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Texas Gardening: how cold for tomatoes?

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sybram
Burleson, TX
(Zone 8a)

April 10, 2013
3:16 PM

Post #9479186

Out here in Lillian it's forcast to get down to 41 tonight, but what if it gets down to 36? Sometime they do miss it by that much, you know. My tomato plants are still pretty small, and I don't know how to cover that much without crushing them. How much cold do you think they can take?
sybram
Burleson, TX
(Zone 8a)

April 10, 2013
7:25 PM

Post #9479452

Well, no one answered, and I understand why. Too many variables, I guess. I went ahead and covered everything with tarps (some tattered). I placed 1 gal pots over the corner plants and a taller one in the middle, so unless the wind really blows tonight, I think they'll be ok.

On another note, my tomatoes have not been in the ground a week yet, and the bugs have already started on some of them. Grrrrrrr. Guess I spray with Seven tomorrow.
Gypsi
Fort Worth, TX

April 10, 2013
10:17 PM

Post #9479568

Didn't see your post. I covered my stuff.

What kind of bugs? I have some sowbugs in my asparagus, but I just sprinkle some flour, it gums up their mouths.
sybram
Burleson, TX
(Zone 8a)

April 11, 2013
8:04 AM

Post #9479920

I can't identify bugs (except for the horned tomato worm). Actually, I haven't seen any bugs out there.

I have some coyote urine to saturate little cotton balls with. They go in a little plastic bottle with holes and a zip tie attached. Putting those around your garden is suppose to keep the rabbits away. I haven't used them yet, because the wind has been so high. Figured the scent would just all blow away. Hope the stuff works.
Gypsi
Fort Worth, TX

April 11, 2013
8:13 AM

Post #9479929

I keep bees so I don't use sevin, or even DE. I mainly use dishsoap and water or just water.

Cajun2

Cajun2
(Carole) Cleveland, TX
(Zone 9a)

April 11, 2013
10:03 AM

Post #9480089

well, i didn't think about covering my tomatoes last night. guess i'll have to look when i get home tonight.
i have those tiny white flies (are those aphids?) that jump from my Confederate Rose Hibiscus over to them.
usually treat with nothing but soap & water twice a day until they're gone. this year i'm taking out the Hibiscus.
it gets too tall to treat with soap & water... and if left untreated, it looks like crap. so out it goes.

4.11.13 update: checked and my 'maters are just fine. whew!! dodged a bullet, i guess.

This message was edited Apr 12, 2013 9:23 AM
Moodene
(Nadine) Devers, TX
(Zone 9b)

April 11, 2013
11:31 AM

Post #9480205

I use lemon dishwashing soap and powered milk mixture to detour diff kinds of bugs..I spray wee hours in the morning(before sun is up) or after when the sun goes down..
1lisac
Liberty Hill, TX
(Zone 8a)

April 11, 2013
5:54 PM

Post #9480634

Those are white flies.
sybram
Burleson, TX
(Zone 8a)

April 11, 2013
7:07 PM

Post #9480712

OMGoodness, Gypsi!! I just looked at "sowbug," and it's a roly poly! I had no idea. But wait...I read or was told that roly polies didn't eat plants--they just wanted the soil. Well, I never! That's what I get for not checking things out with the plant files.

Anyway, I sprayed with Seven. Hope it holds 'em.
1lisac
Liberty Hill, TX
(Zone 8a)

April 11, 2013
7:14 PM

Post #9480732

I heard they didn't bother seedlings either, but I know they do bc they ate mine. I only had to put out garden dust 2xs years ago and I've never had a problem since. The sevin should help with the white flies too.
Gypsi
Fort Worth, TX

April 11, 2013
7:55 PM

Post #9480784

Roly polys have a taste for my asparagus and are about to get their mouths gummed up with flour.
stephanietx
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

April 12, 2013
9:07 PM

Post #9482080

Roly polies will eat anything they can! You can sprinkle Sluggo Plus on the ground to kill them.
Gypsi
Fort Worth, TX

April 12, 2013
10:04 PM

Post #9482097

I don't know what's in sluggo plus, but flour seems to help

kittriana

kittriana
Magnolia, TX
(Zone 8b)

April 13, 2013
7:01 PM

Post #9483005

spinosad is sluggo
Gypsi
Fort Worth, TX

April 13, 2013
7:38 PM

Post #9483066

http://www.hort.uconn.edu/ipm/general/htms/spinosad.htm

One of my major pests eating my grapevines are butterfly larva. Tons and tons of butterfly larva. I have BT in the refrigerator (use on honeycomb to prevent wax moth infestations, it is bee safe). And I have something similar to BT intended to protect the garden from stuff like caterpillars, but bacterial.

And I just let those caterpillars eat my grapevines.

I am probably going to stick with flour to gum up the rolypoly mouths... THe spinosad seems to be somewhat systemic? And nope, I can't chance it.
But thank you for the information. I cross-posted the uconn link to my bee forum.
sybram
Burleson, TX
(Zone 8a)

April 15, 2013
11:41 AM

Post #9485035

Gypsi, do you apply the flour to the dirt or the plant. I've had two tomato plants just lop over and die. The roly polys are the only bugs I see out there.

kittriana

kittriana
Magnolia, TX
(Zone 8b)

April 15, 2013
2:04 PM

Post #9485190

Sy? Did you put a 16penny nail in ground at base lvl? cutworms work under the soil. also tamp the ground around the maters in case a vole was tunneling thru and unrooted the plant.
sybram
Burleson, TX
(Zone 8a)

April 15, 2013
7:19 PM

Post #9485435

Well, no I didn't Kitt. At base level? One nail for the whole 10' X 16' garden? Not a vole. You can tell they were chawed thru right at ground level.

BTW, it's Syb (for Sybil).
Gypsi
Fort Worth, TX

April 15, 2013
7:24 PM

Post #9485444

I sprinkle flour on the soil if it's roly polies, but they rarely cut all the way through the stem and don't seem to like to eat tomatoes. Cutworm is an option.

One nail next to each plant stem, or a straw even, I used to have cutworm very bad in one bed in Arlington, and I would slit a 2 or 3 inch drinking straw section and put my morning glory seedling stem INSIDE the straw, the only way I could get them to last overnight.
1lisac
Liberty Hill, TX
(Zone 8a)

April 15, 2013
10:59 PM

Post #9485604

How big were your tomato plants syb? Ive posted many times that I've lost many tomato seedlings too sow bugs. They may not like them but they will topple them over. I had always heard that it couldn't be sow bugs so I sprinkled garden dust around each seedling and I went down there the next morning and I thought it was rabbit poop but it was jillions of dead sow bugs/pill bugs. I only had to do it twice but SOW BUGS WILL KILL TOMATO SEEDLINGS. Lol
grits74571
Talihina, OK

April 16, 2013
4:23 AM

Post #9485680

Best solution I have found for cutworms is to wrap the stem in foil just below the ground level best done before setting the plants out it is ok to do it after just real hard on my back Cut worms are worse on my cukes that any other plant,so if I direct seed I do so in a small plastic cup with the bottum cut out when the plant gets bigger i remove the cup
sybram
Burleson, TX
(Zone 8a)

April 16, 2013
9:11 AM

Post #9485951

Thanks to all of you for the info. You know, sometimes the tomato plants are pretty tall and leggy, so I have a lot to lay over, just leaving about 3 inches sticking out. This year they were sort of short, squatty and bushy, so there wasn't much to bury. I think I didn't leave enough leaf out on a few.

Ok, I'm trying everything--the flour first. Do you have to do this every time after you water?

If that doesn't work, I'll do 7 Dust. I'm assuming that's what you mean by "garden dust."

Grits, I only have tomatoes, beans (just beginning to break the soil), a couple of squash and a couple of peppers (hollies). That foil wrapping sounds very time/back-breaking intensive, but I guess if I get desperate enough, I'll try it. I can tell you are a much more serious farmer than I.
1lisac
Liberty Hill, TX
(Zone 8a)

April 16, 2013
2:19 PM

Post #9486317

I actually don't remember what was in the garden dust, it may have been sevin. That was years ago. But I plant 70+ plants and I didn't want to discourage them I wanted them dead! Like I said I only did it twice.
RATFOOD
San Antonio, TX
(Zone 8b)

April 16, 2013
6:16 PM

Post #9486558

If you put down Sevin dust just make sure to keep an eye out for spider mites afterwards.
Gypsi
Fort Worth, TX

April 18, 2013
7:38 PM

Post #9489133

yes, because the Sevin kills whatever eats the spider mites.

kittriana

kittriana
Magnolia, TX
(Zone 8b)

April 19, 2013
7:48 AM

Post #9489506

Garden dust had 5% Sevin in it. Will Sulfur dust burn the plants? It mskes spider mites unhappy.
1lisac
Liberty Hill, TX
(Zone 8a)

April 19, 2013
10:03 PM

Post #9490324

What eats Spider mites? That's my main gardening problem, but my growing conditions are just what they like. I put the garden dust in a little ring around each seedling, bc I wanted to see what was eating my plants. Now I don't put the seedlings out until they are bigger, but sow bugs have never been a problem since.

Kitt I think I've read not to use sulfur on cukes and squash but I'm not sure. You mite want to ask on the veggie forum. I didn't know it worked on SMs I always use neem.

kittriana

kittriana
Magnolia, TX
(Zone 8b)

April 19, 2013
10:08 PM

Post #9490332

I just need to go hunt up my notes. sumday... sulfur dust makes a bunch of small things unhappy. There are some veggies dont do well with sulfur tho.
1lisac
Liberty Hill, TX
(Zone 8a)

April 19, 2013
10:12 PM

Post #9490334

It makes some veggies unhappy too.
grits74571
Talihina, OK

April 20, 2013
3:42 AM

Post #9490427

Most of the Sulphur produced in the USA is from coal fired generating plants the sulphur is recovered from the scrubbers in the stacks..before that method was mandated sulphur was mined extensively in Nevada...It is used as a soil additive to lower the Ph
1lisac
Liberty Hill, TX
(Zone 8a)

April 20, 2013
7:04 PM

Post #9491304

It's also used as a pesticide and a fungicide. I'm just not sure on what plants. I've heard of people using it but I can't remember.
stephanietx
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

April 24, 2013
5:48 AM

Post #9495387

Well...it's currently 39 and my tomatoes are in my garden, uncovered. They don't look dead, so I'm hoping they will survive. I'm also hoping this is the last cold snap for the spring!

drthor

drthor
Irving, TX
(Zone 8a)

April 24, 2013
6:59 AM

Post #9495473

Stephanietx,
tomatoes once they are established are pretty hardy. No worries.
1lisac
Liberty Hill, TX
(Zone 8a)

April 24, 2013
8:28 PM

Post #9496255

Tomato plants will just sit there if the temps stay cold but they can't freeze until it hits freezing 32*. But the plants that were planted out 3 weeks ago are just sitting there they have only grown a little. Anyother year they hit the ground running.

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