Determinate vs. Indeterminate Tomatoes

Determinate or Indeterminate Tomatoes When you come to Backbone Valley Nursery to peruse the many different varieties of tomatoes that we have to offer, you will see them labeled as “determinate” or “indeterminate”. What, exactly, does that mean? “Determinate” and “Indeterminate” classifications in tomatoes refers to their growth and flowering/fruiting habits, and can help you in your selection for different growing situations. “Determinate” type tomatoes flower and fruit until the very top of the plant produces flowers, then it stops growing any taller. All the fruit produced up until that [...]

By |2021-01-12T12:01:01-06:00January 12th, 2021|Vegetable Gardening|

Sick Tree Care

SICK TREE CARE The vast majority of diagnostic questions I receive each year are related to trees with health issues. Many of these issues could be avoided by proper (and consistent) care of the tree from the day it is planted. Sometimes things do go wrong, and knowing what to do can be instrumental in reviving the health of a tree. Trees have the amazing ability to “compartmentalize” diseased and damaged tissue, and to produce healthy tissue around it. If a tree has been stressed by environmental issues such as [...]

By |2021-01-06T15:43:08-06:00January 6th, 2021|Disease, Insects, Plants, Trees|

January Vegetable Planting List

JANUARY VEGETABLE PLANTING Asian greens (seeds or transplants) Asparagus crowns Beets Broccoli (transplants) Brussels sprouts (transplants) Cabbage (transplants) Carrots Cauliflower (transplants) Swiss chard (seeds or transplants) Collards (seeds or transplants) Kale (seeds or transplants) Kohlrabi (seeds or transplants) Leeks (seeds or transplants) Lettuce (seeds or transplants) Mustard (seeds or transplants) Onion, bulbing (transplants) Peas, English, Snap or Snow Potato (late month) Radish Spinach (seeds or transplants) Turnips

By |2021-01-03T10:12:11-06:00January 3rd, 2021|Vegetable Gardening|

Lenten Rose for Winter Blooms

Lenten Roses, also known as Hellebores, are semi-evergreen perennials native to temperate zones in Europe and Western China. The name Hellebore symbolizes serenity, tranquility and peace. Fortunately for us, Hellebores tolerate a wide range of soils in Central Texas and provide winter blooms in the shade with relatively little care. Plant Hellebores in soil that has been amended with organic matter in dappled shade. Leaves will scorch in the summer sun. Planting under a deciduous tree is ideal, as sun is needed in the winter to encourage blooms. Well-drained soil [...]

By |2020-12-15T12:08:55-06:00December 15th, 2020|Plants|

Protect Tree Trunks from Damage from Deer

There are few phone calls that I dread as much as the one from a customer whose tree trunk has been rubbed on by deer during the night. They wake up to shredded bark and want to know what can be done. Unfortunately, if the damage has gone deep enough to damage the vascular tissue, trimming off the loose pieces of bark is about all that can be done. This type of damage is NOT REPAIRABLE! The tree is not able to "grow" new vascular tissue. This is the most [...]

By |2020-12-02T08:28:50-06:00October 29th, 2020|Uncategorized|

ZZ Plant Care Instructions

ZZ Plant Zamioculcas zamiifolia  The ZZ plant is an Aroid from eastern Africa which survived extinction caused by drastic changes in the climate. It is found in dry forest regions, often growing on rocks. It survives the droughts because of its fleshy stems, thick waxy leaves and huge tubers at the plant base. ZZ plants have the ability to store tremendous amounts of water in their tubers, therefore, caution should be taken not to over water them.  All of these characteristics can allow the ZZ Plant to go months without [...]

By |2020-12-02T08:28:55-06:00October 6th, 2020|Houseplants, Plants|

Elbon Rye as a Cover Crop

Why Plant “Cover Crops”? I am sure that many of you have heard that it is good to plant a winter “cover crop” in unused areas of the garden. But do you know exactly what the benefits are? *One of the most beneficial reasons is that it gives you a chance to add valuable, inexpensive organic matter to the soil. Elbon (or Cereal) Rye is one of the best “green manure” cops for capturing nitrogen and returning it to the soil in the spring. (Do NOT confuse this with Annual [...]

By |2020-12-02T08:28:55-06:00September 27th, 2020|Insects, Vegetable Gardening|

Grow Spinach from Seed in the Garden

Growing Spinach from Seed             What are the secrets for growing spinach from seed successfully? Because many people have difficulty getting the seeds to germinate, I thought I would give a few helpful hints on getting the seed started, and helping the plants grow well once they are up. -Prepare soil with liberal amounts of organic matter. Incorporate fertilizer such as Happy Frog Tomato and Vegetable Fertilizer or Happy Frog Marine Cuisine prior to planting. -If your soil is heavy or tends to hold moisture for prolonged periods, plant in [...]

By |2020-12-02T08:28:55-06:00September 26th, 2020|Vegetable Gardening|
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