Tomatoes –Gardener’s favorite fruitMarch 21, 2021
Spiritually eating tomatoes can bring the influence of Venus & water. Associated with health, love, and protection, no wonder it is so often a go-to ingredient for dinner. Unexpectedly tomatoes are also associated with money. This is no doubt because of the wide varieties and conditions in which they will survive and even thrive. Growing in most climates their seeds could travel long distances adapting when and where they were carried. Producing an abundance of food in just a few months. As always each of these benefits can be enhanced and strengthened by using other ingredients.
>Words of a Master Gardener Jenifer Marx <
Guidelines for nursery-grown seedlings
Growing tomatoes is a challenge for us here on the beach. Tomatoes from seed, except for cherry tomato varieties, should have been started in August. It’s not too late; however, to set out purchased seedlings
Growing tomatoes in pots are much easier than in our sandy, nematode-riddled soil.
Use the largest pots possible from 5-gallon, to 7 or 10-gallon containers. Make sure they have good drainage. Placing a thick layer of packing “peanuts” at the bottom of pots works very well and makes them lighter.
Use fresh nursery soil or a ‘pro-mix’ type soil that does not include fertilizer. Plant seedlings an inch or two deeper than the original soil depth.
Enrich the soil with manure …composted manure or dry composted manure worked into the top 6 inches of the soil. Tomatoes need calcium to prevent blossom end rot. You can grind collected eggshells in a little water and then apply a little at the root zone.
For the first 50-60 days feed often with fish emulsion fertilizer. If you buy chemical fertilizers, select those formulated for vegetables. The University of Florida recommends spraying every week or so with Maxicrop (available at Ace Hardware), the liquid seaweed emulsion that contains micronutrients and helps plants stave off disease and insects.
Make sure you have a good support system for them. Keep rangy indeterminate plants under control. Pruning and removing excess foliage stimulates better fruit growth. Pinch off the small shoots that grow between the main stem and the sturdy side branches. They will never produce flowers.
Observe your plants daily to make it easier to deal quickly with bugs and fungus, blights, and wilt. To keep any disease at bay do not let the leaves get wet when watering.
Most important, choose tomatoes suited for your growing conditions.