Texas Gardening Helpful Information with Heirloom Seeds A thru CGardening has become one of my greatest passions and I want to be able to grow different fruits and vegetables year round. I have learned in my first year of serious gardening that you can not grow everything that you want to just because you can buy the seed. I have found out that we have 2 growing season here in Texas and I have ran across a company that I am going to start buying my Heirloom and Organic seeds from http://www.texasready.net or http://sustainableseedco.com and here is some information from the TAMU http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/vegetable/ ˙here is also a guide to a growers handbook courtesy of those Texas Aggies, they do know a thing or two about farming! http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/vegetable/texas-vegetable-growers-handbook/
Choose your site carefully as asparagus will continue to produce a crop for up to 30 years.
Asparagus likes rich, fertile, well mulched, sandy loam.
Never cut the heads for the first few years. Allow your asparagus bed to establish itself first. Normally, it takes 2-3 years.
In the fall cut back all dead growth and cover with a composted leaf mulch.
In the spring, top dress asparagus with well composted manure and seaweed for an amazing harvest.
Depending on your area start heirloom organic broccoli seeds indoors February-April for planting out in your garden. Most spring crops are set out around April 10th and fall crops around July 1st. Direct seed broccoli May-June for fall crop. Remember broccoli is a cool weather crop so adjust your planting time accordingly. With a little skill you can get a spring and fall crop!
Soil Requirements: Heirloom organic broccoli will grow well in reasonably fertile, well-drained, moist soils with plenty of added organic matter. We add lots of rabbit manure or some well composted chicken manure. A mulch will help keep the ground cool and moist. The pH should be between 6.0 and 7.0 for optimum growth. A pH within this range will discourage clubroot disease and maximize nutrient availability.
Fertilizing Organic Broccoli: If you have blended or mulched a nice manure in you should be fine. Don’t forget when transplanting to add a little bone and blood meal to each hole. A teaspoon of each will get your transplants off to a good start!
Enjoy: Steaming to stir fry broccoli is just yummy! Remember, young broccoli leaves actually have more nutrients than the head and can be used in salads, stir fries or just about anything.
Varieties: Some of the many heirloom Organic broccoli seed varieties are Atlantic heirloom broccoli seeds, Calabrese Green Sprouting heirloom broccoli seeds,De Cicco heirloom broccoli seeds, Early Purple Sprouting heirloom broccoli seeds, Rapini heirloom broccoli seeds, Romanesco Italia heirloom broccoli seeds, Thompson organic heirloom broccoli seeds, Umpqua heirloom broccoli seeds, and Waltham 29 heirloom broccoli seeds.
Tips for Growing Great Brussel Sprouts
Brussel Sprouts are started in the late summer so that they will develop during the cool fall months. They must have 3 months of cool weather to develop properly. The air temps should be between 45-75 degrees. Don’t worry about a little frost. They can handle it as long as the thaw is slow.
Start Brussel sprout seeds in pots and transplant to the garden.
Cover seeds 1/4 to 1/2 inch deep and transplant the seedlings when they are about 3 inches tall. Do not allow transplants to become stunted in the flats before transplanting.
Brussel sprouts need a very rich soil to perform well. Enrich the soil with composted manure and humus.
Never plant Brussel sprouts in the same place year after year. Rotate your crops to keep pest and disease to a minimum.
The small sprouts or buds form heads one to two inches in diameter. They may be picked (or cut) off the stem when they are firm and about one inch in size. The lower sprouts mature first. The lowermost leaves, if they have not been removed already, should be removed when the sprouts are harvested. Harvest sprouts before the leaves yellow.
Heirloom organic cabbage is a cool-season vegetable suited to both spring and fall season. The key to growing great cabbage is steady, uninterrupted growth. That means rich soil, plenty of water, and good manure.
Germination: Cabbage seed germination will be poor if soil temperatures are below 50 degrees.
Soil: Surprisingly heirloom organic cabbage will do well on heavy clay soil, although it prefers a rich heavy loam. It delights in copious amounts of composted manure mixed into the soil bed. Remember not to plant cabbage seed in the same place year to year. The soil pH should be between 6.0 and 7.5 for optimum growth and to discourage clubroot disease.
Transplanting Organic Cabbage: Set out your spring cabbage transplants early enough so that they can mature before the heat of summer, about 5 weeks before the last frost. For a longer cabbage harvest plant 2 or 3 varieties with different maturities.
Heirloom cabbage needs even moisture to produce good heads. Mulch cabbage with compost to keep the soil cool and moist. Water regularly, applying 1 to 1.5 inches of water per week if it doesn’t rain. Feed cabbage with a liquid fertilizer such as fish emulsion or seaweed combination after they begin to develop new leaves and when they start forming heads.
Heirloom Cabbage Varieties Some of the many heirloom cabbage varieties are Early Wakefield heirloom cabbage Seeds, Brunswick heirloom cabbage Seeds, Copenhagen Market heirloom cabbage Seeds, Danish Ballhead heirloom cabbage Seeds, Drumhead heirloom organic cabbage Seeds, Early Jersey Wakefield heirloom cabbage Seeds, Glory of Enkhuizen heirloom cabbage Seeds, Golden Acre heirloom cabbage Seeds, Late Flat Dutch heirloom cabbage Seeds, and Mammoth Red Rock heirloom cabbage Seeds.
Heirloom organic carrots are easy to grow and a wonderful source of Vitamin A!
Heirloom Carrot Climatic Requirements: The heirloom carrot is a hardy, cool season crop that can be planted in the garden as soon as the orgnic soil can be prepared in the spring. Organic carrots require relatively large amounts of moisture and are not tolerant of drought. Prolonged hot weather in the later stages of development may not only retard growth but result in an undesirable strong flavor and coarseness in the roots. At the other extreme, prolonged temperatures below 55 degrees F tend to make the roots longer, more slender and paler in color than expected. The best temperature for highest quality organic roots is between 60 and 70 degrees F.
Soils: Heirloom carrot plants thrive in deep, loose, well-drained soil. Avoid stony, cloddy or hard soils as they increase the likelihood of root defects. Because raised-beds usually have loose soil and receive little compaction from foot traffic, they are an ideal location to grow carrots. Heirloom carrot plants grow well at a pH range of 6.0 to 6.8.
Organic Fertilizers: Most of the time a very well composted manure and a humus laden soil is all you need to grow great organic carrots. Heirloom carrots require large amounts of plant nutrient elements normally found is this mix, but sometimes need extra potassium, for good production. On the flip side too much manure applied just before seeding can result in forked roots. Better to wait till the tops are about 3″s to apply more organic manure as a side dressing.
Establishing: Direct seed heirloom carrots into a well-prepared soil early in the spring. Suggested planting seed depth is 1/4 inch deep in rows spaced 12 to 18 inches or more apart depending on the method of cultivation used. It is important to avoid crusting of the soil around the seed-bed. Covering the seed with vermiculite or fine organic compost and keeping the soil evenly moist until the seedlings have emerged will help prevent this problem. After the seedlings have emerged, thin them to one inch apart. When the tops of the carrots grow thicker, thin them to about two to three inches apart.
Heirloom Organic Carrot Seed Varieties: Some of the many heirloom carrot seed varieties are: amarillo heirloom organic carrot seeds, autumn king heirloom carrot seeds, bambino heirloom carrot seeds, danvers half long heirloom carrot seeds, yellowstone heirloom carrot seeds, dragon heirloom carrot seeds, chantenay heirloom carrot seeds, amsterdam #2 heirloom organic carrot seeds, scarlet nantes heirloom carrot seeds, red cored chantenay heirloom carrot seeds, atomic red heirloom carrot seeds, shin kuroda heirloom carrot seeds, davers 126 heirloom carrot seeds, early coreless heirloom carrot seeds, gold pak heirloom carrot seeds, little finger heirloom carrot seeds, oxheart heirloom carrot seeds, parisian heirloom orgnic carrot seeds, st. valery heirloom carrot seeds, tendersweet heirloom organic carrot seeds, cosmic purple heirloom carrot seeds and jaune du boubs. carrot seeds.
Heirloom organic cauliflower is a cool season vegetable that may be considered a challenge to those who haven’t learned its secrets. It is a crop that needs both correct soil and climatic requirements. However, it can be grown successfully if it is planted so that it will mature in the early summer or in the fall.
Organic Soil and Fertilization: Heirloom cauliflower is a crop that should have an uninterrupted growth. Any delay in growth will encourage the plants to prematurely form a small head. In order to avoid this, the soil should be high in organic matter so that it will hold a lot of moisture. It must also be very fertile. So using a great deal of well composted manure is a must! Heirloom cauliflower likes a sweet soil so be sure the pH is about 6.5.
Starting Organic Seeds: Heirloom cauliflower plants should be about 6 weeks old when set in the field, figuring 3-4 plants per person per year. Cauliflower plants are grown the same as cabbage plants. Sow the seed 6 weeks before the plants are to be set in the field.
Set the plants 18-28 inches apart in the row and have the rows 30 inches apart. The plants should be set in the spring about 10 days after it is safe to set the earliest cabbage. The plants should be watered when transplanted to prevent wilting. Severe shock to plants at transplanting time often causes poor head development. Work a quart of chicken manure into the soil around each plant 3 weeks after setting out the plants and again a month later.
Some of the best heirloom organic cauliflower seeds: Some of the many heirloom cauliflower varieties are all year round cauliflower, Self Blanching cauliflower seeds, Snowball cauliflower seeds, Giant of Naples cauliflower seeds, Green Macerata organic cauliflower seeds, Purple of Sicily cauliflower seeds, Snowball Self-Blanching cauliflower seeds,Violetta Italia organic cauliflower seeds and snow crown cauliflower seeds.
Tips for Growing Great Celery
Start indoors 12 weeks prior to transplanting outdoors.
Celery seed is tiny! Use sterile, fine soil and cover the seed by dusting a light covering. Many people plant too deeply. An easy way to lightly cover your fine/tiny celery seed is to use a flour sifter or large tea strainer and gently shake a coating over the seed.
Keep soil moist (not soggy) and at 75 degrees. Seedlings will emerge in 2-3 weeks.
Transplant outdoors when weather has settled and there are no more rapid temperature swings. Bolting can be caused when night time temps get below 55 degrees. So do not transplant to early.
Celery needs a very rich, moderately acidic, organic soil and lots of water. Feed organic fish emulsion and seaweed every two weeks till harvest.
Heirloom chard is a leafy vegetable that makes a good alternative to spinach. Growing heirloom chard can be easier than growing spinach as it is better able to withstand higher/lower temperatures and droughts. As well as its value as a food crop Swiss Chard also has a very striking value as an ornamental plant and many times it appears in a gardens ornamental borders or ornamental pots. Heirloom chard is an excellent source of vitamins and minerals.
Preparation: Turn over the soil and dig in some well composted manure a number of weeks before sowing. This will help soil moisture retention and soil aeration. Make sure to break up any large clods of soil with your fork and rake the soil to obtain a fine soil structure in which to plant your Chard seeds.
Sowing: Heirloom chard is normally sown directly into the soil. Sow the Chard seed in rows around 45cm apart and about 5 cm apart. The seeds should be sown at around 1/2″ depth. The plants will need thinning. If left until around 8″ in height before thinning then the thinned plants can be treated like an early harvest and the young leaves will be extremely tender and tasty. Chard doesn’t like a soil that is too acidic, an acidic soil will stunt growth. Chard grows well in a soil of around 6.5 – 6.8.
Some of the best heirloom chard seeds: fordhook chard seeds, bright lights chard seeds, argentata chard seeds, five colored silverbeet chard seeds, Lucullus seeds, Ruby Red chard seeds, Golden seeds, Gold Glebe chard seeds, Canary Yellow chard seeds, Flamigo Pink chard seeds, Vulcan chard seeds, Oriole Orange chard seeds, Large Ribbed chard seeds, Pink Lipstick chard seeds, Orange Fantasia chard seeds, and Rhubarb Chard seeds! Goodness, who knew there were so many!!
Heirloom cucumbers do not like acidic soil!
Frost tender. Heirloom cucumbers love warm weather.
To get an earlier heirloom cucumber crop start indoors 3-4 weeks before last frost.
Heirloom cucumbers are thirsty! Never let them go dry. Heirloom cucumbers are over 95 % water.
Fertilize heirloom cucumbers with manures BEFORE planting.
Cucumber beetles are “supposed” to dislike marigolds or wood ashes sprinkled at the base of cucumber vines.
Other Heirloom Cucumber Varieties: Boston Pickling heirloom cucumber, Early Cluster heirloom cucumber, Early Russian heirloom cucumber , Vert de Massy heirloom cucumber, Boothby’s Blonde heirloom cucumber, China Long heirloom cucumber, Japanese Climbing heirloom cucumber, Lemon heirloom cucumber, Long Green Improved heirloom cucumber, Longfellow heirloom cucumber, Straight 8 heirloom cucumber, Suyo Long heirloom cucumber, West Indian Gherkin heirloom cucumber, White Wonder heirloom cucumber, black diamond heirloom cucumber, chinese yellow heirloom cucumber, crystal apple heirloom cucumber, de borbonne heirloom cucumber, delikatesse heirloom cucumber, dragons egg heirloom cucumber, edmonson heirloom cucumber, emperor Alexandra heirloom cucumber, fin di meaux heirloom cucumber, himangi heirloom cucumber and Japanese long heirloom cucumber.