Weatherford Democrat

July 28, 2013

ASK A MASTER GARDENER: Start growing your tomatillos in March


Weatherford Democrat

Here are this week’s gardening questions and answers, provided by Parker County Master Gardeners. To submit a question, send it to pcmgaquestions@gmail.com. For more information about Parker County Master Gardeners, or to become a member, call 817-598-6096 or visit www.pcmg-texas.org.



I need some information on growing tomatillos.

The tomatillo is a vegetable plant with unique growing requirements. They have an incomplete bloom, requiring a second plant for pollination.

If your pollinators (bees and butterflies) are few, the pollen may be spread from plant to plant with a cotton tip. They require a long growing season with approximately 100 days for fruit production.

I suggest starting seeds indoors in March, and plant them in the garden at the same time you would a tomato.

As with most vegetables, tomatillos require full sun and even watering throughout the growing season. Harvest the fruit when the husks begin to turn from green to tan.



Last week you mentioned stone fruit. What is that term?

Stone fruit is a term for fleshy fruit such as peach, plum, apricot, nectarine and cherry. They usually have a single large stone, also known as a pit that encloses a seed.



I have a friend who was contacted by a tree company claiming her mature trees were diseased and needed to be sprayed in order to save them. An expert came out and found nothing wrong with her trees. Please make others aware of scammers.

There are actually two reports of someone taking advantage of our current situation with oak wilt.

This is caused by a fungus that will kill a tree within one to six months of onset. While the disease has devastated many of the trees in our area, there are distinct symptoms that allow tree experts to make the diagnosis.

When consulting a professional about treating your trees, be sure to look at their credentials. Many good companies service our area, but there are some who are not qualified. You want a certified arborist to treat your trees, so ask to see their license. Ask for a list of customers for reference, or check with nurseries in your area to see if they are legitimate and respectable before trusting them with your trees.