Tomatomania!

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The time has come, it is here!  Time to start planning and planting your tomatoes and other veggies for the upcoming summer bounty!  You know me, I love a good garden tour, garden show or anything to do with gardens. So I was thrilled when one of my favorite clients invited me to go to a Tomatomania event!

Tomatomania

Tomatomania is the world’s largest heirloom tomato seedling sale. Starting in the early 90’s by landscaper Scott Daigre it has grown to over 15 events in 25 cities.  At all these events you can go and peruse and purchase just about any kind of tomato you can dream of! Healthy plants and good stock.  Sunshine and reading plant labels.  What more fun can you have on a Sunday?

tomatoes

I of course was drawn to a few that I will be experimenting with. One being a tomato that appears to be my namesake.

Dona tomato

And, who could resist a tomato named Berkeley Tie Dye!

Berkeley tomato

You don’t need a lot of space to grow great tomatoes. You can even grow them in pots if you don’t have the space.  If you need to grow them in containers, be sure to adjust the watering because pots dry out fast.  Here are some great pulp pots made from recycled materials.  I am going to test these this year.

Pulppots

Here are some tips for the best outcome:

Planting: Be sure to plant in full sun. Space your plants at least 3′ apart. Add good organic planting mix into the soil. Plant your seedlings deep. Pinch off any lower leaves and plant high enough to cover them. Tamp down the soil so you don’t have any air pockets.

Watering: Don’t overwater your tomatoes. The best way is to check the soil by digging your fingers in and checking the moisture level. Is it dark? Don’t water them then. Water them deeply and only at the roots. Watering the foliage only contributes to fungus and diseases. Later in the season, watering will have everything to do with the taste of the tomatoes. Overwatered plants will have fruit that isn’t as tasty so don’t be overly kind with the water!

Fertilizing: When planting, give your seedlings a nice handful of fertilizer mixed into the soil. When you see flowers on your fruit, it will be time to give them another handful and mix/water it in.

potting soil

Support: this isn’t a beauty contest here. Tomatoes over their season can start to look a little straggly as they continue to produce good fruit.  For that reason, I don’t like to plant them in front yards, even in my landscapes that include edibles.  Keep your tomatoes up off the ground with anything you might have. Tomato cages are good but typically your tomatoes will out grow it and need more support.

Cages

Good luck! I will keep you posted on my own plants as they grow!

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