Since I move like a turtle in my late years it will probably be next late spring before I get phase II of my new system of gardening. Preliminary observations with the tomatoes and peppers revealed considerable information vs.: one bed that remained un-watered. The first bed was left to weeds watered by infrequent rains. Resultant tomatoes and such do not grow vigorously, perhaps two feet high. Under watered beds as discussed in the last article GREW ABOUT FOUR TO FIVE FEET BASED ON THE KNOWN FACT THAT TOMATOES AND PEPPERS THRIVE ON WATER. They are top plants along with cucumbers to be grown in hydroponics. In the garden they shade the soil so there is less rainwater to promote weeds.
It is important to study the fruits as they can tell you if you have enough fertilizer and if the pH is correct. Usually “cat facing” on the tomato around the stem is an indication of not enough lime in the soil. Splitting is too fast a rapid growth following a watering.
Watering needs to be consistent and in these dry times the tomato plant which is drought resistant that suddenly receives a deluge of rainwater or underground watering will have splits.
Another consideration when handling tomatoes is that you really need to grow each tomato a few feet from each other and not bunched en mass. Considering the success I am having I will plant mine about six feet apart, maybe ten feet. This will afford me better tomato Hornworm protection – that is the oversize green caterpillar that takes very large gnawing surface chews in the fruit. Notice the white protruding cluster of wasp larvae on the Hornworm- another reason not to kill off nature, which seeks a balance.
Another advantage is that with an uncrowned tomato plant you can prune the plant, which of course is, a yes-no consideration depending upon the variety, size, leaf shading and volume/size of the fruits desired. If I remember I will take some pictures next year and make it an article.
Tomatoes want to sprawl and grow on the ground. They will produce more fruits this way but the fruits are usually damaged. The tomato plant cares not, seeking to spread its seed.
Speaking of seed the bottom first fruits usually look rough but they are the best seed stock; gather them up and place in a small pan or bucket, cover with water and let them rot into a gooey mess so you can save seeds. Wear rubber gloves and do this outside as the stink clings. You will have bigger and better fruits and of course save lots of money if you start saving your own seeds.
By separating the plants they will have good sunlight rotation and you can plant Borage Herbs adjacent, also marigolds and calendulas. Many people like to place red plastic reflectors underneath, as this appears to increase earlier production.
When you are in the garden section of your favorite big box store and seeking commercial remedies read the ingredients carefully. One product recommends spraying the elixir on the yellow flowers to increase fruiting. This works, of course, because if for no other reason it shakes the flower and the pollen is transferred from the stamens to the pistil. You can do the same thing by flicking the flower with your finger. Save money. The anti cat facing products are just lime. You can add a bit of lime to the soil base, or make a lime spray for the leaves. Save money. Assuming your soil is perfect and you want a boost you can at the time you are digging the small hole to place your treasured tomato plant in, first add a ½ teaspoon of Epsom salts and stir it around in the dirt. This provides additional mineral uptake and you will get a boost to your plants. Experiment with test plants elsewhere. Save money.
I have been seeking a best taste tomato for years. This is my recommendation and all of the seeds may be found at: http://www.totallytomato.com/ ; 1-800-345-5977. Save Seeds.
- (1)GERD-Acid Reflux tested by Diane. Page 20 of the 2012 catalogs, #00436. Lillian’s Yellow Heirloom.
- (2)For the solar greenhouse through the fall and winter. Page 19 of the 2012 catalog.
German Red Strawberry.
(3) Brandywines take too long to grow, so Caspian pink is my absolute favorite. Big
Whopper size and juicy. Page 18 of the 2012 catalog. #00170.
California Wonder peppers and you cannot go wrong. Yes, they will turn red if left a little longer on the stem. They require watering like tomatoes and you need to pick the big ones as they come in so the ever-blooming peppers have a chance to produce more and more. Use a vertical support stake, or they will fall over from the top weight.
Best in gardening and prepping.
COPYRIGHT: 2012, Back2theLand.com, all rights reserved.