(CBSDFW.COM) – If I had to pick the edible crop here in North Texas that creates the most conversation and debate over best practices, it would be growing tomatoes.
When I lived in Nashville (over a decade ago now) growing tomatoes was easy, there was one season. Here in North Texas there are two.
If you pick the spring season, you race from the last freeze to the first heat wave to get your crop in. If you pick the fall season you are fighting for your plant’s life through the worst of the summer heat in hopes that can survive for the fall bounty.
My success rate with tomatoes is low. I’m picking the fall season this year to try some yellow pear. But to harvest in the fall means to grow in the summer so in they go now.
You can help their survival rate with lots of water and mulch along with afternoon shade. The rewards are great; two years ago, I harvested some top-choice Roma tomatoes all the way into December. Those tomatoes made for some stellar spaghetti sauce that I put in the freeze to help me get through winter.
Given my track record, I shouldn’t be giving ANY advice on tomatoes. But I have discovered that it is best not to use the same growing bed in back-to-back years. In fact, it is better to rotated spots every three to four years. This will help keep down the…