Get In The Garden and Get Your Tomato On

Tomatoes on the vine
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For many of us, it’s time to plant tomatoes. If you are still having really cold weather (we’re talking frost on the ground), you may want to wait a few weeks, but for the rest of us, let’s get your tomato on!! There are no excuses because even if you live in an apartment, you can grow cherry tomatoes in a window box or pot.

There is nothing more delicious than warm, homegrown tomatoes with a few torn leaves of basil and a drizzle of good olive oil.

Organic tomatoes can cost a fortune so I was thrilled to find out how easy it was to grow them.

Your local nursery will tell you whether to plant now or wait and their stock of seedlings will also dictate your decision. Here is Southern California, both my nursery and my local WholeFoods stock well established little plants that take all of three minutes to set into the earth. If you prefer to grow by seed, I love Burpee seeds, and if heirloom tomatoes are your favorite, check out Johnny’s Seeds.

The quality of your soil is mega-important. Fill your container or vegetable bed with a few bags of good, organic potting soil and mix with one or two bags of worm castings.

There are only two things that you have to remember in the maintenance of your plants:

  1. Remove the suckers regularly – suckers are the little green shoots that grow in the “v” of and established stem. You just pinch them out, which is very satisfying. Left to propagate, they will weaken the whole plant.
  2. Water – tomatoes need regular water so the best thing is to have a sprinkler set on a timer and remember to turn it off when it rains.

You will need tomato canes or cages as the plants can grow up to 12 feet tall, but I don’t put mine around the plant until it is about 3 feet tall.

While you are at it, buy 2 or 3 basil plants. If you live in colder regions, you may need to wait until May or June but don’t forget them as they require very little maintenance.

In July, you will be able to enjoy a fabulous Tuscan salad right out of your window box or back yard and it won’t cost you a penny. So go get your tomato on!

If you’re a green thumb, or just interested in gardening, check out my other gardening posts!

5 thoughts on “Get In The Garden and Get Your Tomato On”

  1. After looking at your fantastic sight,i am now even more aware, saving water from my tumble dryer to water my indoor plants and seeds, my latest investment….a compost maker…five pounds from the local recycle center….and of course my gorgeously green bag.!!keep up the good work…well done!!!!

  2. My neighbor very generously gave me some tomato plants in wooden boxes…but there is paint on the inside of each box which is peeling off…sigh. I wonder if the plant can absorb the paint through the roots and if it would be best to transplant these. It is old wood and old paint…

  3. I think it may be best to transplant your tomatoes…they are hardy plants and can probably wont mind a bit of moving and shaking.
    My Question…any advice for an organic way to avert the suash beetles in my garden? I know there is a dust out there that is toxic but I am hesitant. I dont want to lose all that yummy summer and patty pan squash though….help!

  4. I always plant several kinds of tomatoes with success. I always have a huge crop of tiny tomatoes every year, yellow and red, great to chop in half and sprinkle over any dish that is going under the broiler. they are also great to add at the end of cooking a dish or casserole with a mushroom based sauce. I always grow lots of roma tomatoes, has anyone had success with making their own sundried tomatoes?

  5. Jennifer Wells

    AHHHH!!! I’m going crazy!!!

    I am SO obsessed with gardening now! I envision myself producing each and every vegetable consumed by my family throughout the entire year. Maybe some day that will happen but right now my head is spinning with all of the information that is out there.

    Does anyone else feel the same way? Excited but confused and a little bit overwhelmed, but mostly…excited?

    Oh, and check out this fabulous book on how to preserve your harvest in the most eco-friendly way possible:

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