Austin Urban Gardens

Raised Bed Gardening and Eating Well in Austin, Texas

Trying to Be a Smarter Gardener – Tomatoes February 21, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — austinurbangardens @ 5:34 pm
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I get a little weak in the knees at the thought of the amazingly delicious Heirloom Purple Cherokee,  Chocolate Cherokee, Black Krim and Brandywine tomato varieties.  In reality, I have never successfully grown a Brandywine, though I try every Spring.  I think I had one Purple Cherokee once, but the squirrels or Mockingbirds got to it first.  I have had a couple Black Krims.  I have had most success with Celebrity tomatoes, even though my imagination gets the best of me this time of year, when my gardening hormones kick into full gear.  When I saw John Dromghool, from The Natural Gardener on the news on Saturday, announcing that the tomato transplants were in, I got very excited.

It is not time to plant tomatoes in the garden, so don’t be fooled by all of the tomatoes out there.  We still have 30 days left of winter and I believe it will freeze again.  But I did buy tomato transplants today, Celebrity, Valley Girl, and a new variety that seduced me, Stupice.  See, I’m not perfect.  The Stupice are in decent sized pots for now, the others were in the small six pack containers.  I also got some Vortex Potting Soil.  I planted the tomatoes in Potting Soil in 6 inch pots, with some worm castings, pulling off the lower layer of leaves and planting them deep for better root structure.  They are safely tucked into the greenhouse until further notice.  Their bed is turned, composted, and ready to rock and roll.


Celebrity and Valley Girls in their temporary homes

Stupice Tomatoes


I want to have the best tomato crop I’ve ever had, and that shouldn’t be hard.  I’m hoping our intense freezes will help with the bugs.    My thoughts after doing some tomato growing research, are that I need to get them started really early, so they will have ample time to produce before the heat wave sets in.   And, I’m sticking with the varieties (mostly) with which I’ve already had a decent amount of success.  I certainly will plant Cherry varieties for the hotter months and early Fall, as they withstand the heat.  It stands to reason that many of the heirloom varieties I get enticed by, were not really developed for our climate.

We will see how it goes, I’m ever hopeful.  Because I am a gardener, and that’s just how we are.



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