Re: [gardeners] Gardening in Bastrop

George Shirley (
Tue, 23 May 2000 17:08:32 -0500

Glad to hear you are still in the garden Allen. I grew Contenders 30 years ago
with some success but tried them last year and they were a bust. Poor
production, scrawny plants, etc. Went back to my Kentucky Wonder bush green
beans and am getting about 2 - 3 quarts every 3 days off a row that is 24 feet
long. Plants are hearty and healthy, beans are stringless, and the plants are
still loaded with blooms.

Picking about 6 or 7 tomatoes a day now. Mostly Large Early Red and Burbanks but
the Hungarian Paste's are starting to ripen. I really like the taste and texture
of the Hungarian Paste. I tend to eat them like apples while in the garden and
they are delicious.

Ichiban eggplant are producing 3 or 4 fruit a day ready for picking and are
really healthy looking this year. This is the first time I started seed for
Ichiban and will continue to do so if they are as good as these plants. The LA
Long Green has small fruit but they seem to grow slower than others.

We are experiencing very hot temps with the heat index around 90-95F daily now.
Humidity is also high, running 90 to 96 percent.

Put Miz Anne on the plane in Houston this morning and the dog and I already miss
her. Oh well, she'll be back on the 6th of June. Just got a call from her that
she flew and landed okay and is at her Mom's place. Reckon I'll go eat now.


Allen Merten wrote:
> 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
> deal.
>     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,
>     Allen
>     Bastrop Co., SE Central TX
>     Zone 8