dark green leaves
  • 65 days to maturity
  • Heat tolerant, but does best when temperatures stay below 90 degrees
  • Tolerant of different soil types, prefers a well drained soil
  • Very cold hardy, can be grown all winter if covered when below 30 degrees
  • Becomes more tender, mild, and sweet after a frost
  • Excellent in salads, steamed, or in stir frys
  • Grown from organic seed stock (Seeds of Change)
  • Of all the vegetables, kale has the highest concentrations of phytonutrients, especially the carotenoid phytonutrients, lutein and zeaxanthin
  • Extremely nutritious, very high in vitamins A and C
  • Lost Valley Gardens selection

SPRING AND SUMMER VEGETABLES

These varieties have been tested in our Central Texas test gardens with excellent success. The best time to put out pepper, okra, and eggplant transplants in central Texas is mid April through mid May. All of the other vegetables listed in this section can be direct seeded in early May.


Black Plum Paste Tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum)

Black Plum Paste Tomato

Black Plum Paste Tomato

  • 75-80 days to maturity
  • Rare Russian variety
  • Very tasty in salads and good for tomato sauce
  • Resistant to Tobacco Mosaic Virus, Verticillium wilt, Fusarium wilt
  • Consistent growth and production except during the extreme heat
  • 2-4 oz fruits, uniform, high yielding
  • Fruit production slows during heat and drought, but splitting of the skin is rare
  • Heat tolerant as long as it is kept evenly moist
  • Plant 2-3 feet apart in the garden after danger of frost is past
  • Grown from organic seed – Seeds of Change

Chadwick Cherry Tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum)

Chadwick Cherry Tomato

Chadwick Cherry Tomato

  • Indeterminate
  • 80-90 days to maturity
  • Very tasty in salads
  • Resistant to Tobacco Mosaic Virus, Verticillium wilt, Fusarium wilt
  • Very vigorous growth and production except during extreme heat
  • Large 1-5″ fruits in clusters of 4 to 6 to a bunch
  • Fruit production slows during heat and drought, but increases again in the fall
  • Heat tolerant as long as it is kept evenly moist
  • Plant 2-3 feet apart in the garden after danger of frost is past
  • Grown from organic seed – Seeds of Change

Jalapeno Pepper (Capiscum annuum)

Jalapeno Peppers

Jalapeno Pepper

  • Medium hot chile pepper
  • 65-75 days to maturity
  • Thick walled 3″ fruits
  • Excellent eaten green or red
  • Vigorous growth except during the extreme heat
  • Performs best during summer if provided afternoon shade
  • Heat tolerant as long as it is kept evenly moist
  • Plant 2-3 feet apart in the garden after danger of frost is past
  • Organic seeds from Seeds of Change
  • Good for pickling
  • Texas all-star selection

NATIVE AND ADAPTED WILDFLOWERS

These wildflower varieties are either native to our area, or are well adapted to our soil type and climate.


Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)

PurpleConeflower

Purple Coneflower

  • Perennial
  • Height: 1-2 feet
  • Blooming Period: June-October
  • Robust, drought tolerant flower native to the midwestern and southeastern US
  • Prefers full sun to partial shade in fertile, well-drained soils
  • Flowers are arranged individually on sturdy, elongated stems with soft lavender or purple petals surrounding an iridescent red-orange, coned center
  • Suggested use: Borders, meadows, mixtures, floral gardens
  • Heat tolerant as long as it is kept evenly moist, otherwise provide afternoon shade
  • Plant 12″ apart in the garden after danger of frost is past
  • Deer resistant; attracts butterflies
  • Grown from organic seed stock (Seeds of Change)

Pink Surprise Calendula (Calendula officinalis)

Pink Surprise Calendula

Pink Surprise Calendula

  • Annual cool weather plant
  • Height: 20-24″
  • Blooming Period: March-May
  • Also know as “Pot Marigold”
  • Blooms are typically about 2″ across and resemble a mum
  • This variety has large, deep apricot colored centers surrounded by light pink edges
  • Suggested use: Borders, meadows, mixtures, floral gardens
  • Plant in partial shade or in a spot that doesn’t get afternoon sun in the early spring
  • In Central Texas plant in late summer or late winter; protect from hard freezes
  • Good cut flower; long lasting
  • Native to Mediterranean countries, the petals are used as infusions, extracts, and ointments to induce menstruation, produce sweat during fevers, and to cure jaundice. Compounds in calendula petals reduce inflammation and control bleeding.
  • Not grown from organic seed stock

Triangle Flashback Calendula (Calendula officinalis)

Triangle Flashback Calendula

Triangle Flashback Calendula

  • Annual cool weather plant
  • Height: 12-24″
  • Blooming Period: March-May
  • Also know as “Pot Marigold”
  • Blooms are typically about 2″ across and resemble a mum
  • This variety is red to maroon on the back side of the petals, and a combination of orange, vanilla, apricot, or yellow on the front side
  • Suggested use: Borders, meadows, mixtures, floral gardens
  • Plant in partial shade or in a spot that doesn’t get afternoon sun in the early spring
  • In Central Texas plant in late summer or late winter; protect from hard freezes
  • Good cut flower; long lasting
  • Native to Mediterranean countries, the petals are used as infusions, extracts, and ointments to induce menstruation, produce sweat during fevers, and to cure jaundice. Compounds in calendula petals reduce inflammation and control bleeding.
  • Not grown from organic seed stock

Indian Prince Calendula (Calendula officinalis)

Indian Prince Calendula

Indian Prince Calendula

  • Annual cool weather plant
  • Height: 24″
  • Blooming Period: March-May
  • Also know as “Pot Marigold”
  • Blooms are typically about 2″ across and resemble a mum
  • This variety is deep orange on the front and red on the back; double flowered, on straight, sturdy stems
  • Suggested use: Borders, meadows, mixtures, floral gardens
  • Plant in partial shade or in a spot that doesn’t get afternoon sun in the early spring
  • In Central Texas plant in late summer or late winter; protect from hard freezes
  • Good cut flower; long lasting
  • Native to Mediterranean countries, the petals are used as infusions, extracts, and ointments to induce menstruation, produce sweat during fevers, and to cure jaundice. Compounds in calendula petals reduce inflammation and control bleeding.
  • Not grown from organic seed stock

Flowering Kale – Victoria Pigeon (Brassica oleracea)

Flowering Kale - Victoria Pigeon

Flowering Kale

  • Hardy annual cool weather plant
  • Height: 12-18″
  • This plant does not flower, but the cabbage like foliage turns shades of red, pink, and dark gray-green which intensify as the weather turns cooler
  • Flowering kale is a species of the kale family, but it is also known as flowering cabbage
  • The broad leaves are usually wrinkled along the edges, giving the plants an attractive, ruffled appearance
  • Very decorative in the garden, and the plants can be brought indoors in pots and used as decorative holiday plants
  • Suggested use: borders, containers and combination plantings, planted in groups of 3 to five or more plants
  • Thrive in a sunny or semi-shaded spot
  • In Central Texas plant in late summer
  • Plants should be set 12-18″ apart in the garden
  • Add peat moss, compost, and organic material to the soil before planting
  • Not grown from organic seed stock

Larkspur-Beauty Spire Mix (Cornsolida ambigua)

BeautySpireMixLarkspur

Larkspur-Beauty Spire Mix

  • Hardy annual cool weather plant
  • Height: 12-24″
  • Freely reseeds
  • Flowers in a mix of deep-blue, white, and shades of pink
  • Best planted in late summer or early fall in Central Texas
  • Toxic: do no ingest
  • Plant in partial shade to full sun
  • Plant in masses in raised beds
  • Moderate water
  • Grown from organic seed stock (Seeds of Change)


Maroon Coreopsis (Coreopsis tinctoria)

Maroon Coreopsis

Maroon Coreopsis

  • Hardy annual plant
  • Height: 12-24″
  • Blooms in spring through fall
  • Mahogany-red flowers
  • Best planted in late summer or early fall in Central Texas
  • Suggested use: flower gardens, roadsides, mixtures, meadows, ditches
  • Plant in partial shade to full sun
  • Can tolerate over watering and boggy conditions
  • Native to North America
  • Will continue to bloom as long as adequate water is provided
  • Young buds have the flavor of Echinacea
  • Grown from organic seed stock (Seeds of Change)

Dwarf Plains Coreopsis (Coreopsis tinctoria)

Dwarf Plains Coreopsis - Close Up

Dwarf Plains Coreopsis

  • Hardy annual plant
  • Height: 12-32″
  • Freely reseeds
  • Blooms are bright yellow with deep maroon centers
  • Best planted in late summer or early fall in Central Texas
  • Bloom period from May through October
  • Plant in mostly sunny area
  • A good native wildflower for meadow plantings
  • Moderate water to continuously moist
  • Leaves are finely divided occuring mostly in the lower portion of the plant
  • An ideal plant for areas that have poor drainage or remain soggy for an extended period of time
  • Grown from organic seed stock (Seeds of Change)

Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta)

Black-eyed Susan Photo

Black-eyed Susan

  • Hardy annual, but can act like a biennial or perennial in Central Texas
  • Height: 12-30″, habit upright
  • Flowering plant in the Asteraceae family
  • Native to North America
  • Flowers from June to October
  • Blooms are 2-3″ across, with gold petals surrounding a black center
  • Plant in full sun or afternoon shade
  • A good native wildflower for meadow plantings
  • Moderate water to continuously moist
  • Flourish in fertile, well drained garden soil
  • Medicinal Uses: Roots can be used in a warm infusion to treat sores and to make teas for treating colds
  • Grown from organic seed stock (Seeds of Change)

Mexican Mint Marigold (Tagetes lucida)

Mexican Mint Marigold Photo

Mexican Mint Marigold

  • Herbaceous perennial
  • Height: 24-36″
  • Produces small, single, gold daisy-shaped flowers
  • Sometimes called Spanish Tarragon or Winter Tarragon
  • Flowers in the fall when the days get shorter
  • Plant in well-drained soil and full morning sun, it will benefit if sheltered from the late afternoon sun, especially in the summer months
  • Regular watering is a must during the hot season, but most of the year for an established plant a deep watering every 5-7 seven days will suffice
  • Culinary uses: a tea can be made using the anise flavored leaves; the leaves can be substituted in any dish calling for French tarragon (use less Tagetes lucida due to stronger flavor). Whole leaves can be used in a bouquet garni or vinegar. Chopped leaves can be added to butter or cheese spread to make a tasty herb butter or spread.
  • Not grown from organic seed stock

Standing Cypress (Ipomopsis rubra)

Standing Cypress Photo

Standing Cypress

  • A sturdy, cold hardy, upright bienniel variety native to the southeastern portion of the United States
  • Height: 2-5′
  • Blooms May through June
  • Bright red, tubular flowers are marginally spaced throughout the entire length of the spike
  • The leaves are finely divided
  • Can be planted in early spring or late summer in Central Texas
  • Requires a very dry, well-drained soil
  • Plant in partial shade to full sun
  • After its blooming period the second year, the plant reseeds readily before dying. Seedlings can be transplanted in late fall. The plants are highly popular as cut flowers, often lasting a week or more.
  • Good for borders along fence lines, meadows, mass plantings
  • Moderate water
  • An excellent variety to attract hummingbirds and butterflies to the garden. Drought tolerant once it becomes established.
  • Not grown from organic seed stock

Yellow Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)

Yellow Yarrow Photo

Yellow Yarrow

  • Cold hardy perennial used for medicinal purposes
  • Erect herbaceous perennial plant that produces one to several stems and has a rhizomatous growth form.
  • Native to Europe, it has naturalized throughout temperate North America
  • Leaves are evenly distributed along the stem,and have varying degrees of hairiness. The leaves are 5-20 cm long, bipinnate or tripinnate, almost feathery, and arranged spirally on the stems.
  • Height: 18-30″‘
  • Blooms May through September
  • Flowers are in clusters forming a flat top usually affixed to a single stem.
  • Can be planted in early spring or late summer in Central Texas
  • Yarrow can endure dry, impoverished soil and survive with little maintenance.
  • Plant in full sun
  • A true perennial taking two years to become established.
  • Often used in fresh or dry floral arrangements, the foliage is pleasantly fragrant when crushed.
  • Can be mowed to form a highly competitive ground cover to control soil erosion.
  • Grown from organic seed stock (Seeds of Change)

Chaste Tree (Agnus-castus)

Chaste Tree Photo

Chaste Tree

  • Native to the Mediterranean region, this plant is well adapted to Central Texas
  • Deciduous tree with 2″-5″ long narrow gray-green aromatic leaves
  • Fast growing tree that can reach 20′ at maturity
  • Plant in full sun
  • Drought and heat tolerant
  • Blooms from June throughout the summer
  • Flowers are 6″-12″ blue/lilac, white or pink panicles, small gray/brown fruit
  • Branched flower clusters are produced on new wood in late spring and early summer in a great flush that makes the tree look like a hazy purple cloud
  • Keep well watered and fertilize monthly during growing season until established
  • Attracts bees and butterflies
  • The spicy fruit of the tree can been used to aide the symptoms of female hormonal imbalances.
  • Not grown from organic seed stock

Rocket Mix Snapdragon (Antirrhinum majus)

Chaste Tree Photo

Rocket Mix Snapdragon

  • Hardy annual, tender perennial
  • Long flower spikes in red, rose, bronze, yellow, white and pink make a fancy, long-lasting display from July until a hard frost.
  • Tolerates light frosts. Makes a splendid cut flower.
  • Sow in a sunny place in the garden in early spring. For earlier flowers, start plants indoors 6-8 weeks before the last frost date and transplant when frost danger has passed.
  • Cover seeds very lightly; they need light to germinate. Enrich soil with germination.
  • Harvest flowers at peak of bloom. Cut off faded flower spikes for continuous bloom.
  • Freely reseeds
  • Both heat tolerant and extremely cold hardy. Blooms well into the summer in Central Texas, and will bloom again in the fall when temperatures cool down.
  • Grown from organic seed stock (Seeds of Change)

Blue Shades Verbena (Verbena x hybrida)

Verbena Photo

Blue Shades Verbena

  • Heirloom variety
  • 16 – 20″ spreading annual
  • Produces deep purple blooms spring through fall
  • Tolerates heat, but must be kept slightly moist during hotest periods
  • Excellent container plant
  • Cut off faded flower heads for continuous bloom
  • Freely reseeds
  • Attracts butterflies
  • Not grown from organic seed stock

Mealy Blue Sage (Salvia farinacea)

Mealy Blue Sage Photo

Mealy Blue Sage

  • Native perennial prairie plant
  • 1 – 3′ tall, 1.5′ wide
  • Produces dark purple to blue spiked blooms from spring through fall
  • Tolerates heat and drought well
  • Deer resistant and tolerant of poor soils, including caliche
  • Plant in full sun to partial shade
  • Cut off faded flower heads for continuous bloom
  • Freely reseeds
  • Attracts butterflies and bees
  • Prune to 3″ after hard freeze
  • Not grown from organic seed stock

Tropical Sage (Salvia coccinea)

Scarlet Sage Photo

Tropical Sage

  • Short lived, profusely reseeding perennial
  • 2 – 3′ tall and 1.5′ wide
  • Produces bright red blooms spring through fall
  • Tolerates heat, but must be kept slightly moist during hotest periods
  • Deer resistant and tolerant of poor soils, including caliche
  • Plant in full sun to partial shade
  • Cut off faded flower heads for continuous bloom
  • Attracts butterflies and bees
  • Prune to 3″ after hard freeze
  • Not grown from organic seed stock

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