Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Tomato Planting

With Mother's Day just behind me, the "usual time" everything should be in the ground, I find there is still a lot to do - our spring has taken a couple of extra weeks to get here this year.  I did manage to get the last of the tomatoes in the ground just yesterday.  My final count was 30.   

Here is the breakdown:  3 "Super Sweet 100" cherry tomatoes, 2 "early" determinates "Oregon Spring", 2 "early" indeterminates "Bloody Butcher", 5 "San Marzano" Italian heirloom, 2 Brandywine Red, 2 "Porterhouse" large beefsteak, and the rest are our favorite and all-time best producer "Supersteak."  The remaider of all those started were gifted, and a few were taken to the garden "swap" night.  

I have them planted in several different areas of the yard/garden. (Photos to come in later post.)  One of the Bloody Butchers is in a whiskey barrel right outside of my window - in a little micro-climate there and is where I have historically gotten my first ripe tomato.  Fingers crossed.  

Four are placed in the rear raised beds with a bucket "collar" to add soil depth and collect a little more water for their root zone.  These are caged.   Three more are planted along the fence, with the fence as their trellis; two cherry tomatoes are in a raised bed with a large trellis to be trained against; three more are planted in my new raised bed;  three alongside the porch; and thirteen in the front "ground garden."  

What do I do with all of them?  Well, so far, I have never had a year where "too many" was in my vocabulary.  Our family of 6 (plus regular guests) eat our weight in BLTs during the summer.  Fresh tomato slices alongside morning eggs, grilled cheese and tomato, fresh garden soups, shish-kabobs are all summer staple dishes.  Tomato juice is my personal favorite, and store-bought is too expensive and too salty for my liking, so I can several batches that way.  This year I hope to increase my production of simply canned tomatoes since I realized the family has taken a liking to more winter soups.

Note:  Putting them in the ground, I plant "deep" after removing the lower couple of leaves.  Once again, roots will form along the buried stem, forming a larger root zone as well as getting them deeper to help reach for moisture during the dry spells.