Why are My Tomatoes Not Ripening?

Why Aren’t My Tomatoes Ripening? It’s June, and some of you have been wondering why your tomatoes have continued to remain green and are failing to ripen. The short answer is TEMPERATURE.     The optimum temperature for tomatoes to ripen is 70° to 75°F. If you were a bit late getting your tomatoes planted and/or the temperature got above 85°-90°F early this year, the ripening process slows or even stops. At these high temperatures the pigments lycopene and carotene, which are responsible for giving the fruit the red or [...]

By |2024-06-09T15:35:52-05:00June 9th, 2024|Plants, Vegetable Gardening|

Hard Freeze Preparation in Central Texas 2024

If you are reading this now, it is likely that a "freak" winter event is on its way. Central Texas is known for its variable weather patterns and wide swings in temperature are not unheard of. Weather prediction in Central Texas is difficult, so I would suggest that we prepare for the worst and hope for the best in any predicted extreme event. We are seeing forecast lows of anywhere from 10°F to 15°F  for much of our area, with below freezing temperatures lasting up to 60 hours or more [...]

By |2024-01-11T11:05:21-06:00January 11th, 2024|Plants, Trees, Vegetable Gardening|

Are Epsom Salts Good for Plants?

Myth:    Epsom Salts are a good fertilizer and will promote blooms, make tomatoes and peppers more productive and are a general “cure-all” for the garden. Fact:    Epsom salts contain magnesium sulfate (MgSO4), a very simple chemical consisting of magnesium, water and sulfur. Magnesium is one of the minor elements which plants need to grow, and it is rarely deficient in soils in Central Texas. It may be deficient in a sandy, acidic soil, but we don’t have to worry about that here!  A soil test will confirm if the soil [...]

By |2023-02-28T08:25:13-06:00February 1st, 2023|Vegetable Gardening, Lawn Care|

Weed Control with Horticultural Vinegar

Weed Control with Horticultural Vinegar Are you looking for a more “natural” way to kill unwanted grass and weeds? Fortunately, we have options! One method that has been around for years is using 20% Horticultural Vinegar as a “burn back” method to kill weeds. “Burn back” is exactly what it sounds like. The Vinegar “burns” back the leaves of the weed.  The vinegar is not translocated to the roots like the chemical methods of weed control, and it is likely that the weed will grow back from the roots again. [...]

By |2023-01-23T12:38:45-06:00January 23rd, 2023|Vegetable Gardening, Lawn Care|

Weed Control with Captain Jack’s Deadweed Brew and Lawnweed Brew

Here are Some Great New "Natural" Weed Control Products. As always, read the entire label before using.     Deadweed Brew:   Use this non-selective post-emergent herbicide to kill weeds, grass, mosses and algae in gardens, gravel and other areas where an approved organic product is needed. Remember, it kills everything that it is applied to, so proper application is necessary. The active ingredient is product made from caprylic acid ad capric acid derived from palm oil.     NON-SELECTIVE WEED CONTROL - For use on non-selective herbaceous broadleaf and grassy [...]

By |2023-01-23T12:43:52-06:00September 7th, 2022|Vegetable Gardening, Lawn Care|

Sweet Potato Harvest

  Harvest when your potatoes reach the recommended growing time for your variety, usually around 110 days after planting.  Try to harvest on a sunny day when the soil is not too wet. Pull aside the vines so that you can see where you are digging!   I use a flat-tined fork, digging 12”-18” away from the plant to avoid damaging the sweet potatoes. Go straight down about 6”, then angle toward the center of the plant and gently lift the potatoes out of the ground. Separate the sweet potatoes [...]

By |2022-09-04T10:37:16-05:00September 4th, 2022|Vegetable Gardening|

Fall Tomatoes

        Growing tomatoes for fall harvest can be quite rewarding. Fall tomatoes should be planted from transplants during the month of July in central Texas. We generally plant them 14-16 weeks before the average first killing frost, which is about July 10 in the Marble Falls area of Central Texas.       You can purchase new plants or root cuttings from existing healthy plants. If you decide to root cuttings, start about 2-3 weeks ahead of the planting time. Remove suckers (the branches that grow out [...]

By |2022-07-17T11:51:03-05:00July 17th, 2022|Vegetable Gardening|

Squash Bugs

Squash bugs are appearing in numbers now on leaves of squash and related plants such as pumpkins, melons, and cucumbers.     Nymphs hatch from eggs laid on the underside of leaves near the crown of the plant.           Nymphs are green and red, about 1/8” long and appear clustered in groups at first. As they develop into adults through five instars (stages) they disperse themselves on the plants.         Adult Squash bugs are grayish brown, with short orange stripes around the edge [...]

By |2022-04-18T11:58:45-05:00April 18th, 2022|Vegetable Gardening, Insects|

Sweet Potato Varieties

    Beauregard: (90-100 days) An outstanding release that is widely grown for sweetness and high yields with uniform tubers. Resistant to soil rot and white grubs as well as cracking.     Photo courtesy of Steele Plant Farm     Georgia Jet: (90-100 days) Extremely fast growth followed by nice sized potatoes in just 90 days. Sweet orange flesh and sugary aroma make this top for baking. Can be grown in a 20 gallon grow tub.     Photo courtesy of Steele Plant Farm   Vardaman: (100 days) Bush [...]

By |2023-02-28T08:30:56-06:00April 18th, 2022|Vegetable Gardening|

Onion Varieties for Central Texas

Short Day Onion Varieties for Central Texas: “Short-day” onion varieties quit forming leaves and begin forming bulbs when the day length reaches 10-12 hours, and are best for Southern Gardens. The following varieties have proven to be the best for Central Texas.     1015Y:  This globe-shaped onion up to 6” wide is named after the ideal date the seed is planted (October 15). The off-white flesh is sweet and great for cooking, salads, etc. It takes  about 115 days from planting to harvest. Storage potential is 2-3 months. Photo [...]

By |2022-01-25T11:02:41-06:00January 25th, 2022|Vegetable Gardening|

Growing Carrots in Central Texas

Growing Carrots from Seed Carrots can be a rewarding crop to grow in Central Texas. Soil preparation and proper planting time will ensure a good harvest. We have a fall planting time from late August to early November and a spring planting time of mid-January to early March in Central Texas. If you take advantage of both growing periods you will have a long harvest of delicious carrots to enjoy.   Carrots require a deep, well-drained soil to thrive. Adding 3”-4” of organic matter and a light application of organic [...]

By |2023-02-28T08:31:56-06:00January 5th, 2022|Vegetable Gardening|
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