What variety of vegetable to plant

by Stephanie Suesan Smith on November 1, 2010

Texas is a big state with many different types of climates.  The folks in the southern most reaches are picking citrus while the folks in the far north are snowed in. How do you tell what cultivar (variety) of vegetable to pick from the large number of varieties offered in the seed catalogs?

There is a relatively new tool on Aggie Horticulture to help with that.  The vegetable variety selector will tell you which cultivars in your county, or at least in your region, will grow the best for almost every vegetable that grows in your climate.  With the click 0f a button you can downoad the information in a pdf file format.

As  an example, out of dozens of varities of tomatoes, I get these for medium varities in Hunt County:  Carnival, Celebrity, Champion, First Lady, Porter Improved, and Sunmaster.  This is much better than guessing.  Try it as you pour over your seed catalogs this fall and winter.  Then keep records next spring and summer as you grow your vegetables.  It should not take you long to zero in on the very best varieties for your garden.

Gardenbookfrontcoverthumbnail For more help gardening, buy my book, Preparing A Vegetable Garden From The Ground Up
Available in print or ebook from or other retailers, this book walks you from choosing the site of your garden all the way through what to do after the harvest. Buy a copy for yourself or a friend today! 

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Patricia November 1, 2010 at 10:05 am

Hi Stephanie
Wow you do get a wide variation of climate in one state don’t you?! Western Australia is very large and we have different temperatures north and south but not so extreme. Great idea someone came up with for telling you such useful information.
One of our organic gardening books here does the same thing and its so good for knowing exactly when and what to plant each season.
Thanks for sharing.
Patricia Perth Austrlia
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Selene from Maritime Law Firm November 4, 2010 at 2:13 am

I love gardening though going busy for my work… Sometimes I can’t find answer why those plants I planted died and also how to plant the best for the type of period… But I want to thank you for sharing this post, It help me, and made me aware of what variety of vegetable to plant…


Ila February 11, 2011 at 12:48 pm

I’d have to imagine that trying to find plants to fit the climates in Texas is as hard as it is here in California. Because of the size of the state, it must be a lot of work. I know it feels like a different country traveling to Northern California! What do you think the best way is to test which seeds/plants will work without draining your bank account in the process?


Stephanie Suesan Smith February 11, 2011 at 1:05 pm

You might visit a botanical garden in your area and see what they have been able to grow. Trade seeds with neighbors so each of you only buys one extra package a time. Join one of the seed savers groups on the internet and trade your extra seeds for new ones.


Chris from Maritime Lawyers September 29, 2011 at 4:45 pm

Hi Stephanie. Me and my family are cultivating vegetables in a little garden near our house. We rarely bought seeds from the market, because my grandmother knows how to prepare the seeds from the vegetables and we used the seeds from the previous years crop. This method worked for us for years now and we cultivate tomatoes, cucumber, potato, onion, garlic, carrots this way. We only had problems when we tried to cultivate some new vegetables like cabbages, eggplant. Each year we tried different seeds but never with success.
I never knew that there is such a wide variety for one vegetable. Thank you for the great post, and for next year i`ll do some research about our climate to decide what to cultivate.
Best regards,


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