I invested in tomato futures this week end. Ellen and I rode our bikes to Saturday Market and I returned with the panniers filled with a dozen tomato plants. There are so many varieties of tomatoes that I’m always sure to find something new and different. This year I returned with Pineapple, Brandywine, Isis Candy, Black Plum, and Tula, as well as more familiar Early Girls and Better Boys. I’ve still got a few more spots, but I’m hedging just in case we get another week of cold weather.
I prepared the tomato spot last weekend. Tomatoes like to be deep rooted and will thrive on compost. Each hill received three nice shovels full of compost in a hole dug a “shovel length” deep with soil loosened even deeper. There are lots of methods for trellising tomatoes. We happen to have a nice bamboo patch in our back yard that always needs thinning. Hence, I use a lot of bamboo for garden architecture. I set two crossed poles for each plant and then tie the row together with a horizontal pole at the cross point. The key to structural stability is a diagonal pole to make the whole structure rigid. All the cross points are tied with twine. This works pretty well, and can carry a nice load of tomatoes by the time fall rolls around.
So with the preparations already done, the plants went in the ground – up to their necks! Tomatoes will develop roots all along the stem and the deep roots will see more consistent moisture and be able to get at all of the compost I put in the bottom of the hole. The main reason for buying older plants is so you can bury them deeper!
The parsnips I seeded a few weeks ago are just starting to germinate and so are the carrots.
Next week it’s going to be time to till in my crimson clover cover crop where the peppers and eggplants will go. I hate to do it be cause the blossoms are so pretty and the bees are enjoying them. But it has to happen soon.