In today’s 2 minute tip, I share our keys to tomato growing success.
Our Keys to Tomato Success:
1) start tomatoes indoors 6 weeks before the last frost date (mid-March here in zone 5) and 7 to 8 weeks before transplanting them outside;
2) starting earlier doesn’t provide a significant advantage;
3) start hardening off tomatoes after the last frost when nighttime temps are in the 40’s or above (early May) by placing them in the shade;
4) gradually move tomatoes from shade to full sun over the next week or two;
5) transplant tomatoes when nighttime temps are mostly in the 50’s or above (one to two weeks after the last frost or around mid-May here in zone 5);
6) plant in full sun;
7) don’t plant tomatoes where tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, or other related crops grew the prior year;
8) plant tomatoes deeply, leaving only 4 to 6 inches above the ground, and snip branches as needed;
9) to maximize production per square foot, plant 1 indeterminate tomato plant per square foot and prune suckers to prevent overcrowding;
10) grow tomatoes vertically on trellises;
11) when plants are a few feet tall, prune lower branches to reduce blight;
12) weave plants through trellis as they grow and top them off when they reach the top of the trellis (8 feet);
13) water moderately to heavily during growth and lightly during harvesting;
14) mulch tomatoes when soil is warm to reduce watering requirements, reduce soil splash, and reduce blight risk;
15) compost, worm castings, and mulch from free local resources provide all the nutrients our tomatoes need.
One Yard Revolution is all about growing a lot of food on a little land using sustainable organic methods, while keeping costs and labor at a minimum. Emphasis is placed on improving soil quality with compost, mulch, and compost tea. No store-bought fertilizers, soil amendments, pesticides, compost activators, etc. are used.
Author: OYR Frugal & Sustainable Organic Gardening / YouTube