Tomatoes give start to blank Texas canvas

Two Early Girl tomato plants I bought in mid-September. Will I get fruit out of them yet this fall?

Two Early Girl tomato plants I bought in mid-September. Will I get fruit out of them yet this fall?

Out shopping recently, I was taken aback to see small tomato plants — like the ones you transplant into a Wisconsin garden in May or June — being sold. Will these Early Girls actually give me tomatoes yet this fall/early winter, I wondered? The thought made me giddy and I bought two of them.

Of course, I also had to buy planters for them, as I haven’t yet settled on how to actually plant a garden in my smallish, newly sodded back yard (photo below). I’m thinking raised beds, but I’m exploring my options. Hubby, too, is a bit leery about killing new sod we just paid to have put down when the house was built. So, for the time being, I bought two big planters and some gardening soil and got the tomatoes started.

The temperatures still have been in the 80s and 90s, so they take a lot of water. Since tomatoes like heat, I’m thinking this weather should be good for them; the only question is whether they’ll grow fast enough to produce fruit this summer. I guess time (or more knowledgeable Texans reading this blog) will tell.

8 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Cindy Omernik on October 2, 2014 at 1:37 pm

    I’m so glad you are going to continue with Garden Booyah! Looking forward to posts in the dead of winter with both some color and fresh veggies! Raised beds may just be the way for you to go. Good luck with the tomatoes!

  2. That is indeed a blank canvas if there ever was one! Congrats on getting moved. I too am curious how your maters do. I’ve not had any luck to date with fall tomatoes, though I have friends who have grown with success. I’m not sure what zone you’re in now, but down here in Zone 9, it’s veggies pretty much year ’round.

    Welcome back, Julie. šŸ˜€

    • Ah…I see you’re in Zone 8b. Not too far from us. I’m curious. What species of ground covering have you got? St. Augustine? Bermuda? Zoysia?

      • To tell you the truth, I can’t remember what they said it was, although it was a combination of a couple grasses. I think Bermuda was one of them and possibly St. Augustine, but I’m not sure. Truthfully, I always kinda thought grass was grass šŸ˜‰

      • I agree grass is grass…unless you build gardens.

        Bermuda is a very invasive. strong sod, nearly impossible to keep out of nearby beds. It grows along the surface, but the roots infiltrate from underneath 18 inches. Only Torpedo grass beats it as my most hated grass (followed by Lizard nut grass). I find the best solution for all of them is a strong St. Augustine, an equally competing grass.

        Unlike Bermuda, it has more shallow roots, growing a tall “shady” leaf system that is easily kept from encroaching in edible beds. All of my gardens (now) have a nice St. Augustine “barrier” next to them. I had to learn this the hard way, though.

        Of course, if you build a keyhole, the invasive grasses are no longer a problem!

      • Umm, I’m guessing I do have Bermuda. Was out looking at my flower beds around the house yesterday and there was grass everywhere. Googled it and, yep, that’s what it looks like. Very hard to pull up and it seems to be spreading everywhere. Yikes, that’s going to be fun to work with! I’ll definitely have to do more research into raised beds and keyhole gardening — looks like they might be best options.

      • Raised beds are great for battling Bermuda, but from what I understand, 18″ is required to smother it. I can personally attest to 12″ of earth or the strongest herbicides not even slowing it down. Let me know how it goes!

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