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Austin, Texas
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August to-do list for Austin’s Gardeners

   by Chris Winslow 1. Mulch and water: Austin gardeners. . . your vegetable garden, landscape, flowerbeds and trees need some help to make it through August. Mulch generously, and water deeply. ___________________________________________ 2. Lawn care: Your grass also needs deep, infrequent watering (5 day schedule) and keep the cutting height for your lawnmower as…
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Fall Tomatoes for Central Texas Gardeners

                                  by Chris Winslow
On Wednesday the fall tomatoes will arrive here at the nursery - a
time for celebrations! Despite the heat, I am always cheered up by
their arrival in the searing heat of these early July days. Many cust-
omers are happy, and at home at the end of the day I get to turn the
soil and work on a Fall tomato patch of my own.
Texas A&M's Vegetable Garden Planting Guide advises gardeners
to get their fall tomato transplants in the ground between  today
(July 7) and August 7. Larger transplants in 1 gal. pots or larger
can be planted as late as Sept.1.)
I prefer to plant determinate, heat-set tomatoes for fall. Varieties
such as Bob Cat, Celebrity, and BHN 444 can crop in under 80
days, making them perfect for fall planting. Celebrity, an all-time
backyard favorite, acts as a semi-indeterminate, producing longer
if frosts come later than average.
July is also the perfect time to plant cherry type tomatoes – which
have no problem setting fruit in the heat. My favorites are Sweet
100, Juliet and Sun Gold. Rarely do they make it to the kitchen!
For your fall tomato garden, choose a sunny location with good
drainage, and be sure to shovel in lots of compost and slow release
organic fertilizer.
At Urban Farm they mix up a fertilizer of bat guano, mycorrhizae,
humic acid, crab shell, worm castings, kelp, soy meal, and compos-
ted poultry litter, making it a great choice for gardeners. Adding
dolomite lime (calcium and magnesium) also helps to prevent
blossom end rot, a common tomato fruit malady.
Keeping your newly transplanted seedlings watered is a must.
Moist but not soggy is the ideal. I like planting in trenches or cra-
ters. This helps to direct water down to the root zone instead of
running off and away from the plant.
Providing the newly transplanted seedlings a bit of afternoon
shade for the first two weeks can really help them to establish a
strong root system. I place some frost guard cloth on the west side
of the plants, suspended with bamboo stakes to give some tempor-
ary shade. 'Works great, and is easy to do.
A weekly spray of seaweed and fish emulsion can also give the
plants a boost. Both are known to help with stress from the sum-
mer heat.
If you have never grown fall tomatoes before, why not give it a
try? Happy Gardening Everyone! 🌷

American Beautyberry versus the Mosquito!

                                     by David Sargert During a recent conversation with long-time customer Connie Graves we explored the medicinal qualities of a number of plants and then got onto the subject of mosquito control. Connie shared some fascinating findings from recently completed research at the University of Mississippi. It seems the folks in rural Miss.…
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Indian Curry Leaf Thrives in Austin’s Climate

                                        by Chris Winslow Indian curry leaf has proved to be an easy plant to grow here in our central Texas area. Native to India and Sri Lanka, Indian curry leaf is a member of the rue family, which includes citrus and the popular herb rue. (In olden times, rue was…
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