May 3 2008 Timely Tips




May 3, 2008

Tomatoes should be harvested when they change from green to greenish-white color at the calyx (fruit attachment). For utmost production, pick them at this stage and let them ripen on the kitchen counter. If you leave tomatoes on the vine until they ripen, the vines will stop producing thinking they have “done their thing” for the year.

Keep tomatoes mulched with a two inch layer of finely shredded organic mulch and properly watered to avoid blossom- end rot. Avoid watering the leaves to minimize early blight on the foliage.

Side dress vegetables every 3 to 4 weeks with one cup of a 50% slow release 19-5-9 nitrogen fertilizer per every 20 linear row feet. Thoroughly water in after application.

Having successes and challenges with your spring vegetable garden? Keep a journal with notes to track the history for improvements next spring.

Place several tuna or cat food cans around the lawn and measure how long it takes the sprinkler to measure one inch in the cans. That’s how long you set the timer on the sprinkler system. Usually, a properly maintained system will put out an inch in 5-6 minutes. Running your system for this period of time is all that is necessary to maintain a nice, green lawn. Train your lawn to be drought resistant by only watering when the grass needs it and then water deeply. The equivalent of one inch of rain per week is all that is necessary to keep most turfgrass’ healthy.


David Rodriguez is the County Extension Agent-Horticulture with the Texas AgriLife Extension Service in Bexar County. For more information, call the Master Gardener “Hotline” (210) 467-6575 or visit our County Extension website at

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