Friday, June 20, 2014

How to Grow QUALITY Tomatoes!

Celebrity Tomatoes are a great variety to have in your garden, no mater (sorry, I couldn't resist!) where you live. I do grow lots of heirloom varieties, but this is one great Hybrid for my garden. The tricks that work for me are the following, but these apply to most any variety:
1. Grow your own transplants to at least one foot tall before planting in the garden. Planting your transplants needs to be timed properly for your region to allow the plants to reach this height.

2. Prep your soil with lots of manures or compost in the fall months and let the earthworms do the mixing for you. Why should you break your back, right? Here’s my article on quick composting

3. Plant 7/8's of the plant into the ground, pulling all but the top two sets of leaves off.
4. Throw a tablespoon of Epsom salts into the bottom of the planting hole. Once completely planted, scatter one more tablespoon on the soil surface.

5. Know the difference between a Determinate and an Indeterminate variety, so you know if it’s' okay to pinch out the side growth. Here's my article on the subject
6. Keep an eye out for the bad guys: The dreaded Tomato Horned Worm, or the Tobacco Horned Worm

7. KEEP YOUR SOIL EVENLY MOIST THROUGHOUT THE ENTIRE GROWING SEASON!. This is a "must do!" Mulch if possible (I use straw mulch about 4-6 inches thick). Even moisture also helps to reduce the likelihood of cat facing (a bad cracking of the tops of the fruit). Here’s my mulching video over on YouTube, and my article on mulching.

8. Most varieties are in the so called "heavy feeder" category, so you can side dress with compost or a well-rotted manure. I would wait until after fruit starts to set, otherwise all you will get is a LOT of leaf and stem growth. (Side Note: I do not fertilize at all here in Texas, as I do all of my soil work in the fall).

9. Cage or stake your plants at planting time. Here's my article on the subject.

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