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Tomato Season – Bring It On!0

 

I can already taste them. Juicy and warm picked fresh from the vine. The hardest part is getting them to last the short trip from the garden to the kitchen.

Tomatoes are warm season lovers. They pout and throw fits if you plant them out too early with cool night temperatures and unexpected cold breezes from the north. We plan on no earlier than Memorial Day weekend but will postpone if the weekend’s overcast and cool. And it’s worth the wait to have those seedlings spring to life under the hot summer sun and bulk up quickly in preparation of yielding handfuls of fruits.

Location, location, location. Tomatoes need as much sun as they can get. South or southwest locations are best where they get about 7 hours of sun per day or more.

These sun worshippers also appreciate being well-fed. Some compost or aged manure plus a handful of low-nitrogen fertilizer mixed into the soil does the trick. The soil should be fertile and well-drained since tomatoes are big feeders and resent wet feet.

It’s also best to plant them in places where you’ve planted them in the previous three years or so to discourage problems from soil-borne diseases. Containers work well for the small space gardener where crop rotation just isn’t feasible. And you can locate these easily in the sunniest parts of your yard.

Cherries, Beefsteaks, Heirlooms, or Paste. They all top the list of my summertime favorites.

text and photos by Ann D. Travers

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