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Time to Plant Onions

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Its early winter in North Texas and that means it is time to plant onions. Mingos Nursery & Garden Center has fresh onions slips ready to plant.  For 2018 we have Yellow Granex, 1015Y Texas Supersweet, Yellow Bermuda, Ringmaster, Red Candy Apple, Texas Early White, Southern Belle Red, and Red Creole.  Each of these varieties have their own unique flavor and characteristics. Mingos also has all the supplies and information you need to be successful.

When and Where to Plant Onions

Here in North Texas, early winter is the ideal time to plant onions.  In fact, onions are a cool weather crop and will withstand below freezing temperatures.  Like most food crops, onions need to be grown in a sunny place, although a little afternoon shade when the weather turns hot can be helpful especially here in Texas when hot weather tends to show up well before the first day of spring.

Sets, Slips, or Seeds

Plant Onions

Onion Sets

Onions can be planted from sets, slips, or seed. Onion sets are small onion bulbs that have gone dormant.  Slips, also called transplants, are small

bare root onion plants that look much like the green onions or scallions you find in the grocery store.  Onion seeds are usually Plant Onionspurchased in seed packages, but are easy to harvest from onions you do not harvest but allow to flower then turn to seed.

Onions are easy to grow from sets, slips, and seeds, but growing from seed takes the longest and therefore they should be planted earlier than sets or slips. Onion seeds can be found year round.  Onion sets may be available for several months each year but beware of onion sets that are damaged or dried out.  In most areas, onion slips or transplants are only available for a few weeks at the beginning of the growing season.

Planting Onion Seeds

When planting onions from seed, follow the directions on the seed package.  Generally, onion seeds should be planted directly in the garden bed, about 2 inches apart and just barely (¼ inch) covered with soil. Dampen the soil but be careful not to wash the onion seeds away.  A gentle misting with a hose attachment is best.  Onion plants should be thinned to be 3 to 4 inches apart, depending on the variety (the bigger the bulb, the further apart) once the plants have reached 4 or 5 inches.  Thinning larger onion plants can be a problem as their root balls may have grown together.

Planting Onion Sets and Slips

Plant Onions

Onion Slips

Onion sets and slips should be planted no more than one inch deep, 3 to 4 inches apart.  Again, the bigger the onion bulb, the further apart the onions should be planted.  Know your variety.  Cover with soil and water thoroughly.

Water and Food

All food crops benefit greatly from being fed and watered properly.  A well prepared garden bed with plenty of composted organic material may not need any extra fertilization.  However, food crops tend to be heavy feeders and can benefit from a boost of nutrition from time to time.  Talk to your nursery about the best feed for your feed crop.

Onions need to be watered at least once a week and they can withstand more dry weather than most garden plants.  Some people swear that growing onions in slightly dry conditions make for a better tasting onion.  I have not tested that theory myself, I am just happy to know that whether my onions have grown in wet years or dry years, the onions have turned out beautifully.

Let Mingos help you with your landscape plans

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Need a landscape plan? Overwhelmed by choices? Have questions? Need friendly and useful advice? Mingos in Aledo on Bankhead can help.

Spring is coming soon! This is a great time to plan your whole landscape or just that new flower bed.  Mingos has the expertise to walk with you through every step of the project.


Christmas 2017 – Why our trees last longer


Have you ever purchased a cut tree from a big box store only to have it completely dry out the following week?  We hear this story all the time during the Christmas season.  The big box stores are set up to churn out as much product as possible with as little extra work as possible.  This impacts not only the cost of the product but also the quality of the merchandise.

At Mingos, upon arrival, the bottom couple of inches of each fresh cut Christmas Tree is cut off to remove the wood full of dried sap.  This helps the tree take up the water it needs to stay green longer; just like a cut flower.

Cutting the bottom off of each tree to help with water adsorption.


After the bottoms are trimmed, each tree is hung upright sitting in a bowl of water. It is surprising how much water a fresh cut Christmas Tree can take up over a 24 hour period.  This ensures the tree will last as long as possible which is often past the New Year. Come see us at Mingos today!

Christmas 2017 – Wreaths and Garland

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For this Christmas season, Mingos has fresh wreaths in multiple sizes as well as garland by the foot.

Christmas 2017 – Statement Christmas Trees

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Mingos has fresh cut Christmas Trees!  And a few of our trees make a statement.  If you are looking for a large Christmas Tree for your home or business, come see us at Mingos.

We have the large Christmas Tree you have been looking for!

Large Christmas Tree

Looking for a fresh cut Christmas Tree that makes a statement?


No kink Flexzilla garden hoses are here!

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Flexizilla Garden Hoses

Flexzilla® Garden Hose was engineered with a lightweight Premium Hybrid Polymer to lie flat and eliminate kinking under pressure. It redefines flexibility, making it easy to maneuver around trees, bushes or other obstacles. Zero memory means your sprinkler stays put without twisting. And Flexzilla® Garden Hose doesn’t fight you when you coil it. Plus, with our superior O-ring you get a long-term, leak-free connection at the spigot that outlasts the competition by far. (Limited Lifetime Warranty)

Flexzilla® Garden Hoses Features

  • Less than half the weight of normal water hoses
  • Extreme all weather flexibility (-40° to +140° F)
  • Will not kink under pressure
  • No memory – lays flat
  • Abrasion resistant
  • 150 psi working pressure
  • Custom lengths available

Do You Deadhead?

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This might be a personal question but, do you deadhead? I don’t mean ARE you a deadhead.  That is your own business and I do not need to know.

But what I do want to know is, do you take the time to cut the spent (i.e. dead) flowers off your plants?

I have asked a number of people this question and have received all sorts of answers. Most of the time the answer is “no” for a number of different reasons. Almost as often is the confused look followed by, “Do I what?”  Maybe they are concerned I am asking the ARE you a deadhead question.  Many of us are grateful we grew up before the age of smart phones and social media so that our past stays in the past.

Of seasoned gardeners, it seems most deadhead sometimes or selectively depending upon the plant.  But I have met a few dedicated souls who will deadhead anything and everything including their neighbor’s plants if they get the chance.

Why deadhead? Think weed seeds.

Many of your flowering ornamentals (you know, the ones with the with showy flowers) produce flowers for a longer period of time if you remove the spent blooms.  Remember, a plant’s whole purpose to exist, as far as the plant is concerned, is to reproduce.  A properly pollinated flower will produce seed if left alone long enough.  Those seeds will make new plants.  Which is all well and good but if you put the plant in your garden to look at the pretty flowers, then seed production is probably irrelevant to you.  In some cases, seed production is something you want to prevent because each of those seeds has the potential to produce a new plant. Those new plants we often call weeds.

Imagine one dandelion puffball blowing all dandelion those seeds around your yard.  All those seeds from that one dandelion puffball came from only one dandelion flower.  Now think about every flower that grows in your yard. Each of those flowers has the potential of producing seed which could grow into new plants… everywhere.  OK, that sounds a lot more dire than it really is.  But preventing the plant from making seeds by removing the fading flowers from the plant on plants that readily reseed (like petunias, chives, pansies, and many, many more) can save you a lot of work weeding later.

Why deadhead? Think more flowers.

If you remove a dying flower from your plant, that flower cannot produce seed.  But the plant still wants to make seed because that is, for most plants, its one chance to reproduce.  So many plants will grow more flowers to replace the ones you remove that didn’t have the chance to make seeds. The result is more flowers over a longer period of time. And that is a good thing.

How to deadhead.

Each plant has its own unique growing habit and therefore its own way of being deadheaded.  For some plants like petunias, the dead flowers can easily be pinched off with your thumbnail. Dianthus pinches off easily also but it is often easier to dead head by using a small pair of clippers.  Larger plants like Shasta Daisy and Roses should have the flowers removed by carefully clipping the stem just above a leaf node (the part of the stem where the leaves grow).

Come see us at Mingos Nursery & Garden Center and we will help you with all your deadheading questions.

Do you deadhead

Freshly Deadheaded Shasta Daisys

Grilled Cilantro Lime Corn

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Grilled Cilantro Lime Corn

Grilled cilantro lime corn cooked on the grill with some butter and salt. Oh my lawd! Life is good.

Some recipes just sort of happen, like this one. We had corn on the cob languishing in the refrigerator.  Mannie had just started the grill. And I was poking my head in and out of the frig trying to figure out what to cook with the steaks.  If it had been just me, dinner would have been steak and wine. But, since I am trying to set a better eating example than that for my child, and Mannie doesn’t drink wine, I knew I needed at least one vegetable.

I pulled out the package of corn I bought.  Some years we grow corn.  This year we were kinda busy opening Mingos Nursery & Garden Center so a lot of things didn’t get planted.

A brief note about growing corn.

Corn is pretty easy to grow but tends to blow over if not supported.  Farmers and larger scale gardeners take care of the problem of the corn stalks blowing over by planting a LOT of corn in a tight space, often in those tidy rows that make me happy.  I am unable to plant anything in tidy rows, not for lack of trying however.  When planted tightly together, the corn supports itself.  But tightly planted plants of any type can have pest and disease issues that get out of hand before you notice.

When we grow corn we will grow it along a fence where it can be tied back as it gets tall and top heavy or in a spot that is sheltered from the wind.  Corn is also a heavy feeder meaning you want to have a lot of composted organic matter in the soil and even then you may need to feed it regularly with a liquid fertilizer.

But back to the recipe.

So I pulled the corn out of the frig, put it on the counter and sort of stared at it.  Most dinner preparation starts this way for me.  Maybe someday I will learn to plan meals (…doubtful…).  As I was meditating on the corn I noticed the limes on the counter and was inspired.  With cilantro from the garden, some course salt, and a little butter, we have a vegetable dish. Scroll down for the recipe!

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Grilled Cilantro and Lime Corn
Fresh from the garden (or produce department) goodness.
Grilled Cilantro Lime Corn
Course Side Dish
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Course Side Dish
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Grilled Cilantro Lime Corn
  1. Take a piece of aluminum foil and lay it on the counter. It needs to be big enough to wrap up all four ears of corn for cooking on the grill.
  2. Butter each ear of corn then place the buttered ears in the center of the foil. The buttering does not need to be particularly even.
  3. Spread the chopped cilantro over the top of the buttered ears of corn.
  4. Cut the lime in half and squeeze out all the juice over the ears of corn.
  5. Sprinkle with salt.
  6. Wrap the foil around the ears of corn, sealing it up tight to keep in all the liquid. Put on the grill for 10 - 15 minutes, turning over halfway through cooking.
  7. Once it is done cooking, open the foil carefully. That steam in there will burn you. Enjoy!
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Fire Roasted Peppers

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Fire Roasted Peppers

Ready for a different type of cooking project? Then you need to try making fire roasted peppers!

Each year we grow all kinds of different peppers.  We have several types of sweet bell peppers, both hot and sweet banana peppers, along with jalapeno, Serrano, and cayenne.  And of course there are one or two (or maybe more) mystery pepper plants that were brought home from the Mingos Nursery & Garden Center because they were unhappy or tag-less.  Peppers are very easy to grow in the hot summers of Texas because pepper plants love hot soil.  That means we get a lot of peppers each summer. Each summer I stuff them, sautée them, pickle them, hot sauce them, and add them to everything I can think of.

When there are so many peppers sitting on the kitchen island I can’t make dinner (because they won’t fit in the refrigerator for all the cucumbers), I need a good way to use them up before they go bad.  One of my favorite ways to use up a lot of peppers quickly is to make fire roasted peppers. Fire roasting brings out a wonderful flavor in the peppers as well as adding a little smokiness.

Fire Roasted Peppers

Roasting peppers on the stove.

All you need is a flame, some peppers, tongs, and a paper bag.  For these pictures I used the flame on my gas cook top.  A gas grill or even a camp stove would also work… of course do those outside.

To fire roast a pepper, turn on the flame and drop a pepper or two into the fire.  You will probably want to turn your hood fan on high and maybe even open a window; this can get a little smoky.

Your goal is to blister and blacken the peppers’ skin.  You do not need to turn the skin into a dark grey ash as I have seen some people do.  As the peppers blacken you will hear them popping a bit.  Do not panic, the pepper is not going to explode.  That is the sound the seeds make as they cook. It sounds a bit like popcorn popping.

Fire Roasted Peppers

Rubbing the skin off the pepper.

As each side of the pepper blackens, keep turning the peppers to let the flame reach all sides. Word of caution, don’t walk away during this process.  Trust me.

Once a pepper is blackened, drop it into a paper bag and close the bag up.  Keep adding peppers to the bag until they are all fire roasted.  Let the peppers cool in the bag with the top closed.  This allows the peppers to steam and the skin to loosen.

Once cool, you will remove the blackened skin by rubbing the peppers with your fingers or a paper towel. If you roasted hot peppers you may want to wear gloves for this part.  You also may want to keep a bowl of water handy to clean off your fingers.  Try to resist the urge to wash off the peppers because that will wash off a lot of the smoky flavor.


Fire roasted peppers.

Once the skin is removed, cut the pepper in half lengthwise and carefully remove the veins and seeds.

Now what?  There are a huge number of things you can do with these fire roasted pepper filets.  Use them in salsa or in bruschetta. Add them to a salad or to top a pizza.  They make a yummy soup too.

A great way to use these roasted peppers is to marinate them. The marinated peppers are so flavorful!  We use them on sandwiches, toss them in salads and pasta, or just eat them as is.  Here is the recipe I use but feel free to try your own.  Below, there is a tool that will let you print out the recipe cleanly.

Marinated Fire Roasted Peppers

Fire roasted peppers
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
pinch of kosher salt
3 cloves garlic, crushed then diced
1 teaspoon prepared mustard (it helps keep the oil and vinegar mixed together longer)
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano or basil (optional), if you use fresh make it 1 Tbls finely chopped

In a glass jar mix all the ingredients together well.  Close lid and shake until combined.

Store in refrigerator for at least an hour shaking occasionally.  You need to try this!

Print Recipe
Fire Roasted Peppers
Marinated fire roasted peppers are so versatile. They are great eating all on their own but also make a yummy addition to salsa, sandwiches, soups and many more dishes.
Marinated Fire Roasted Peppers
Prep Time 10 minute
Passive Time 1 hour
Prep Time 10 minute
Passive Time 1 hour
Marinated Fire Roasted Peppers
  1. In a glass jar mix all the ingredients together well. Close lid and shake until combined. Store in refrigerator for at least an hour shaking occasionally. You need to try this!
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Hot Weather Plants

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drought, sun and heat tolerant. Hot weather plants

Are you looking for some ideas on what to plant that will withstand our crazy July heat here in North Texas? Have a full sun spot in need of a hanging basket or window box planter? Mingos Nursery & Garden Center has hot weather plants to meet your needs.

Pictured is an iron window box planter fitted with a coir (coconut husk fiber) liner and zipped tied to a fence.  The planter was filled about three quarters of the way with a quality potting mix.

A short note about potting mixes.  If you have old, used potting mix, the nutritional content of the mix has likely been depleted.  The old, used potting mix may also hold pests and disease depending upon what was previously planted in that mix and how it fared.  If what was previously planted in that mix died unexpectedly or was struggling with bugs, mildew, mold, or other uncertain problems, toss that old mix out.  Let me restate that, throw questionable old, used potting mix away.  Do not risk your plant dollars by getting “frugal” with the potting mix.  Only reuse old potting mix if you are sure it is pest and disease free.  And even then it is best to mix the old mix 50/50 with new clean potting mix.

The pictured window box planter was planted with portulaca (moss rose) and dipladenia (sundevilla/mandevilla).  Both of these plants are drought and heat friendly.  They also have bright colorful flowers.  The dipladenia is a vine which will start growing on the fence as it gets bigger.  There are actually four iron window box planters along that section of fence.  By the end of summer the fence should be covered in vines and beautiful flowers.  Our hummingbirds are loving this.

Mingos Nursery & Garden Center has everything you need for this project. Come in and see us today!

Mingos Nursery & Garden Center

9744 E. Bankhead Hwy.
Aledo, TX 76008
817-441-MINGOS (817-441-6464)