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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:
12/8/2020 08:47:50 am
Hi, Tracey -- I'm so glad you enjoyed my tips!
4/10/2021 02:09:15 am
My tomato seedlings came with a note saying NEVER reuse soil that has been used previously for tomato container gardening. Seems a bit extreme! My farmer grandmother never did this. I’ll do it if it’s a best practice—but don’t want to be wasteful.
4/10/2021 10:39:23 am
Hi, Candice -- That warning refers to the potential for the previously-used soil to carry pest, disease and nutrition problems. This is the reason to rotate locations of all crops. Families of plants (like tomato, potato, eggplant, pepper) are susceptible to the same pests and diseases; and they pull the same nutrients from the soil. To avoid these issues, we recommend rotating locations of these crops for three or four years before returning to the initial location.
3/24/2022 06:00:02 am
I am so glad that I came across your article because I really want to start growing tomatoes, but I don’t know the right strategy to implement this. Without any doubts, the tomato is a really important vegetable because this simple ingredient can make a dish so delicious and unique. Before this moment I hadn’t known that there are such a wide array of tomatoes’ types. My favourite one is Pink Ponderosa Tomato because, from my point of view, this kind stands out with its special and incredible taste, being especially juicy. Also, it is true that they slice perfectly into discs which add them one more advantage. But other than that, I think that Zlatava Tomato is no less tasty than the aforementioned one and that this type has its own distinctive features. I think that the visual component of such tomatoes makes them not standard and adds a zest to them.
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