Re: [gardeners] Gardening in Bastrop

margaret lauterbach (
Wed, 24 May 2000 09:26:30 -0600

At 04:38 PM 5/23/2000 -0500, you 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.

I think that variety of pepper is just too fragile to exist in most areas,
Allen. It gets sunscald, then bottom rot, and disintegrates if you look at
it. I grew it once, but not again.

>    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.

Allen, I've read that Contender was developed by the USDA. Back when the
USDA were friends to those who pay their salaries. Those were the days, my
friend...It is an OP bean, so you could save the seeds and replant if the
hoppers would leave them alone. Could you run chickens in there? We were
forecasted to have a hopper invasion, and I'm keeping my fingers crossed,
but I haven't seen an influx yet.

>    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.

Just let the plant do its thing, Allen. Leave the peppers on the plant
until they get red. It will take a LOOOONG time for them to dry enough to
be ground for paprika...but chances are they're a lot better than
commercial varieties of paprika. 

>    Tomato harvest is starting slowly. It too will soon pick up a great
>    Happy Gardening to All,
>    Allen
>    Bastrop Co., SE Central TX
>    Zone 8
I'll be interested to hear how your regular Brandywines do and taste. I
grew black brandywines in a container, and got a couple of egg-sized
'maters. Good, but nothing to write home about. Gave the seeds away. I'm
becoming more and more of a believer in geographical differences affecting
tomato growth and flavor. Happy gardening to you, Allen. Margaret L