Here are a few green farming tips to get ready for your summer tomato harvest:
For best results start tomato seedlings indoors. A kitchen window is a perfect spot. (Tomatoes can get severely damaged by frost).
Choose seed varieties: You can choose determinate or indeterminate varieties. Determinate are bush varieties that don’t necessarily need to be trellissed. The fruit will ripen all at once. Indeterminate varieties are climbers that need to be supported & pruned for best results. Their fruits ripen over a long period of time.
Our favorites include: Stupice (indeterminate), Brandywine (indeterminate), Oregon Spring (determinate), Celebrity (determinate), Taxi (determinate), Amish Paste (indeterminate), & Peron Sprayless (indeterminate).
We use a peat based mix in plug trays for direct seeding & we only water them sparingly to keep them from completely drying out. This helps to prevent molds. Remember to keep the soil temp. at 75 to 90 degrees. (Tomatoes germinate slowly in cold soil which creates growing problems later on).
Buying transplants: If you want a head start on your tomato harvest this summer but you don’t have time to direct seed, buy transplants! Sturdy transplants are available at your local farmer’s market. Be sure to ask the farmer about the variety & don’t plant them outside until nighttime temps. are above 45-50 degrees.
Next time we’ll cover fertilizing, weeding & pruning tips…….stay tuned:)