Herself's Houston Garden

Conservation through cultivation

Forsaken by my tomato plants and peacock flowers

Growing tomatoes was so easy back in New England. On May 31st you stuck some plants in the ground, in August you began to harvest tomatoes. The plants would get 6′-12′ tall and you could count on 20-30 tomatoes a plant.

Last year DH did the tomatoes and we didn’t get a single one. The vines grew to a good healthy size with lots of leaves and flowers but nary a single tomato set.

This year, I learned that tomatoes do not set fruit once the temperature stays above 75′ for the low. I put in the tomatoes early and that last cold spell caught them. I should’ve canned them then and traded them in for new ones. Never up north did tomato plants that had been chilled do well. I thought it was so warm down here these ones would recover. Of 4 plants 2 are the same as they were 6 weeks ago and two have grown. I’ve harvested 2 tomatoes this week and none of the plants have flowers.

Now it may be if the sun ever comes back out I’ll get some tomatoes but it doesn’t look hopeful. The extension office gives a yearly talk here on growing tomatoes in Texas and I’ll be sure to attend next year’s class. In the meantime, summer is not yet here and I’m still hoping.

I’ve moved my Peacock flower for the second time. I fell in love with these when we first arrived here and stalked the nurseries till I found one. No blooms the first year but some times things don’t bloom the first year. It spent its second year in a sunnier, wetter spot. But no flowers again. Many of these have been blooming for over a month about town. So it made its third move today to a still sunnier location and a little drier location. It will be condemned to the yard waste recycling if I don’t see blooms next spring. Life’s too short for stubborn plants and this yard is too small to give up valuable bed space to plants that refuse to behave.

The Oleanders seem to be fading and I’ve noticed some Crepe Myrtles beginning to bloom around the area. The Passion flower and Roses are steadily blooming as are the Magnolias now. The Mother-in-Law’s tongues all have new growth. It’ll be so cool growing those outside here. A few of the calla lilies are blooming too.

I’ve been reading the Digital Photography School blog and learning how to better take pictures. I’ve only been practicing new techniques a month and I can already see a difference in my photos.

I found about a new local gardening blog Transplanted, this one from a transplanted California gardener. The blog is new but it looks promising. It’ll be interesting seeing how a transplant from the opposite side of the country from me does. There is also a link on the local garden blogs page.

I also ran across a Washington state wine making blogger Washington Winemaker. This is also a new blog but has a recipe for Mead I hope to try this fall.

See also:
Little Gem Magnolia