Pruning Back Tomato Vines


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In June, tomato plants in Houston wither, while beans and pepper plants continue to produce.

I am re-evaluating choices that I made. The okra was not placed in a great location, so the plants have not thrived. The eggplant has done well. I have found that they do alright with afternoon shade, or maybe I should say with partial shade, since I have a plant that is producing with afternoon sun. The squash has needed the full sun, as do the pepper plants. The bush beans have been consistent producers, but I am waiting for the yard long beans which I planted later in pipes. These beans have lush and dark green leaves, so they seem to be a good fit for that experiment.The cucumbers are chugging along, while the green onions look like they are quite happy. The one plant that cannot handle this season is the tomato.
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Cucumber and Tomato Salads


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The lettuce is bolting, but the tomatoes are going red, while the cucumbers are producing. Time for a new salad.

The great thing about eating seasonally from the garden is that you know the food is fresh, but you also gain more joy when you harvest the first crop of a certain vegetable. When you go to a grocery store, any vegetable is available to you. If you like cucumbers, you can have them whenever you want, and maybe this causes them to loose a little luster. If you always eat a tomato, what is special about a tomato. However, that first cucumber or tomato becomes a special prize in your mind. I think that many of the winter salads went over well, but now there is an excitement in the air.
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How to Make Your Own Tomato Cage


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Tomato plants are going in the ground, and we all know that they need staking. A wire tomato cage is a frequent solution, but how about making your own.

I have not gone big on having tomato plants in my garden. I guess because it is so easy to get good quality ones at the store; however, heirloom varieties may not be so easy to find. This year sees me planting many of these seedlings, so I needed to find a way to stake them. Having pruned, I obtained several bamboo canes and thin, long tree branches, so I decide to make a rather large cage feature in the bed being used by the tomatoes.
tomato cage
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The Excitement of Spring


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Tomato plants are in at the stores, and you will find basil too. Are you ready to start planting Houston?

Last week turned out to be much busier than I thought it would be. Besides work, I ended going to a few gatherings/ meetings. One was to set up a plant exchange event in my neighborhood; we will be calling it “Plant Yourself in the Community”. I have been asked to speak at this event about how landscapes can effect the home.At the Houston Green Scene Mixer, I found myself talking about gardening quite a bit. Particularly we ended discussing fruit trees and vegetables. Even on my inspections, the landscape became a topic. In my own garden, I thought that I would have a quiet week. I was doing some final pruning to clear tree branches growing near my electrical lines and others that came down to hit me when walking by (these being from the neighbor’s trees growing over the fences. I found myself placing quite a few plants in the ground.
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Tomato Plants in January


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Being hopeful, I purchased toamto plants for the coming growing season.

I had time to really work in the garden yesterday. Using my hoe, I loosened the soil, weeded, and cleaned the beds. I plunged my hands into this rich mixture to harvest ginger. I began to pull the dead leaves away from my lemongrass. I was happy to find that new life was to be seen in shoots popping up. Lemongrass will grow well in Houston, but my plants have come under attack from the dog and family in the past. I wanted this on to survive. I began to work on other projects around the home, so I headed to the home improvement center for some supplies.
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Greetings

This site came out of my desire to write about my love of gardening, but also to connect it to my knowledge derived from home inspections. That is why I tied it to the home inspection site.If you have questions, you can email them to me (frank at yourhoustonhomeinspector.com). For home inspections, call 713.781.6090.
Happy gardening, Frank

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