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Easy Veggies to Grow

by | Apr 22, 2009


Everyone’s favorite. The choices are many and endless from tasty heirlooms from the past, new selections that resist diseases and varieties that stay small and grow well patio containers. Pretty much something for everyone.

Our all time favorites are

  • Big Beef for fresh and canning- he out performs them all in our garden
  • Roma for cooking, canning and freezing. This variety tends to coming all at once so you can do your canning and freezing chores.
  • BNH-444 for disease resistance, sounds tasty doesn’t it? I always grow a couple of these in case we loose our others to the virus.
  • Yellow Pear is a small yet large then a cherry wonderful in salad tomato. A great one for getting kids to try and is a heirloom
  • Brandywine is an Amish heirloom that is the most delicious pink ever- one slice is a tomato sandwich or will almost fill a canning jar!
  • Patio F1 is a true container tomato only growing to 2 feet and producing golf ball size fruit- great in large hanging baskets also.

The basics for easy success: grow in at least 6-8 hours of full sun, prepare the soil with lots of organic matter (view TGW TV “Rocking will Save your Soil” for the how-to), plant after the soil has warmed- tomatoes are heat lovers. We feed with Rainbow Grow fertilizer at planting and follow up with monthly Earth Juice feedings to get the most from our plants.

Tomatoes don’t all have to be planted in May–plant them up to 90-120 days before your last frost depending on the variety. This is the secret to having a great fall harvest.

We mulch our tomato bed with several layers of wet newspaper topped with either leaves, straw or grass clipping–what ever is available. Then punch a hole, plant our plants 3 feet apart. Mulch will retain moisture and prevent soil borne disease from splashing.

Good tomato cages are a tough thing to find. We actual use concrete reinforcing wire (the rusty stuff you find in building supply stores) because it is sturdy enough to support these plants when full grown and they last for years. The wire has 6 x 6 inch squares so you can easily get your hand through to harvest tomatoes growing inside. The cages are about 2 1/2 feet in diameter and we close them with the using the ends of the wire. Wear good gloves and use great caution making these cages! THe wire is unforgiving. We use sturdy stakes driven in the ground right next to the cage and then tie it to the cage in two spots, top and bottom to secure, usually two stakes per cage. Cage your tomates while small…it is much easier.

Keep your newly planted plants moist until established, about 10-14 days. Then provide 1″ of water weekly. This will provide the best harvest.

Be sure to keep a bird bath on your veggie garden- birds and squirrels damage tomatoes most often for the moisture.
If you get them in the habit of drinking from a container they won’t bother- we have a tremondus bird and squirrel population and suffer no tomato damage with over 30-40 plants. This does not work overnight — we have water available year round and are greatly rewarded for it.

Happy Spring!

Lisa Z

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