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With these 80-degree daytime temperatures, I hope you're inspired to start planting your spring and summer garden. I already have six different varieties of tomatoes in their beds. My nasturtium groundcover has literally turned my hillside garden into an ocean of green, with blooms popping up amongst 5-inch-round leaves, thanks to all that rain! Other bloomers – including fruit trees -- are brightening the greenery.
Since the first sturdy tomato seedling varieties appeared at local nurseries, I’ve been planting my “usual suspects” that I grow every year – Sungold, Celebrity, Early Girl, Ace, Cherokee Purple, Black Krim, Brandywine; I’ll add Green Zebra, Stupice, Dona, Carmello and Green Grape as I find them.
I’ll also add new ones to see how they do. I usually give varieties new to me at least three chances – if they do well for 3 years, they’ll perhaps replace one of my “usuals”. In the meantime, there’s a lot of good eating!
I always purchase two plants of each variety, and plant them in separate holes, because sometimes one doesn’t survive, and I want to make sure I get some of each of those fruits. So far, one Pink Brandywine and one Early Girl have given up, so I’ll purchase stronger plants.
Tomatomania is always an excellent source of many, many varieties (some locations offer more than 200!), and tomato experts on hand to help you decide. See http://tomatomania.com/events/ for upcoming locations in your locale. I’ll be at Tapia Brothers on 3/19, and Descanso on 3/25.
Because tomatoes are heavy feeders and drinkers, I recommend these steps in planting: