Saturday, April 23, 2011

Tomato Time

Today our yard work and gardening consisted of moving around my tomato and pepper plants so they have plenty of room to grow.  The tomatoes are now in the right planter and the bell pepper, Fresno chili, and jalapenos are in a giant pot that one of our trees came in.

I've been reading a lot about tomatoes.  It appears it is quite a science to grow them, and everyone seems to have her tricks and tips.  These are a few of things we're trying:

1.  We planted them toward the end of March, which was perhaps a bit early.  Tomatoes need warm soil, at least 60 degrees but more like 70 - 90 degrees to really work.  Using the raised planter will help, though, because soil in planters heats up faster.
2.  We took off the leaves toward the bottom and set them pretty deep in the soil, since the little "hairs" can turn into roots.  (Amazing, right?)
3.  We bought and set up tomato cages today to help them have a place to grow.
4.  All of the tomato plants we got this year are indeterminate.  There are two types - determinate and indeterminate.  The kind we got will keep growing and growing and continue to produce fruit, which is cool.  The downside is they can get a bit out of control and you may not see the fruit as early.
5.  Marigolds planted near tomato plants are supposed to keep away tomato-loving pests.  We did a few of these.

One of the websites I've really enjoyed reading lately is Farmer Fred.  He writes specifically for California and has lots of helpful information for the Central Valley.  Check out his site here and his tomato page here.

What about you?  What are you growing?

From left: Tomatillo, Sweet 100 cherry tomato, and Early Girl tomato with marigolds in between and a few onions, as well

Our first baby tomato!  Keep growing, little buddy!

2 comments:

  1. I will not get tomatoes started till late this year, if at all. The weather is so unpredictable here (tornadoes, storms, plus it even snowed in early April), and the frost can come well into May or even June. I will have to ask around and see what local gardeners do. It's easy to start missing the California climate.

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