Focusing On Tomatoes And Peppers For The Spring Garden


By Jannie Vaugh

I don’t know about you but this has been a steady week of planting the garden!

Tomatoes and peppers have been the first focus. They have been getting tall and leggy under the lights outgrowing their little pots. They have been outside to harden off and get used to the sun and wind. Now they are ready for going in the ground. There are as many ways to plant tomatoes as advise to tell you how.

Here is my way.

The tiny hairs along the main stem are root. So this plant can be planted deep or even sideways. But first here is the time to prevent a problem with tomatoes and peppers and eggplant. Blossom end rot. Literally, the bloom end of the tomato or the bottom will rot and turn black and icky while on the vine. Due to a lack of calcium and ability to absorb the calcium. This is where your early soil preparation comes into play. Earlier in the season, the application of minerals and a light dust of garden lime and bone meal will have your soil ready. When you are planting add a tablespoon of bone meal mixed well into the soil and a little water for dampness will get the plants established. I recommend a tomato product called Tomato-tone by Espoma. This has directions for all year use and is available at big box stores and our own local feed store. One of my favorite garden plant food is Johns Recipe, from The Natural Gardener and is a liquid to be mixed in water and sprayed on the plant and as a drench to the base. If you had blossom end rot last year now is the time to feed your soil before you plant. Trying to fix it after it shows up is nearly impossible. This is where checking your soil ph. is advisable. Kits are handy to have in your garden box, there are meters which checks moisture and ph. Tomatoes need a 7 on the ph. Meter. Devote a large section of your garden to your tomatoes. Choose the ones you enjoy most and try a new one for fun. Tomato terms to learn, hybrid, determinant versus indeterminate. Heritage and VFN disease resistant. They need 2 to 3 feet space between each plant a good non splashing water source. A tomato cage, trellis or stake. proper pruning and at least 6 hours of sun. Bonnie Plants website has extensive information on growing all your plants. And a good troubleshooting site for any problems. And remember to read the label on the plant if your purchase.

Well its time to dig.

We are just getting started, don’t forget the cucumbers and flowers.

Growing green with Jannie