[gardeners] Gardening in Bastrop

Allen Merten (gardeners@globalgarden.com)
Tue, 23 May 2000 16:38:19 -0500

Hi All,
    Judy and I picked our first ever Black Brandywine tomato a couple of
days ago. If your mind set is "red is a pretty tomato", Bl. Brandywine is
ugly.(;-} It was a small tomato, that had grown near the stake, had a callus
on it. I cut it in half, looked more like meat than tomato. Judy and I both
agree that it has the best tomato flavor and texture of any that we have
eaten so far. The Bl. Brandywine appears to be making smaller tomatos than
the "regular" Brandywine. Can't wait to taste one of those.
    Peppers of all varieties are starting to produce at a moderate rate. I
expect prodigious production to start soon.
    The Ivory Bells that we planted seems to lack enough cover to protect
against sunscald in our area.
    Once again we are cursed with a plague of grasshoppers. I have to hope
for a damp and cold winter for any relief from that pest. No pesticides can
be used in our garden because the nesting birds use the garden as a source
of insects for the nestlings.
    We managed to pick 9 pounds of Contender Green Beans from two 12 foot
rows before the grasshoppers ate them to the stalks. I was blissfully
ignorant of the pedigree of Contender's. I thought that they were a hybrid,
since they are a stringless bush bean. I read in The Redwood City Seed
Company catalog that they are an old heirloom variety. If any one is looking
for a heirloom green bean, this is a good one. Great green bean flavor,
stringless to 7-9 inches in length, very productive and compact. I haven't
had any disease problems with them so far.
    The Paprika pepper plants are starting to load up. Several long skinny
peppers are on the plants now. How do I let the peppers mature to red and
still get good pepper production? This is my first attempt at Paprika's, if
it isn't already obvious.
    Tomato harvest is starting slowly. It too will soon pick up a great
    Generally speaking, the garden is in good shape. The exception to that
statement is this years' corn crop. Due to conditions beyond the corns
control, weeding and feeding didn't get performed at critical stages of
development. The corn crop will be poor to fair this year as a result. A
second planting of corn has been made in the hope that it will receive more
timely treatment and produce accordingly, if the weather co-operates. (;-}
    Happy Gardening to All,
    Bastrop Co., SE Central TX
    Zone 8