Home grown tomatoes

Now that it’s May, gardeners everywhere are starting to dream of tomatoes.

Fresh-from-the-garden tomatoes are truly one of the greatest foods ever.  Nothing can compare, especially not the cardboard orbs masquerading as tomatoes in grocery stores.

Recycla plants her tomatoes about this time every year. In 2010, she had Romas (8 plants), Yellow Pear (6), Better Boy (4), Old German (4), Yellow Brandywine (2), and Mortgage Lifters (2).

Yes, that’s a lot; however, Recycla has learned that it’s better to start off with too many, because you never know what will happen. The summer of 2010 turned out to be record-breaking for heat and lack of rain, so in spite of Recycla’s efforts, she lost a number of plants along the way. Still, the family was able to eat a lot of fresh tomatoes all summer, plus Recycla made lots of pasta sauce for the cold months. She loved reaching into her freezer in January and pulling out a reminder of the previous summer’s deliciousness.

For 2011, Recycla has thus far only planted four Yellow Pear tomatoes. Those are Recycla’s favorite tomatoes and she’ll snack on them from July until October. She’ll plant other tomatoes too, but hasn’t decided yet on the varieties.

If you’ve never grown tomatoes but are thinking you’d like to give it a try, now’s the time to get started. Tomatoes are incredibly easy to grow, whether it’s in the ground or in a pot on your patio.  Since Organic Gardening has articles on growing tomatoes (and more), Recycla is going to just list a few important things here:

  • Whether you plant your tomatoes in a pot or in the ground, you should plant basil and marigolds with them.  Tomatoes and basil grow well together and the marigolds help repel cutworms and other pests.
  • Tomatoes need regular watering, so water well on a regular basis.  If the plants swing from the extremes of too dry to too wet and then back again, your tomatoes will crack, plus your plants won’t be as strong and healthy as they should be.
  • If you grew tomatoes last year, if possible, rotate your plants to another part of your garden — or, if you grow in containers, replace the dirt — so as to minimize pest and disease problems.

The most important thing is to just get out there and plant some tomatoes!  You’ll be reaping the rewards from July until October.

Tell the Eco Women: Do you plant tomatoes? What are your favorite kinds?

Photo credits: Yahoo Images.
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5 thoughts on “Home grown tomatoes

  1. I love planting tomatoes. Last year I tried the hanging planters but must admit I’ve had better luck with large patio planters. I think I’m going to go back to those this year.

    It’s still a little cold up my way so we haven’t put any out yet. A few more weeks and we should be good to go.

  2. Better Boys were my Papa’s favorites. I grew up eating those fresh out of my grandparents’ garden until I was about 16 and they stopped planting anything. When my husband and I first met, he told me he hated fresh tomatoes. Hated them! A boy with Italian blood in his veins! I was appalled. A few years ago, we signed up for a local CSA and I convinced him to try a slice of fresh tomato then…and he loved it. He had never had a “real” tomato before – being a city boy, he was raised on grocery store tomatoes and thought they were always watery, grainy, tasteless blobs. Now he knows better. And I swear anyone who says they hate fresh tomatoes has just never had a true garden-fresh one.

  3. We love Brandywine, Mr. Stripey, Plum and Roma the most. And we plan to plant at least 5 plants, maybe more!

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