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5 Tips for growing great tomatos.

5 tips when planting your tomatoes this season

Follow these tips to make sure you get started off on the right foot.

#1 Timing is everything:

I know spring came early this year, and we’ve had some hot days, and garden centers have tomatoes in stock… Just wait a few more weeks.  You’re not just avoiding the frost, you want to wait until overnight temps well into the 50’s.  Tomatoes are like Floridians, they just don’t like the cold!

Last year I set mine out around May 15th, but most years, I really wait until June 1st.  Don’t worry, your plants will catch up in no time. If you plant them early and battle the frost, the cooler temperatures just keep their growth slow anyway, so you really don’t end up much more ahead of the game.

#2 Space ’em out:

Tomatoes need lots of room. They will get bigger if you give them space, you will get more tomatoes if you give them space, and you will have less disease and pests if you give them space.

So give them space!

#3 Feed them breakfast:

Have you ever gone to pick a tomato that looks perfectly ripe, but to your surprise the bottom is all rotten and gooey? This is called Blossom End Rot. It is caused by a deficiency in calcium in your soil, and is usually triggered by over watering.

Use Bumper Crop Soil Amendment or Coast of Maine Lobster compost when you plant your tomato’s. They both have Lobster shells in them that will add calcium to the soil.

#4 Plant deep:

You will have to be brave with this one. Tomato plants are unique in that any part of their stem will grow roots if it’s exposed to soil. Pull ALL the leaves off your young transplants EXCEPT for the top 2-3 sets of leaves. Now plant all of what you destroyed deep underground.

Keep in mind things will be slow going at first while the roots establish.  However, once they do, your tomatoes will take off.

#5 Give them friends:

Plant Basil and Marigolds in and around your tomatoes.  These companion plants repel the bugs that will eat your tomatoes and attract the ones that will protect them.

#6 Bonus Tip:

Feed your tomato plants during the planting season. Bumper Crop Tomato & Vegetable Food is a good choice. Make sure you give them Organic Fertilizer just as the fruits begin to appear on the vine.

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