You’ve been granted free access to this subscribers only article.
Q. Tell me about the tomatoes that will be available for late September and October planting. Do you think they will make it before a freeze in our area?
A. Large plants of two fast-maturing varieties of tomatoes -- Surefire and Roma Surprise (Heinz 9881) -- are the fast-maturing selections that will be available on the market beginning Sept. 17 and ending about Oct. 15.
The plants will be large enough to provide fruit in about 60 days, if the weather cooperates.
Surefire is a tennis-ball sized, firm tomato that has proven to be the fastest-maturing variety in the fall. Romas (paste tomatoes) are used for cooking more than fresh eating, but this Roma Surprise is reportedly especially tasty. It is also fast-maturing. Unfortunately, our favorite varieties -- Tycoon, Celebrity, 444, Solar Fire, and Sun Pride -- produce larger fruit and require a longer season.
Q. With the drought, do you think it makes any sense to apply a pre-emergent herbicide to prevent winter weeds?
A. If you have been watering your lawn and/or you expect winter rains, a pre-emergent herbicide may be worthwhile. I like Amaze, Portrait, or XL.
Q. If a live oak has lost its leaves because of the drought, is it dead?
A. Not necessarily, live oaks and other trees that have lost leaves because of the drought may re-leaf. They will need normal rains or regular irrigation, however, to restore themselves. Trees in such a state are susceptible to death if the conditions that led to the leaf drop continue.
Q. We are moving and want to take some of our irises with us. Will they survive transplanting now?
A. Yes, irises are very tough. The rhizomes can be dried for planting later, or replanted immediately.
Q. Have the purple martins left for the south already? Should we clean out the houses? Did the drought cause the early migration?
A. Martins leave in late July or early August every year. The drought probably limited nesting success, but did not rush their inclination to head south as far as I can tell. Yes, now is the time to clean and lower the houses.
Q. When can we plant snapdragons and stocks for the winter?
A. Wait until after mid-September.
Calvin Finch is a horticulturist and the San Antonio Water System’s project director of regional initiatives and special projects. Hear him on “Gardening South Texas” on KLUP 930 AM radio Saturdays noon to 2 p.m., and 1-3 p.m. Sundays. Or, e-mail him at email@example.com.
Your Opinions and Comments
Be the first to comment on this story!
You must be logged in to post a comment.
Agriculture Today Archives
Customs intercepts pest new to the United States (May 25, 2016)
Does wounded tree have a chance? (May 25, 2016)
Livestock Market Reports (May 25, 2016)
Mother Nature whips Wilson County crops (May 25, 2016)
Scrapie confirmed in Texas (May 25, 2016)
TDA Market Recap (May 25, 2016)
Texas Hay Report (May 25, 2016)
Beef cattle seven-year decline ends (May 18, 2016)
Educational video for water well owners (May 18, 2016)
Free Beef Quality Assurance training set for May 25 (May 18, 2016)
Fretwell wins Region 8 high school all around rookie saddle (May 18, 2016)
Grant to restore, enhance the monarch butterfly habitat (May 18, 2016)
Grass-fed beef conference (May 18, 2016)
Gun safety and barbecue in New Braunfels (May 18, 2016)
La Vernia Poultry Judging wins state, advances to nationals (May 18, 2016)
Lawn, landscape, rainwater program May 21 in Floresville (May 18, 2016)
Lesser prairie chicken off the list (May 18, 2016)
Livestock Market Reports (May 18, 2016)
Luling Foundation Field Day (May 18, 2016)
Protecting your tomatoes (May 18, 2016)
TDA Market Recap (May 18, 2016)
Texas Hay Report (May 18, 2016)
As El Nińo fades, expect warmer, drier weather says Texas A&M expert (May 11, 2016)
Floresville team wins second at state (May 11, 2016)
Livestock Market Reports (May 11, 2016)
Llamas, load up! (May 11, 2016)
TDA Market Recap (May 11, 2016)
Texas Hay Report (May 11, 2016)
Transplanting mountain laurels (May 11, 2016)
2016 La Vernia Junior Livestock & Poultry Show (May 4, 2016)
Beef, forage symposium May 10 (May 4, 2016)
Cattle raisers’ crime watch (May 4, 2016)
Corn acreage increases in Texas (May 4, 2016)
Help controlling the weeds (May 4, 2016)
Krueger leads the way at La Vernia stock show (May 4, 2016)
Land Heritage nomination deadline nears (May 4, 2016)
Livestock Market Reports (May 4, 2016)
TDA Market Recap (May 4, 2016)
Texas Hay Report (May 4, 2016)
May 2016 Gardening Calendar (May 1, 2016)