Monday, June 28, 2010

Things I've learned about tomatoes and farmer's markets

As you may recall, last Thursday, I mentioned I had been severely under-watering my tomatoes. Once we got back home from our trip, I started giving my tomato plants the gallon of water a day my step-mom suggested, except when we had significant storms and rainfall (like we did last night, after I had watered!).

Well, wow! What a difference an appropriate amount of water makes! On three of the surviving five plants, it is a little difficult to notice, because of just how bushy they were before, but there are a few more tomatoes starting. On the other two, though, it is very noticeable. These two were initially planted in the backyard, not the front box, next to a rose bush and a privacy fence, so they only get morning sun. They are, and have been, so much smaller than the others, that I sort of thought I and planted them all wrong, but kept watering. Since I've increased the amount of water, I can see that they've shot up! And, yesterday, one of them even started a tomato! I am way too giddy about that one tomato.

Also, I went to my farmer's market this weekend, and one of the local organic farms had a native plants give-away. Thinking it was some sort of a raffle, I approached the table. When I told them what drew me to the table, they just smiled and asked which ones I would like. Talk about being giddy! Felt like I hit the jackpot! They had info sheets on the many different variety of seedlings they had, and helped me pick out two that should work well in my yard. Green because they are native plants. Frugal since they were free.

So, take the time to wander around your local farmer's market, if you can. And, make sure you are giving your plants the right amount of water! These are things I learned last week!


Anonymous said...

I've been doing tomatoes for many years now and have come to the conclusion that, at least here in Denver, you've really got to water them every day. It also helps to mulch them so they don't dry out too much in the hot sun.

I've tried numerous locations, but by far the best results came from putting them on the south side of the house in the real dirt (as opposed to a raised bed or in a pot) in the full sun.

Last year was the most ridiculous tomato harvest ever! Seriously, I had boxes and boxes and boxes of them! I was literally walking up and down the street knocking on the doors of neighbors I barely knew trying to get people to take them off of my hands!

I even bought a freezer and put up a bunch of them. We've been eating marinara as much as we can tolerate all year and I still doubt we'll get it all eaten before the new crop comes in!

Cam said...

I used to blame the amount of sun on our balcony for our puny tomatoes the one year I tried to grow them. Now I'm thinking that I just didn't water them enough.

I am notorious for underwater everything but cacti...those I overwater.