Cool Weather

  1. Cilantro
    Sow the seeds in your garden from October thru February. It is an easy herb to grow in a container and plant by seed directly in the garden.  It starts to bolt, go to seed, when temperatures are above 75 degrees. An added bonus, let it flower and go to seed. The flowers will attract beneficial insects and reseed itself for the next year!  Itis a delicious cool weather herb and perfect for soups, salsa and pico de gallo!
  2. Radishes
    Radishes  are an easy quick 30 days to harvest crop with the daily intake of Vit C! Easy to grow for the cool season from October through February. Regular watering will provide a ‘cool’ radish. A shortage on water and higher temperatures will produce a ‘spicier’ radish.  Use a splash of lime to temper the spice or add to vinegar and water for quick pickle radishes! 
  3. Cool Weather Greens (Mustards, Collards, Kale)
    Mustards, Collards, and Kale are power house packed with minerals and superfood. Grow by seed directly in your garden for bountiful beautiful greens.   
  4. Beets
    Sow Bulls Blood, chiogga or golden beets for a variety of flavor and visual delight in the garden and on your plate! Seed to harvest in 45 days with rich soil, regular watering and constant cool temperatures. Beets are wonderful roasted and can be found at the farmers market for our favorite dish, roasted beet salad with goat cheese chevre  Broccoli- In November, plant transplants for a Harvest in December! After harvesting the head, let the side shoots grow for mini florets. Let some of your broccoli go to flower to provide the pollinators with rich yellow flowers full of nectar!   
  5. Cabbage
    Plant transplants in November for a December harvest. Easy to grow for abundant source of food. Broccoli and cabbage are in the brassica family and  heavy nitrogen feeders. Once your brassica transplant is establish, feed every two weeks with a full spectrum organic plant food. An easy way to grow an abundance of nutritious food for stir fry, salads and pickled sauerkraut.  
  6. Onions and Garlic
    Plant the bulbs or onion ‘sets,’ small onion plants, starting in  mid-October thru November for a May harvest. The allium family  grows best during Houston winters. The secret to getting large bulbs and cloves is planting 3”-4″ deep to stay in cooler soil and the bulbs growth is dependent on the number of daylight hours. Our winter growing season is short on daylight hours, so it is important to start early in October. It starts to go to flower and stop bulb and clove development when temperatures are above 85 degrees. 
  7. Lettuce 
    For our Houston humid climate, the best varieties to grow are loose leaf varieties such as, Bib and Romaine lettuces. Easy to grow in containers and sow direct by seed! Plant close together for ‘cut and come again’ harvesting or provide more space to harvest larger heads of lettuce.  
  8. Carrots
    We like to grow quick and smaller varieties to harvest. Carrots only need one square inch of space! So, it makes it easy to grow an abundant harvest in containers or directly in your garden with deep rich sandy loam soil at a minimum of 8 inch depth, the secret for a successful carrot harvest. Sow successively every two weeks for a continuous harvest through spring. We like to grow Scarlet Nantes, Cosmic Purple, Atomic Red, and Danvers carrots.   
  9. Legumes
    Sugar Snap Peas – A cool season legume and the only time to grow our favorite Sugar Snap Peas, Snow Peas, and English Peas. They do great in our Houston cool winter season. Plant from October – January. Harvest through April. Before, they start to succumb to the heat, sow pole beans in between and remove the peas plant later in April or May ASAP when it is begins to be overtaken by the powdery mildew. 

Warm Weather

  1. Tomatoes
    The key to growing great Spring and Summer tomatoes in central Houston is to plant them from mid-February through mid-March! Click here for our online webinar in how to grow the absolutely best and amazing harvest of backyard and community garden tomatoes!
  2. Squash & Zucchini –
    Another crop in which to plant in early March to beat out the squash vine borer. It will inevitably bore a hole in the stem to lay its egg. Plant early to get a huge plant and abundant harvest before it gets overtaken by the pests!
  3. Basil 
    Basil is part of the mint family and a well-known favorite is the ‘Genovese’ variety known for its Mediterranean flavor. Asian varieties will tolerate more of the Houston summer. Select a partly sunny location to survive  the heat with a bit of shade protection.  Sow by seed in March and April.
  4. Cucumbers 
    from March through August we can grow cucumbers. In March, plant pickling and straight cucumbers. From May through August, plant Suyo Long Asian cucumbers which tolerate our high temperatures. To maximize a small garden, make sure to provide a trellis for vertical crop production.
  5. Eggplants
    A hot summer easy to produce vegetable. Plant by seed or transplant.
  6. Watermelon
    Select varieties which produce small melons, such as, sugar baby or moonbeam. Small melons are more successful due to our torrential summer rains, which cause the large melons to absorb water too quickly and split. This crop originated in the African desert climate and that is why small melons do best!
  7. Legumes – Southern Peas
    plant from May through August for a creeping bushing bean to fix nitrogen in the soil and thrive in the Houston heat. Perferct for a fall harvest. Select from the many varieties of Southern Pease, such as, purple hull, brown pea, crowder peas, zipper cream peas, or old time favorite, Black Eye pea.
  8. Okra
    In a small space, grow a few plants which can reach a height of 10 feet tall. Needs three foot square space in your garden. Produces beautiful flowers and edible pods when harvested early.
  9. Sweet Potatoes
    Grow by ‘slips’ which are rooted cuttings. Hilling up a bed to get a good 10 inch depth to increase tuber growing space will provide a more abundant harvest. Slips can be found at local family owned nurseries or start your own from an organic sweet potato. Easy and low maintenance summer cover crop for a Fall harvest.

20 for 2020 Blog Posts
  • Planting Resiliency During COVID-19

    By Gabriel Borja Thursday March 12th, 2020 is when things started to get weird. This was the day toilet paper began to disappear off store shelves. It was the day that worried, never-before gardeners appeared at the plant nursery, where I work, asking about planting vegetable gardens. A shocking number were intended to provide subsistence […]
  • It’s time to plant cucumbers!

    When soil temperatures start to warm up above 60 degrees starting in mid-March, it is time to plant cucumbers. Cucumbers are gratifying: they are fast growing and provide an abundant harvest. Two weeks before planting (early- March), prepare a garden container or garden plot by working in compost 8-10“ for a deep-root system. Install a […]
  • Growing Lettuce in 2020!

    I love to grow lettuce because it is easy to grow in any type of garden: school, container or backyard. Lettuce is easy to start from seed, will cut-and-come-again—meaning it will regrow when harvested—and is easy for everyone, including kids, to harvest and taste. Plus, it tastes superb picked fresh from the garden! First, choose […]

Grow Resilience with Urban Harvest:
Social distancing doesn’t mean we have to be disconnected