texas farmers how does your garden grow

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Hello, I am looking for local texas gardners who to shair information on plants and trees that grow well in this texas ground. I live in Grimes county. I am having problems with Tomato plants, Maybe it is just the weather? or where I perchesed them? (walmart) What is the best seed for our region? Any information would help. And I am looking for seeds for pepper plants, the small little red turkey peppers? Thank you, ILA

-- ila sims (ila_marie@yahoo.com), April 15, 2002


What part of Texas is Grimes County? What type soil do you have?

I'm sure I've used Walmart seedlings before. It may be too late to plant peppers or tomatoes from seed this season, depending on what part of Texas you are.

-- mary (mlg@mlg.com), April 15, 2002.

I'm in NW Harris county and we've always had good luck with Big Beef. This year that late frost killed off all but 3 of my tomato plants and I wasn't able to find any Big Beef plants, so I replaced them with Celebrity from Lowe's, since a lot of people swear by it. Both plants are flowering and we have tiny green tomatoes on the Big Beef plants. Willhite has a good selection of seeds for Texas. We usually start seeds on about Jan 1 here, maybe a week or 2 later for your area. What variety did you plant and what kind of problems were you having?

Mary, Grimes county is between Houston and College Station (Navasota area).

-- Steve - TX (steve.beckman@compaq.com), April 15, 2002.

I'm not sure what part of Tx Grimes county is in. I'm in northeast Tx. Homestead tomatoes have always done really well for me. There are 2 things to remember about gardening in Texas. Plant really early (and hill them up well) or plant really late....otherwise plants will drown in these torential downpours we have in the spring. Consider mid summer the dormant season. We can grow stuff just about year around except for mid summer. Once your tomatoe plants start dying back from the heat it is pretty much time to give up on them and take em out of the ground. I plant a lot of early season stuff in December or January(depending on the ice outlook)....like onions, garlic and such. You can plant 2 full gardens here....our late season gardening is about like most folks in the norths summer garden (I never plant a second time because frankly by the end of the first garden and canning for months I feel like I'll scream if I see another tomatoe). If you have never gardened in the south before you will develop a well deserved hatred of fireants. During harvest season I have welts all over my feet and hands.

-- Amanda (mrsgunsmyth@hotmail.com), April 15, 2002.

On the coastal plain. Hail battered my peppers and tomatoes, but they are blooming. I have good luck with wally world tomatoes and peppers, but the rest of their plants always look abused.

-- Rose (open_rose@hotmail.com), April 15, 2002.

I'm in Leon county,not too far from you. I usually go to the local feed store,they keep varieties that do well in your area.

-- Johna (in central TX) (marcnjohna@aol.com), April 15, 2002.

If you are loking for bird peppers or tepins, I have some native seeds that I will trade for other seeds, let me know what you have.

-- BC (desertdweller44@yahoo.com), April 15, 2002.

We got our seedlings from the ag club in Sun City, AZ. They have a small store and garden area. Maybe there are service clubs in your area who grow their own seedlings. The plants are up and growing great. We like supporting the local clubs rather than big box stores.

-- Hank (hsnrs@att.net), April 15, 2002.

In Texas black gumbo land the following formula has helped me get a good tomato crop. In sandy soil change the fertlizer to 16-0-0 and cut the superphosphate.

Dig a deeper hole as the material must NOT touch the roots; they must grow into the fertlizer mixture. You will be adding 3 3/4 cups per plant....under the plant.

This is per plant!

1 cup 10-20-10 (1-2-1 ratio) fertilizer 1/4 cup superphosphate 1/2 cup gypsum 2 cups cow manure

Dig a hole and mix ingredients. I mix ingredients in a tub for six plants at a time. Then, add regular dirt on top of formula before placing tomato plant in hole. Otherwise, formula will burn the roots of the plant. Don't let formula touch the roots when they are first planted. Let the plant grow into the formula. Water regularly. Best varieties are Bingo, Carnival, Heatwave, Celebrity, Big Boy, Better Boy and Merced. Best cherry tomatoes to use are Cherry Grande and Grape. Everything needed is available at any local nursery.

-- milam (milam@nospam.com), April 15, 2002.

Hi, Ila. I'm in zone 8, Panola county east TX. I have tried several different kinds of tomatoes. If you mulch well, almost any of them will grow here. I used leaves the first year I gardened and had tomato plants top out at 20 feet. Pick your plants by flavor. get some indeterminate type ones to last all season. The determinate type put all their friut on in a short time and then are through. The indeterminate type just keep on and on until frost. Enrich your soil with compost and mulch around each plant about 6 inches deep. This fall, get hold of as many leaves as you can. Shred them and turn them under in the garden but save some for mulch next summer. Good luck and may God bless you with an overabundance of veggies. Robin

-- Robin Downing (Southpawrobin1@aol.com), April 16, 2002.

Amanda, try rubbing the bites with peach tree leaves. I find this helps a lot. Robin

-- Robin Downing (Southpawrobin1@aol.com), April 16, 2002.

Thanks for the tip and howdy neighbor! If I'm not mistaken Panola county is right next door...I'm in Rusk county. I've used rubbing alcohol on ant stings with good results....I'll try the peach leaves next time.

-- Amanda (mrsgunsmyth@hotmail.com), April 16, 2002.

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