Tomatoes are one of the favorites for the home vegetable garden. It is a good idea to try and grow some of the newer hybrids due to their resistance to some of the common diseases that cause trouble with this vegetable in our gardens. There are some opportunities to compare the taste of many of the varieties that are available at your favorite nursery. If you want to do some really solid research and have some fun at the same time, go to the Wilmington College in Wilmington, OH when they have their Tomadah Paradah on a Saturday about the middle of August. At this event, you will have the opportunity to taste over 100 varieties of tomatoes that will help you decide what varieties to grow next year. They also make available a few tomatoes to take home with you. Check their website for date and time for this free event…www.wilmington.edu, this will be their 8th year hosting this fun time. Mark your calendar now so you will be ready to go in a few weeks.
Most tomatoes take 70 to 80 days from transplant date before they have tomatoes to eat. These tomatoes will be the larger ones, 7 to 14 oz. and some even larger. So, if you are interested in having a few tomatoes to eat early you might want to consider planting some of the earlier maturing varieties next year.
Another earlier tomato variety that is new this year is “Homeslice”. This variety is 63 days to maturity but is a 5-6 oz. tomato and is a determinate type. This plant only grows to 18 – 24” so makes an excellent choice for planting in a patio pot.
For the best results for all your vegetables in the home garden it is a good idea to test your soil for pH and nutrient balance every couple of years. The best time to do this is in the fall so any needed additives to correct imbalances of nutrients can be corrected by adding the needed fertilizer and or lime in the fall so your garden soils are ready to produce the next growing season. And let’s face it, there is more time to do this in the fall of the year than waiting until spring when there is so much to do. Be sure to add some organic matter (OM) to the soil at this time also. The “tilth” or openness of the soil is very critical for drainage and the proper oxygen level in the soil for good growth. Good homemade made compost from rotted leaves, grass clippings or table scraps (no meat products) is some of the best and it is basically no cost, just a little effort. Next in line for OM is Canadian sphagnum peat moss.
Meadow View Growers