Texas Gardening forum: Homegrown tomatoes - at last!

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Texas (Zone 8a)
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GrammaChar
May 16, 2016 10:28 PM CST
The Juliette grape tomatoes (which I think are a miniature Roma) are getting ripe. Yum! I cut them in half, add a bit of basil, some Feta cheese, a little olive oil, a pinch of salt and pepper - my very favorite summer salad!
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GrammaChar
Name: Chris Pollock
Copperas Cove, Tx (Zone 8a)
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chris1948
May 17, 2016 8:19 AM CST
Glad someone's tomatoes are doing ok. I've got two tubs of cherry tomatoes (about 11 plants total) and they're looking terrible. I started them from seed back in Dec and they were looking good when I first put them in the tubs. I don't think we've been getting enough sun as I've got a lot of green tomatoes they're just not getting ripe.
Chris
Texas (Zone 8a)
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GrammaChar
May 17, 2016 9:53 AM CST
Yes, we sure could use a couple of weeks of sunshine. Everything is soggy, and the rain isn't finished yet. I have my grape tomatoes growing in five gallon pots because I turned my veggie garden into a butterfly garden. It's my only fenced area where flowers are protected from the deer. I gave up on growing larger tomatoes because the squirrels and birds would wreck them before they got ripe. Once this wet weather moves out, your tomatoes will probably bounce back. Crossing Fingers!
GrammaChar
Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
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Bubbles
May 17, 2016 6:58 PM CST

Moderator

Years ago, I co-managed the Master Gardener greenhouse at Zilker Botanical Gardens. The Juliette tomatoes were our most popular seller at the yearly garden festival.
Fort Worth, TX (Zone 8a)
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javaMom
May 18, 2016 11:55 AM CST
My tomatoes started getting bigger...but desperately need some Sunny day Sad The peppers are different story..
Texas (Zone 8a)
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GrammaChar
May 18, 2016 2:15 PM CST
So what's the story with your peppers.....hope it has a happy ending.
GrammaChar
Name: Stewart
Pinehurst, Texas (Zone 8b)
Region: Texas Plumerias Garden Ideas: Level 1
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PlantMania
May 20, 2016 8:12 AM CST
My cherry tomato (tree) needs a shave and a hair cut and yes, that is just one plant (2 yr old)


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Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
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Bubbles
May 20, 2016 8:27 AM CST

Moderator

Fantastic!
Fort Worth, TX (Zone 8a)
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javaMom
May 21, 2016 5:29 PM CST
Hurray!
Fort Worth, TX (Zone 8a)
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javaMom
May 21, 2016 5:31 PM CST
Pepper not growing that much, perhaps too much rain and not enough Sun... Tomato seems very happy except one that starting having yellow leaves...
Texas (Zone 8a)
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GrammaChar
May 24, 2016 10:19 AM CST
@javaMom, hopefully we'll get some sun soon and your peppers will take off. My tomatoes are getting yellow leaves too. But the Juliettes just keep producing. Here's what happens if I miss picking them for a couple of days.
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GrammaChar
Fort Worth, TX (Zone 8a)
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javaMom
May 24, 2016 10:22 AM CST
GrammaChar, what causing the one plant with yellow leaves, because the rest of them just fine...I look around it and can't see any different...Thanks, I notice that Pepper just never got me as great result as tomatoes here...
Texas (Zone 8a)
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GrammaChar
May 24, 2016 10:50 AM CST
Sorry I can't help with your yellow leaf problem. I just cut the leaves off when they get like that. Don't know the cause or a cure. Since my Juliette tomatoes are in 5 gallon buckets, I give them a little Hasta Gro organic fertilizer once a week. No chemicals because I like to pick a tomato, wipe it off on my shirt, and eat it while I pick more. Yum!
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GrammaChar
Name: Thomas
Deep East Texas (Zone 8a)
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Thomas75
May 24, 2016 11:38 AM CST
I am going to try the Juliet tomatoes next year, they seems to produce much better than the Roma.
Thomas75
Texas (Zone 8a)
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GrammaChar
May 24, 2016 11:42 AM CST
@Thomas75 It's not too late to start them now if you can get plants (not seeds). Because they grow so quickly and ripen so fast, you could still get a harvest. Thumbs up I gave up on heirloom and bigger tomato varieties because of squirrels and birds. Love these little ones!
GrammaChar
Name: Thomas
Deep East Texas (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas Butterflies Vegetable Grower Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Greenhouse
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Thomas75
May 24, 2016 11:46 AM CST
GrammaChar said:@Thomas75 It's not too late to start them now if you can get plants (not seeds). Because they grow so quickly and ripen so fast, you could still get a harvest. Thumbs up I gave up on heirloom and bigger tomato varieties because of squirrels and birds. Love these little ones!


Hi GrammaChar

I have run out of room that is my problem now. I guess I could dig up some flowers, just kidding. Every time someone post about the Juliet it is a positive statement.

Thanks,
Thomas
Thomas75
Luling, TX (Zone 8b)
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coryvp
May 27, 2016 8:22 PM CST
I'm growing all my tomatoes (18 plants) in 5 gallon food-grade buckets this year, and they're the best looking and most productive I've ever had. The first ripe tomato was harvested yesterday (Costoluto), and Sioux and Ozark Pink are next. I have two Cherokee Purple that I grew from saved seed, and each plant has 9 tomatoes. They're in my top 5 favorite tomatoes and I've never had them produce so well--I usually get only one or two a year--so this is an exciting change in their "behavior". A good growing year so far.
[Last edited by coryvp - May 27, 2016 8:34 PM (+)]
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Luling, TX (Zone 8b)
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coryvp
May 27, 2016 8:30 PM CST
Anyone ever grow Black Cherry? This is my first year trying them, and whoa--what a plant. Vigorous growth and it's loaded with clusters of 1" tomatoes (probably another 10 days to ripeness). I've read that they can be similar in taste to Cherokee Purple, and I'm hoping that's accurate because I'm about to have a ton of them to eat.
Name: Donald
Eastland county, Texas (Zone 8a)
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needrain
May 27, 2016 8:33 PM CST
Welcome! @coryvp
I'd like to see a photo of those buckets if you can manage it! And, for my own info, what is a 'food-grade bucket'? Are regular paint buckets not food-grade? What makes one not food-grade? Might not matter if they aren't used for food, I guess, but I don't know the difference. Smiling If the tomato plants thrive, that sounds like a good way to grow them. You could get them going earlier and keep them protected from a late frost and maybe protect them from excessive heat by moving them around after it gets really hot in the summer. Also, they shouldn't have nematodes or soil diseases grown that way, would they?
Donald
Luling, TX (Zone 8b)
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coryvp
May 27, 2016 8:44 PM CST
needrain said: Welcome! @coryvp
I'd like to see a photo of those buckets if you can manage it! And, for my own info, what is a 'food-grade bucket'? Are regular paint buckets not food-grade? What makes one not food-grade? Might not matter if they aren't used for food, I guess, but I don't know the difference. Smiling If the tomato plants thrive, that sounds like a good way to grow them. You could get them going earlier and keep them protected from a late frost and maybe protect them from excessive heat by moving them around after it gets really hot in the summer. Also, they shouldn't have nematodes or soil diseases grown that way, would they?


Hi there! I got food-grade since some plastics aren't safe to use for things like food storage (probably through leaching of chemicals), and I was concerned that the plants may take up some of the chemicals from the plastic in non-food grade and get into the fruit. I'm not even sure if that would happen, but I did it just to be on the safe side. The Tractor Supply buckets have food-grade labels on them, and the plain white buckets at Walmart do as well (and they're cheaper there). The Home Depot buckets, at least the ones I'd bought previously, are labeled food-grade.

I went with the bucket experiment because last year's garden was a disaster with the insane weed growth, insects, and disease mainly due to all the record rainfall we had. I expected a similar rainy spring this year, so I decided to try to head off those problems. The weeds grew right around the weed barrier I had last year, so this time I laid plastic sheeting down to fix that problem, then lined the buckets up on top with plant support coming from wire strung between T-posts. I used straw in the buckets for mulch and have drip irrigation on a timer. I'm even growing pumpkins in buckets (actually they're "squashkins", which was an accidental cross between Howden pumpkin and straightneck yellow squash in 2012, and I'm growing them out each year looking for a stable new pumpkin). I still have some tomatoes, peppers, and squashkins in buckets on the porch that I need to put out in another plot.

Here's a pic of my setup:

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[Last edited by coryvp - May 27, 2016 8:51 PM (+)]
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