Has anyone successfully started tomatoes in a Texas summer?

liz_h(7/8 DFW Texas)August 8, 2008

I know that early August is a good time to start new tomato plants here for a fall harvest - at least in the ground. But I'm having a tough time starting them in containers. Have any of you Texas container gardeners managed to get healthy plants going in the summer?

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redneck_grower

Not from TX; BUT, I have hot, dry summers in my part of CA. I recently planted some rooted 'mater cuttings in containers; they are putting on new foliage, and blooming right now. So, it can work.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2008 at 7:58PM
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liz_h(7/8 DFW Texas)

Thanks, redneck, that's reassuring. How hot are your nights? Do you mind telling me what part of CA you're in?

    Bookmark   August 8, 2008 at 8:57PM
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redneck_grower

San Joaquin Valley. Nights are typically upper 60's, lower 70's. Days have been consistently going over 100; or at least upper 90's. Have had some 108+ days in my garden this summer.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2008 at 8:39PM
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liz_h(7/8 DFW Texas)

I wish we had your nighttime temps. Forget the plants, the people would appreciate it!

Our typical nighttime lows are 20 to 25 degrees lower than daylight highs, so 75 is a "cool" summer low for us. It looks like your nighttime lows are closer to a 30-35 degree drop. So while your summers are quite hot, they're not quite the same as North Texas.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2008 at 8:22PM
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hibatt(8)

I started tomatoes this summer for the fall. I started them inside on June 5th and set most of them out around July 18th. The plants that I have are: Mexico; Peron Sprayless; Boondocks; Black Plum; and Arkansas Traveler. The Mexico, Boondocks, and Black Plum are doing great and have plenty of flowers on them (though there are no maters yet). The Peron Sprayless and Arkansas Traveler are not growing...it is like they are stunted. They are all in containers. The Mexico and Boondocks are in EarthBoxes and the others are in regular flower pots.

I have never done this before, and didn't know if it would be better to plant the seed directly into the ground or to start indoors, so I just took a chance and did the indoor thing. There were several cells of the seed starter tray that did not germinate and when I had planted all of the ones that did, I dumped the seed starter in the compost pile...now I have 3 more tomato plants growing there. It will be interesting to see if they amount to anything!

    Bookmark   August 21, 2008 at 11:40PM
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desertfarmerjohn

Here in Las Vegas, I've started several different varieties in containers for the Fall. All were put out in August with temps hitting 105+ daily and 80s at night. With only one exception they have taken root and are growing very well. I've found that the key is to provide late morning/afternoon shade for the transplants over the first week or so. Also, some reflective material around the containers seems to help, as it keeps the soil temps down. I have some pics of my container tomatoes and other veggies on my blog linked below.

Here is a link that might be useful: Container Gardening in the Desert

    Bookmark   August 23, 2008 at 6:14PM
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liz_h(7/8 DFW Texas)

hibatt - I'm glad to hear most of your plants are doing well. Have the other two caught up yet? For some reason, I never thought about starting tomato seeds directly in the ground, though I'm not sure why. (I set out started plants, even when growing in ground.)

Now that I have the fertilizer situation figured out, mine are doing well also - lots of teeny tomatoes & blossoms on the cherry, the others are just growing foliage right now.

John - I enjoyed looking at your pics. Glad to hear your tomatoes are thriving.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2008 at 3:11AM
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johnrobert123333

I have never done this before, and didn't know if it would be better to plant the seed directly into the ground or to start indoors, so I just took a chance and did the indoor thing. There were several cells of the seed starter tray that did not germinate and when I had planted all of the ones that did, I dumped the seed starter in the compost pile...now I have 3 more tomato plants growing there. It will be interesting to see if they amount to anything!

===========================================================

JOHN

Here is a link that might be useful: Texas Alcohol Addiction Treatment

    Bookmark   August 29, 2008 at 1:24PM
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starfishsea(8b-9)

I had germinated oh 12 seeds or so in a giant container (I planned to seperate them once they got bigger) and they were growing beautifully. Unfortunetely, last week we had some over 100+ days, and all but one plant completely died while I was at work.

I've been bringing that 1 plant in the house on the afternoons that I'm off work, and it's doing fine. I think as long as they aren't in direct sunlight all day (like my balcony is), then it would be fine.

I'm in California though.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2008 at 7:53PM
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