Planting – The Great Tomato Saga – Part One

To all the fine bloggers out there in Blog-World, I thank you. You never know when a post might absolutely consume one of your readers. In the case of this past weekend, that blog reader was me. I happened upon a post on the blog Over the Fence Urban Garden and was completely captivated by a Youtube video they had embedded in their post titled, “Tomato Fingers.”

You can read the blog post here: Over The Fence Urban Farm/Tomato Fingers

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A little of my history in regard to tomatoes: Until I was forty or so I detested the look, smell and taste of tomatoes. A sandwich with just one tomato seed accidentally placed upon it was, in my opinion, RUINED. I am not alone in this. I married a man who felt exactly the same way. We both loved tomatoes in the form of cooked sauce, but raw…”Phooey!” Then…the strangest of strange events occurred. Where once I abhored raw tomatoes, I suddenly could not get enough of them! (Unfortunately, my husband’s taste buds have stayed the same. 😦 ) I bought them by the pound, and became an avid grower of them too. Tomato plants have never done that well for me though. I assumed all I needed to do was plant tomatoes in a decent soil and location, and they would grow. No…I have found tomatoes need a bit of coddling.

I grow my tomatoes from seed. They quickly sprout for me in a sunny window. They don’t grow fast in the house, but they do grow steadily. This year I had great success with my tomato seedlings, many of them heirloom varieties, and hated to give up even one to the compost heap. (Please read important note at the end of blog post on the composting of tomatoes) Instead I planted as many as I could into the soil of my Square Foot Gardens. Since all but one of the varieties I grew were indeterminate, (vining) I was able to plant one to a square. I figured I would use tomato cages again for support, as I did every other year. Then I came upon the terrific youtube video posted on Over the Gate Urban Garden. Maybe I have never had good luck growing tomatoes because I have never “suckered” them or “strung” them.

I have spent the weekend “suckering” and constructing a trellis to “string” my indeterminate tomatoes. The video is a little long, but absolutely full of information you might not have heard in the past about how to grow the perfect tomato. More to come on my “stringing” adventures in parts two and three of my tomato saga.

* Don’t compost any foliage of tomato plants unless you are SURE they are free of disease. Tomato plant disease is easily spread this way. Smokers should also not touch tomato plants unless they wash their hands first as tomato mosaic virus can be spread this way.

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