lmk which tomatoes have produced the best for you. did they do well the year of the drought? how 'bout with last years rain?
which tomato plants have you had success with?
Homestead - this is the tomato I swear by, must have each year
Yellow Pear - love it loves to grow gives out when it gets hot
Cherokee Purple - fun in the garden, few fruit but worth the wait
where do you get the homestead, mitch? do they produce even in the heat?
I have several friends here that swear by Porter - breed in Texas, for Texas. This is the big Texas tomato. They get fruit all summer long too..
lol. you actually start tomatoes from seed. the only tomatoes i ever started from seed was from tomato scraps i threw out into my future garden beds. you are my hero. are they hard to start? when do you start them?
I start them now - in the next few weeks.
I dont have the money to buy a lot of plants, so I buy seeds and start everything from seed - everything veggie wise that is.
Thanks for that great link to the seed company. My only problem now is trying to decide which varieties to try! There are so many on there that they list as doing well in the hot, humid South. Have you tried many? It sounds so fun to have some that come from Italy or came over with a soldier from Germany. But practically, will they really like it here?
Annie - I only grow what I know will grow here for me now. When I first started I tried a lot of the older tomatos he offers and they all set fruit - just not in the summer and are a waste of space to me for that reason. Baker Creek is the only place I buy veggie seed from - Squash, melons, rasish, turnip, you name it and that is the only place I buy it. They have great seeds and really good seed to plant count.
tell me the sweetest cantelope you have had? has anyone had any of those white cucumbers? i planted some last year and my sister and i thought they were wonderful. no bitterness and great taste even when they got big.
cukes - I go with Thai Best.. not for pickling but for eating.
melons - I dont have room for both watermelons and Cats so I take turns... I have not found one that I just love of the Cats - they all take about the same IMHO... Melons - ohhh you have to try Moon and Stars, Desert King, and All the yellow flesh I find do better here... Desert King is made for the Texas heat and WOW the taste will make you jump in your socks.
the seed site is wonderful. i have to try something new. how do you start tomato seeds? on the surface or under? how long for germination?
you mean watermelons? i have never seen a watermelon that will grow here. do you guarantee that they will grow here? lol.
Tomatoes: Cabernet, Jetsetter, Early Girl, Viva Italia, and Pompeii
Cabernet is amazing in the greenhouse and outside. It's very disease resistant and sets fruit in hot, humid conditions. Jetsetter and Early Girl are good and a bit earlier. Viva Italia is good for eating and wonderful for salsa and sauce. Pompeii is our drying tomato.
We order seeds are from Tomato Grower's Supply and Renee's Garden Seeds. I also like Baker's Heirloom Seeds as well and order lots of winter squashes and melons from them.
I am glad to know Desert King is good. I bought seeds last year but did not get them planted. Maybe this year!
Oh Boy I am taking notes now.
I have the bug to get started mind you I have no idea where I am putting things other then the terrace area which is not that big unless I can find a cheap to use back hoe and get rid of the dang bamboo roots but I was going to start a post to ask y'all what I can grow and what was the best for Texas.
Like you Mitch I don't have alot to buy plants so seeds are my route this year
what about green beans, peas, heck any and all veggies I have no idea when the last frost would be .....HELP??????
Not sure about your zone, Phyllis, but in D-FW the last avg frost date is March 17. Yours is probably within a few days of that.
Yes watermelons will grow here, give the rich soil, some afternoon shade and lots of water. Desert King was made for well dry places and does great here.
Seeds - inside in trays undergrowlights, just pushed under the surface.
mamajack....I grew white wonder cukes last year for the first time and really liked them. Didn't even need to peel them, good flavor. I grow tomatoes from seed too, got some already going and have a few more new ones on order from totally tomatoes. I chose ones that mentioned they were good in the heat. Last year I had poor production from most due to the rains, but Juliet produced like mad, it was a pear-type, very tasty.
Do you always have to use grow lights to start seeds? I have a utility room that has lots of west facing windows. I consider that it gets a lot of light, but how do you know?
Seedlings need a good light source or they will get leggy. You would probably be able to germinate them there, but I would worry about them getting leggy and reaching for the windows. But if that is what you have to work with, go for it. With tomatoes, you can always bury the leggy stems in pots when you pot them up, and they will develop good root systems that way.
thanks pbtx had no idea on a date!!
now any ideas or suggestions for things other then tom, cukes, and watermelons LOL
I called today and we are gonna rent a small backhoe and get the bamboo roots outta here so I can get things ready to put a veggie garden in.
i wish you were my neighbor and we'd share that backhoe. i need trenches for water drainage dug. it's taking a long time with a pitchfork.
oh gee a pitch fork yeah that will take time yuck I would be more then happy to share if we were closer dang.
Radishes, carrots, turnups, Swiss chard, beans (all kinds), peas, peppers, cabbage (maybe - FIL grew huge ones near Gilmer), corn.
How much land will you devote to the garden?
I'm in a subdivision and have a 10x20 ft garden, but have rosemary, tri-color safe, lamb's quarter, cilantro, parsley, dill, jalapeno, chili pequin, and basil all year long, then plant a few tomatoes and some root crops as well. Being just south of Houston, winter garden is always more productive - cabbage, lettuce, radishes all doing fine right now. DW & I also planted some onion sets and garlic.
Grew pole beans first year - harvested well over 200# from 12 plants on 8ft poles. Next year planted oriental egg plant mid-summer - again over 100# from 5 plants. Mustard greens also grew very well.
I wnat to plant as much as I can since I am the one that goes to work every day I figure if he isn't going to get a part time job then he can have the job of gardening...hehehehe ....besides it will keep him busy and he loves fresh veggies especially tomatoes
sounds like I need to come raid yours for herbs LOL
My garden is in a city plot - I grow a oh 100x50 foot area of veggies... but I have no grass... and dont always plant out in rows.
Lights- you need grow lights... I know it is the hard part of cost and such but you need them and they are good year to year.
Mitch, are you all organic? Do you have any bug problems?
I only use Murphy's Oil Soap for the bugs and crushed egg shells for the snails. The leaf-footed bugs are a real nemisis to the tomatos for me.
i have a set of Malibu lights I use in the garden to kill the night flyers - have each of them over a shallow pan of water with an oz of Murphy's. Use the decomposing bug-water on the compost pile, and reload every week.
Okay, if I have to bite and buy grow lights, what kind? Any suggestions on what to buy and from what source?
I just use regular fluorescents, Walmart usually sells them for $10 each for the 4' ones. I put one warm and one cool bulb in each, works great for my indoor plants as well as for seeds. In fact, I made two light stands this way using some utility shelving from lowes. A lot cheaper than the ones for sale.
So, I am assuming that these fluorescents need to be pretty close to the plants? I have fluorescent lighting already but it is obviously up on the ceiling. And I am sorry, what is the difference between a warm bulb and a cool one? Sorry, I am clueless!
The color - Kelvin rating - cool is like the outdoors - sunlight - warm is more like incancescent. Any big-box or lighting store will have both bulbs.
Mibus, This is a great, easy page to print out , I refer to it often. http://easttexasgardening.tamu.edu/Homegardens/vegetable.html
OH cocoa I never knew you gardened in Tyler area LMAO...thanks already found it though awhile back when I was surfing on Texas gardening stuff LOL
ok this is just an extra post as I goofed and double posted ...but I can say the seeds are all coming up and doing great that I ordered and planted so far
This message was edited Mar 9, 2008 5:54 PM
Bubba--yours in the ground yet? I got tired of looking at the seedlings and planted all but one today.
I figure the worst that can happen to them is the fence will fall on them (my 80' back fence fell down like dominoes in the wind storm last Monday--I have it "shored up pretty well, I hope). It really looks attractive back there right now.
No, not in the ground, but at least on in the pots has flower buds.
Spent last weekend removing the mold - !@#$% HOA.
Spent this weekend reducing my 7ft high 15 ft long brush pile - now a 4 ft high cone of fine mulched wood, leaves, etc.
Since we now will have an extra hour of daylight when I get home, I will attack the garden itself.
Toms will go in the south end. Gymgirl gave me a bunch, and I bought 5 at SW Fertilizer.
Thanks for thinking about us. BTW: a couple of yours survived in pots all winter and we ate the last in January.
Bubba, then those were phenomenal tomatoes if you were talking to me--its been 3 years since I gave you any tomatoes. I don't think it will freeze here anymore, we even missed the last 2 and I'm much farther north than you. I will probably wait a week or two before planting the peppers, but they need to be too.
They were yours Debbie - I clipped a couple of the tops when they were about done for in the garden and started them in some big pots - they sprawled all over the patio, and we got 3-5 tomatoes from each, but it took a long time for them to ripen - but no bugs.
There is nothing like a vine ripened tomato in December and January.
That's a quick way to do fall tomatoes if you are just going to plant the same variety. Why bother from seed if you've still got healthy tops--they root so easy.