Thursday, June 18, 2009

Get Some Great Tomoatoes

It will soon be time to pick the first of The Celtic Ozark Garden Tomatoes for the year. What a treat. It is, without a doubt, on of my family's favorite vegetables.

I have had questions lately about how to get some great tomatoes from the garden. There can be many answers to that question. However, I find two things typcially make the difference between lack luster and bumper crops.

Overfeeding tomatoes is one of the things that gardeners often do that contributes to a lack of tomato growth. You can almost see the Miracle Gro Containers attached every weekend, sometimes. If you have fertilized well before planting in the spring, and again before the summer crop goes in, that is probably all you need. One exception to that can be fertilizing when you have yellowed or stunted tomatoes. In cases like that, use a good general purpose vegetable fertilizer with lots of nitrogen. Apply the fertilizer at 1/3 the amount recommended. If it is a powder or granular type, make sure you water well, so the fertilizer does not burn the plants.

The other issue is overwatering tomatoes. I like to water the tomatoes with a hose, down on the ground. Don't spray the plants, as the water can cause blossom rot on your tomatoes. One good watering a week is usually enough. If you water too much, you end up with lots of green leafs that the Luna Moths will praise you for later in the year! You want the plant to get down to the business of making fruit.

Paying attention to these two simple things can help you grow some great tomatoes. Good luck to you and your Celtic Ozark Garden.

Ray Province
The Celtic Ozark Garden

1 comment:

CAS said...

Ray, I just pulled my two "big boy" tomato plants and trashed them. It is apparent that they are not going to produce quality tomatoes for our comsumption. I still have hope for the plum and cherry tomatoes.

My big boys were mishapen, mottled, with huge spots of rot. When sliced, the mottling ran throughout the fruit. I can't seem to keep the stink bugs away from them.

This is the second year I've tried this variety. Last year I had too many plants in too small a space and I attributed the lousy crop to crowding.

I've about given up. I hate to use pesticides like sevin -- hardly organic, and it doesn't touch the stink bugs anyway. Am I destined to never grow tomatoes?