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Thursday, May 27, 2010


The weather is finally starting to behave around here and the garden is starting to go in. I have to say, this is probably the latest I have ever been in getting things going around here. If you did not get your garden in yet do not despair. We still have plenty of time. Last weekend we purchased some plants from our local greenhouse and received some horticulture education on planting tomatoes and to top it off they had heirlooms. Some very old varieties I may add. I was excited as the ones I started from seed are not to my desired height yet.

The first step is to make sure your soil is in good condition. Add some compost or manure to add nutrients to your soil.

To plant tomatoes take off little leaves going down the stem (not big leaves) and plant all the way down into the soil up to the big leaves. Next pinch of yellow flowers on your tomato plant. Your probably thinking NOoo. This is going to be food! The reason to do this is to establish good root and stem development. (This is how your tomato plant gets its food.) Pinching the flowers on your plant will let your tomato plant concentrate on the root system and not the food. Only pinch flowers for the first week and then let them make you some tasty tomatoes. I was told doing this will yield a bigger tomato and harvest. I planted my tomatoes this way this year and am excited to see how they fair. Until now, I had planted only the ball of dirt and the roots.

If your short on gardening space use buckets and decent size planters to grow your vegies. Sometimes I think this is better as weeds won't get out of control. I was told to wait to water my tomatoes till they sag just a bit. The gardener at the greenhouse told me tomatoes prefer it that way. Just don't wait till their half dead. She stressed only a little sag.

I hope you all enjoy your holiday weekend. Please keep in your thoughts and prayers all our military serving at home and abroad, and of course all the serviceman that fought and died for our country so we have the blessings to be able to have big beautiful gardens.

God Bless,


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Andrea said...

One tip I found extremely useful for treating blossom-end rot...sprinkle a tablespoon of Epsom salts around the base of the plants and water generously. The Epsom salts replenish nutrients (such as calcium) in the soil and dramatically reduce rot. Last year, you could look at my garden and tell *exactly* which plants I treated with Epsom salts and which ones I didn't. The difference was incredible!

Are you sweltering up there or what, Shelly? Is this May or August weather?

Anonymous said...

We planted some 1885's heirlooms last year and they were nearly 7ft high. I used a couple of tricks - one was to put a small handfull of cut grass into the hole before planting and used compost mixed with a good amount of coffee grounds to enrich the soil since tomatoes enjoy slightly acidic soil. Then I added a circle of epson salt around each plant to keep the bugs and amend the soil with much needed minerals.

Never had much luck with containers for tomatoes because they quickly leach nutrients out of the containers quickly, so adding compost/fertilizer or veggie table scraps to the soil is needed.

Keep safe,

Gen-IL Homesteader said...

Hi Shelly! Thanks for the good tomato tips! I hadn't heard about snipping off the blooms before. (I don't think I even have blooms yet, but the plants are looking good!) Glad you got some fun heirloom varieties. I've put in everything except potatoes!! (and 2 rows of corn, but that's on purpose.) And the potatoe spot is really weeded over--gonna have to work hard before I get them in! God Bless!

Anonymous said...

Hi everyone, I have no idea why I am just now getting your comments, but glad you stopped by.

Andie-Thanks for the extra tips for the tomatoes. Hot!!! Yes it was! Been quite rainy this week though and still have corn and the last of the tators to put in. Told hubby I'm finishing this weekend if it rains or not.

J- You are so right. I had to replace a grape plant and mixed coffee grounds and grass clippings in this time and that thing is growing like crazy. I put it in 2 months ago and the growth is surpassing the ones I put in last year. 1885 tomatoes. I bet those will be quite tasty. Container gardening is not proving too friendly for us either. We need to think fast because our kids 4H project has to be in containers and they are almost dead. lol

Gen-must be a corn and potato thing with us. Mine are going in over the weekend. I already have 10# of tators in and putting in 4 more. The first ones didn't get in right away due to all the rain and they looked like they were going bad, so planting an extra batch for safe measure. I will get in touch with you soon.

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