Wednesday, May 27, 2009

tomato care!

from the "All New Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening"

-make the planting holes larger than normal for each seedling; cover the bottom of the hold with several inches of mixed compost and a handful of bonemeal. for magnesium, which promotes plant vitality and productivity, sprinkle 1 teaspoon of epsom salts into each hole
-disturb the soil around the seedling roots as litle as possible when you set them in contact with compost
-set transplant so the lowest set of leaves is at soil level; fill the hole with a mixture of compost and soil (strip off leaves on part of the stem that will be buried - many growers claim this planting method produces higher yields)

staking vs. sprawling
I checked out tomato cage prices, and they look expensive (1.99-5.69 each). However, the book had this to say about sprawling:

"Letting plants sprawl involves less work, and the vines often produce higher yields. They do, however, consume more garden space. Unless protected by a very thick mulch, the plants and fruits are also more subject to insects and diseases from contact with the soil."

cultivating care

-soaking is better than sprinkling - tomato plants prefer 1 inch of water a week than several light waterings
-avoid wetting the leaves! this makes them more prone to diseases (take note of this particularly if we're gonna let them sprawl)
feed with liquid seaweed, side-dress with compost and feed with manure tea (more on that yummy sounding concoction above)

post by emma

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