State

 

MenuTitle
Crop Histories of TX | Early TX Settlers | Fun Facts | Gardening Links for TX | Seed Facts for TX |TX Original Seeds | Recommended Vegetables For TX

If you are looking for seed varieties recommeded for Texas by zone click here and you will see a list. Click any of those seed varieties and it will take you to my commercial website to get more information and/or to buy them.

A Plea for Texas Heirloom Seeds

I've created this web site because I'm a native Texan I have a love for Texas History and Horticulture. Texas heirloom vegetable seeds are quickly vanishing.  I’m looking to save these Texas varieties from going extinct.  There were so many amazing distinctive Texas heirloom vegetables that were grown by the native peoples of Texas, the Mexicans, the Germans and other early Texas settlers.  Where did they all go?  These varieties were adapted to the extremes of Texas weather for generations. 

For example:  When the Mexicans settled Texas they brought with them many types of corn and beans that were adapted to the Texas heat.  When the Germans came to Central Texas they brought grains and cabbage from their homeland.  What about the Japanese who came in the 1920s and brought specific rice crops to grow in Texas?  Did these same Japanese bring melons or other vegetables?

Please email me with any information or seeds you may have. I would be happy to trade other seeds for them or pay you for them.: email

Individual Crop Histories in Texas

Onions were the first major commercial vegetable crop to be grown in Texas in 1898. Read More 

Sorghum made its first appearance in Texas around 1879. Read More

Corn perhaps was one of the most important early crops in Texas. Stephen Austin was paid in corn seed by the early settlers to cover debts to Mexico, but heirloom corn was in Texas long before that. Read More

Wheat was first grown commercially in Texas near Sherman about 1833. Read More

Cantaloupe How muskmelons and cataloupes came about in Texas.

<top>

 


Early Texas Settlers and Their Seed Crops

Native Texans

When the Spanish first arrived in the 1500s they found the Caddo Indians in East Texas growing corn, beans and squash.

The Germans

It is documented as early as 1839 Germans grew peas, beans, potatoes, cucumbers, and among others.
Grains
As early as the 1830’s many Germans tried growing barley in the Texas heat, from the limited records it didn’t seem very successful and by the 1860’s there is no mention of it in the census.  The 1850 census reports Germans growing wheat, oats and rye in Texas.  However, do to humidity and disease most of these grains didn’t take hold either.  However, several grist mills did exist in Dewitt, Victoria and Goliad counties so some grains must have thrived there.  One of the more famous mills founded in 1851 is still in business today.
Tobacco
Tobacco seems to have made a short appearance from 1850 to around the 1860s it was grown in limited amounts around the Texas Hill Country.  There are mentions of “Havana” tobacco in New Braunsfels and Fredricksburg around this time.  For more informaton on Tobacco in Texas.
Corn
Corn was said to have been brought to Austin’s Colony by U.S. Southerners in the 1820s. 

The Spanish

Spanish colonists introduced wheat, oats, barley, onions, peas, and watermelons to Texas.

Corn

The Spanish were well know in the 1500s for transporting corn to all their mission that dotted the Texas landscape.

The Czechs

"The typical Czech farm family was a largely self-contained economic and social unit whose main purpose was to cultivate the land. Farming was a way of life not clearly separated from other life goals and not seen merely as a way of making money."

<top>

 

 


Fun Facts for Texas

Texas ranks second in U.S. production of watermelons with 40,000 to 60,000 acres grown each year!

Texas ranks third in U.S. with 10,000 to 20,000 acres of melons produced each year!

Texas ranks 2nd in the U.S. for spinach production

<top>

 

 


Gardening Links for Texas

East Texas Gardening
This web site is part of Texas AgriLife Extension Service - Smith County horticulture program, and part of the Aggie Horticulture network. Regular updates include a Master Gardener Tip of the Week, and my East Texas Gardening blog which features a weekly column, plus highlights upcoming events, favorite plants, and gardening musings. Check out our "Educational Programs & News " and "East Texas Home Gardening" for a variety of gardening information geared for East Texas conditions. You can search this site by keywords:

Central Texas Horticulture

Texas Plant Disease Handbook  

Texas Master Gardeners
When the term "Master Gardener" was first coined in the early 1970s to describe a new Extension program in Washington State, few could have predicted it would spread into Texas and blossom into one of the most effective volunteer organizations in the State. The annual reports, history, and management guide chronicles the development, activities and impact of the Texas Master Gardener program, now known to be the largest in the nation.

Texas AgriLife Extension Service County Offices 

The Crops of Texas
"The Crops of Texas" is probably the most holistic compilation of facts on crop production for the state. The Authors, Dr. Dudley Smith and Dr. Juan Ancisco, drew upon their backgrounds in crop production and economics, pest management, and commercial agriculture to produce colorful narratives and compile data on 200 horticultural, agronomic, and forage crops, plus seed production, for the state.”

Growing Fruit in The Texas Hill Country 

A Guide to Marketing Organic Produce in Texas   

Texas Garden Clubs Over 500 clubs throughout the state of Texas. Find one near you!

<top>

 


 

Seed Facts for Texas

Seed production in Texas from The Crops of Texas.

“Seed was particularly interesting to note. Several seedsmen and others provided key information which was cross verified. Although some seed acreage may be included in the general crop data, clearly the seed industry in Texas is a major component in Texas agriculture, generating close to $250 million for farmers and approaching three-quarters of a billion dollars (considering economic multipliers of 2.8 to 3.1) from the “value added” in processing, shipping, and sales outside the state.”

Timely Tips for Starting Seeds in Texas 

<top>

 


Heirloom Seeds "born" in Texas.

Seeds Created/Originated in Texas

  • Texas Grano 502 onion
  • Texas Grano 1015
  • Texas Bluebonnet (native)
  • Plainsman Tomato (196?)
  • Texas Pole Bean
  • Westar Wheat(1950)
  • Sturdy Wheat (1967)
  • Quanah Wheat (1946)
  • Mediterranean Wheat (1932)
  • Red May Wheat (1939)
  • Denton Soft Red Wheat (1926)
  • Austin Soft Red Wheat (1942)
  • Keliehor's Turkey Wheat (1934)
  • Texas Winter Barley (1938)
  • Ranger Oats (1940)
  • Fultex Oats (1940)
  • Texas Cannonball Muskmelon (1920)
  • Texas Resistant Cantaloupe no. 1 (1945)
  • Rio Sweet Muskmelon (1941)
  • Rio Gold Muskmelon (1953)
  • Wescan Muskmelon (1961)
  • Perlita Muskmelon (1961)
  • Dulce Muskmelon (1961)
  • Gulfstream Muskmelon (1958)
  • Campo Muskmelon (196?)
  • Jacumba Muskmelon (196?)
  • Texas Giant Watermelon (19?)
  • Texas Pink Watermelon (19?)

This list is always growing as we uncover more Texas Heirloom Seeds…

<top>

 


 

TexasMapHeirloom Vegetable Seeds Recommended for Texas by Region as recommended by Texas A&M

Region A&D-Panhandle and High plains of Texas
Region B-North and Central Texas
Region C- Northeast and East Texas
Region E-Upper Rio Grande
Region F-Central Coast of Texas
Region G-Southeast Texas
Region H-Rio Grande Valley
Region I-Texas Hill Country
For detail of regions

Artichokes
Green Globe (Region F)
Imperial Star (Region I)

Asparagus
Mary Washington (Region G)

Beets
Detroit Dark Red Beet (Region A, C, F, G, I)
Golden Detroit (Region I)
Lutz Green Leaf (Region A)
Cylindra (Region A)
Ruby Queen (Region C, E, F, G)
Chioggia (Region B, G, I )
Early Wonder (Region C)

Beans
Blue Lake (Region A, B, E, F, G, H, I)
Roma II (Region A,C, F)
Kentucky Wonder (Region B, C, E, H, I)
Contender (Region A, B,C, E, F, G, H, I)
Provider (Region I,F)
Royal Burgundy (Region I)
Broad Windsor Fava (Region I)
Great Northern (Region A)
Tendergreen Beans
Henderson’s Bush Lima Bean (Region A,C, E, F, G, H, I)
Fordhook Lima (Region A, C, F, G)
King of The Garden Pole (Region B, E, H, I)
Tendercrop (Region A, E, G)

Broccoli
Calabrese (Region F)
Romanesco (Region G)

Cabbage
Early Jersey Wakefield (Region A, B, C, F, G, I)
Golden Acre (Region E, F, I)
Michihili (Region B, C, E, F, G, H, I)
Red Acre (Region E, I)
Red Express (Region I)

Carrots
Danvers 126 Carrot (Region B, C, G, I)
Cosmic Purple (Region G)
Imperator 58 (Region C, E, F, G, I)
Scarlet Nantes (Region A, B, F, G)
Red Cored Chantenay (Region A, B, C, E, F, G, I)
Little Finger (Region F)

Cauliflower
Snowball Y Improved (Region C, F, G)

Celery
Giant Pascal (Region F)
Utah 52-70 (Region F, H)

Collards
Georgia Southern (Region A, C, E, F, G, H, I)
Champion (Region G, I)
Vates (Region A, C, E, F, I)

Corn
Strawberry Popcorn (Region A, F)
Japanese hulless (Region A)
Indian (Region A)
Rainbow (Region A)

Cucumbers
Ashley (Region C, F)
National Pickling (Region C, G)
Straight Eight (Region C, E, F, G, I)
SMR-58 (Region G, I)
Poinsett 76 (Region C, E, F, G, I)
Suyo (Region B, F, G)
Spacemaster (Region B, G)
Homemade Pickles (Region C)

Eggplant
Black Beauty (Region E, F, G, H, I)
Pingtung (Region B, G, I)
Florida Market (Region E, G, H, I)

Greens
Arugula (Region F)
Corn Salad (Region F)
Curly Endive (Region F)
Tatsoi (Region F)
Pac Choi (Region G, I)

Kale
Dwarf Blue Curled Scotch (Region A, B, C, F, G, H, I)
Dwarf Blue Curled Vates (Region B, C, F, G)
Red Russian (Region F, I)
Lacinato (Region B, F, G, I)

Kollrabi
Early Purple Vienna (Region B, C, E, F, I)
Early White Vienna (Region A, C, E, F, G, H, I)

Leeks
American Flag (Region A, B,C, E, F, G, H, I)

Lettuce
Bronze Mignonette (Region F)
Adriana (Region I)
Bibb (Region C, G, I)
Buttercrunch (Region A, B, C, E, F, G, H, I)
Prizehead (Region B, F, H)
Black Seeded Simpson (Region A,C, E, F, G, I)
Lolla Rosa (Region F, I)
Oakleaf (Region C, E, F, G, I)
Red Sails (Region A, B, C,F, G, H)
Ruby Red (Region C, E, F, H, I)
Salad Bowl Green (Region B,  C, E, F, G, H, I)
Freckles (Region B, G)
Salad Bowl Red (Region A, E, I)
Tango (Region F, I)
Tom Thumb (Region C)
Parris Island (Region F, H, I)
Valmaine (Region F)
Rouge d’hiver (Region I)

Mustard
Southern Giant Curled (Region A, B, C, G, I)
Tendergreen (Region A, C, E, G, H, I)
Florida Broadleaf (Region B, C, E, G, I)
Green Wave (Region C, E, H, I)

Okra
Clemson Spineless (Region A, B, C , E, G, H, I)
Burgundy (Region C, G, I)
Annie Oakley (Region A)
Cajun Delight  (Region B, C, E,G, I)
Blondy (Region A)
Long Horn (Region G)
Emerald ( Region A, B, C, E, G, H, I)

Onions-Learn how & when to plant heirloom onion seed in Texas
Red Burgundy (Region A, B, C, E, I)
White Sweet Spanish (Region A)
Yellow Sweet Spanish (Region A, B)
Early Grano 502 (Region B, G, H)
Texas 1015 (Region F, G, H, I)
Evergreen Bunching (Region B, C, I)
Southport White Globe (Region B, G)

Parsley
Italian Flat (Region B, F, G, I)
Moss Curled (Region B, C, E, H, I)
Triple Curl (Region B, G, I)

Parsnip
Harris Model (Region A, E, H, I)

Pea
Dwarf Grey Sugar (Region C, F, H)
Alaska (Region G)
Green Arrow (Region H)
Thomas Laxton (Region G)
Knight (Region A)
Mammoth Melting Sugar (Region A)
Oregon Sugar Pod II (Region A)
Little Marvel (Region A, B, C, F, E, G, H, I)
Sugar Ann (Region A, B, C, G)
Sugar Snap (Region B, F, I)
Super Sugar (Region A, B, G)
Wando (Region A, B, C, E, F, G, H, I)
Cascadia (Region B, G)

Peppers
California Wonder Pepper (all regions)
Anaheim (Region B, C, F, G)
Long Red Cayenne Pepper (Region B, C, E, F, G, H, I)
Hungarian Yellow Wax (Region A, C, E, F, G, H, I)
Jalapeno Pepper (Region A, C, E, F, G, I)
Rio Grande 66 (Region F)
TAM Jalapeno (Region A, F, G)
Tampico (Region F)
Calwonder (Region F)
Sweet Banana (Region C, F, H)
Tabasco (Region G, H)

Pumpkin
Big Max (Region C,  E, F, H, I)
Connecticut Field (Region A, B, C, F, H)
Howden (Region B, F)
Jack O’Lantern (Region B, C, E, F, H, I )
Jack Be Little (Region B, F
Small Sugar (Region A, B, C, F, H)

Radishes
Cherry Belle (Region A, B,  C, F,G)
Black Spanish (Region E, G, I)
Champion (Region A, B, C, E, G, H, I)
White Icicle (Region A, B, C, F, G, H)
Early Scarlet Globe (Region C, E, F, G, I)
Sparkler (Region C, F, I)
Easter Egg (Region B, C, G, I)
French Breakfast (Region B, G)

Rutabaga
American Purple Top (Region A, B, C, H)

Spinach
Bloomsdale (Region B, F, G, I)

Squash (Summer)
Costat Romanesca (Region F)
Early Prolific (Region I)
Bennings Green Tint (Region C)
Early White Bush (Region C, F, I)
Early Yellow Crookneck (Region B, F)

Squash (Winter)
Blue Hubbard (Region F, H)
Delicata (Region I)
Burgess Buttercup (Region C, F)
Sweet Meat (Region A, F)
Table King (Region A, B, C, F, H)
Table Queen (Region C)
Spaghetti (Region B, C, F, G, H, I)
Waltham (Region A, C, F, H, I)

Swiss Chard
Bright Lights (Region A, B, C, F, G, I)
Fordhook Giant
(Region A, B, C, F, G, H, I)
Lucullus (Region A, E, F, G, H, I)
Ruby Red (Region C, E, H, I)

Tomatillo
Toma Verde (Region A, F, I)
De Milipa (purple) (Region I)

Turnip
Purple White Top (Region A, B, E, F, G, H, I)
Shogoin (Region A, B, F, G)

Watermelon
Bush Sugar Baby (Region A,B, C, F, G)
Black Diamond (Region B, F, H)
Charleston Gray (Region C, E, F, H, I)
Crimson Sweet (Region A,  B, C, E, F, H, I)
Jubilee (Region B, C, E, F, G, H, I)
Tendersweet Orange (Region B, C, E, H, I)

 

<top>

Heirloom Tomato Seeds Recommended for the Gulf Coast by Mother Earth News

Brandywine Heirloom Tomato Seeds

Yellow Pear Heirloom Tomato Seeds

Roma Heirloom Tomato Seeds

Amish Paste Heirloom Tomato Seeds

San Marzano Heirloom Tomato Seeds

Opalka Heirloom Tomato Seeds

Beefsteak Heirloom Tomato Seeds

Floradade Heirloom Tomato Seeds

Cherokee Purple Heirloom Tomato Seeds

Learn to save heirloom tomato seeds with Texas' own John Dromgoole from The Natural Gardener

 

 

John teaches you how to plant heirloom tomato seeds.

 

 

Aggie Tomato Problem Solver Having problems growing heirloom tomatoes? This is the place to get answers for the Texas Tomato Grower!