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Growing Great Tomatoes!…and other warm season veggies.
 Seems like many people in our Mountain Community pride them selves on growing at least one tomato plant. Whether in a pot or a raised bed, in the ground with a deer fence as protection, it is possible to succeed growing great tomatoes!

 

 

 
Why grow your own?
There’s nothing better than a homegrown tomato in a sandwich, salad or just eaten over the sink with a bit of salt! Have you grown a salsa garden? Just include jalapeño or if courageous, habaneras, cilantro and green onions in a tub or raised bed.
 

Keys to success
Start them out right. Plant tomatoes deep. You can bury the stem quite deep and all the tiny ‘hairs’ along it will turn into roots and strengthen the plant. They require full sun and regular water. Tomatoes are known as ‘’heavy feeders. They need good soil with fertilizer like Dr Earth Vegetable potting mix. Use a fertilizer meant for vegetables and follow the directions, Tomatoes are fussy if given too much or too little.

When staked tomatoes take up less room in the garden or patio pot.

Have you heard the terms determinate and indeterminate? Confused?  Determinate tomatoes yield fruit all at once and indeterminate tomatoes ripen continually all summer.

 




Watch out for this guy!
 

Which ones to choose?
Heirloom tomatoes are growing in popularity. There are quite a few varieties that are worth growing like Brandywine and Cherokee Purple, and Tommy Toe, a cherry tomato. The most popular tomato in our Oakhurst and surrounding area seems to be Early Girl, ripening in only 50 days. Others to look for are Champion, Celebrity, Big Beef and Mr. Stripey.  Good cherry tomatoes are Sweet 100s, Yellow Pear and Moby Grape.  For cooking, San Marzano and Roma tomatoes are ideal.

Staking
Tomatoes can be supported with 8 ft tall stakes, sunk 1 ft into the ground or with tall tomato cages.  Space plant 2 ft apart in garden rows. Cherry tomatoes can easily be grown in a patio pot!

For more information:
 Dry your tomato harvest and save the sweetness of summer