Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Planting Tomatoes

Planting Tomatoes

Four types of tomatoes are planted in my garden:  favorite heirlooms, reliable hybrids, sauce, and cherry tomatoes.  I start my tomatoes from seeds and now is the time to get the transplants in the ground.  Be sure to leave 3-4 feet between tomato plants.  Healthy plants should be large and have plenty of room.  It's best to plan on staking tomatoes.

Tomato transplants are not buried at ground level.  When planting we will dig a hole twice as wide as the plant, mix in compost and small handful of organic fertilizer.  Cut the bottom leaves off plant and lay tomato on its side.  Gently angle the leaves up and bury the plant.  Half of the stem should be buried.  This stem will grow additional roots and make for a healthier plant.  If your transplants are struggling with the intense sun cover them in the afternoon with a light weight floating row cover.

After one week give them a drink of fish emulsion.  (2Tbs per gallon of water)  Remember to stake up plant as it grows and prune off any leaves that are not healthy.

Favorite Varieties

I'm always trying new varieties but these are some that are always replanted year after year.

Heirlooms:   Green Zebra, Pineapple, Paul Robenson,  Old Ivory Egg

Hybrids:  Early Girl, Celebrity, 4th of July

Sauce:  Principe Borghese (for sun dried), Martinos, Opalka, Sheboygan, Romas

Cherry:  Sungold (Absolutely the best), Gold Nugget, Tomatoberry

A days harvest.

Good companions:  borage, carrots, basil, onions

If you are buying tranplants look for plants with 4-6 leaves, dark green color, and when you pull the transplant out of the container it should have 1/2 roots and 1/2 dirt.

Be sure to rotate where you plant tomatoes to prevent a build up of soil bourne diseases.

Watch for a post on tomato diseases.

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