It seems everyone plants tomatoes in their summer gardens, but not everyone has great success.
While there are many factors that go into a good tomato crop, ranging from the health of the soil (which we have some control over) to the weather (which we have none), Contra Costa Master Gardener Janet Miller has a sure-fire, never miss recipe for giving tomatoes their best shot at producing.
By planting your tomatoes deep and giving them the nutrients they need right from the start, you have the best chance of getting a bountiful crop and growing healthy, disease-free plants.
Here is her not-so-secret formula:
- Trim off the lower leaves on the plant, leaving the top third in place.
- Dig a hole deep enough to bury the plant all the way up to those top leaves. Roots will develop where leaves had been, creating a strong, extensive root system that will support a robust, thriving plant.
- Before planting, toss a handful of organic vegetable fertilizer, a handful of bone meal, a handful of worm castings, a couple of pulverized egg shells, and two to three uncoated aspirin tablets into the hole. You also can add a fish head if you’ve got one.
- Cover the additives with a bit of soil and pop in the plant.
- Fill in the hole, burying the plant so only the top is above ground, and create a water well around the base of the plant. Water gently but thoroughly and wait for the magic.
- Repeat for each tomato plant.
Learn more about growing vegetables at Our Garden, a Contra Costa Master Gardeners’ demonstration garden in Walnut Creek. Free classes are offered at 10 a.m. every Wednesday through the end of October. The garden is at Shadelands Drive and Wiget Way. Plants also are for sale, and Master Gardeners are available to answer your gardening questions.
Published at Thu, 19 Apr 2018 14:01:05 +0000