Tomato planting

Thu. May. 24, 2018

Click below to listen to my 2 min. Garden Bite radio show:  Tomato planting

I’m so excited! (and I just can’t hide it, I’m about to lose control and I think I like it!)

It’s time to put those peppers and tomatoes in the ground!  The ground temp should be about 60 degrees for tomatoes and about 70 degrees for peppers.  They like it hot!   This year I’m trying a couple of new AAS winners ‘Valentine’ and ‘Red Racer’.  I don’t know which is which because I had a wind debacle with my greenhouse but I do know they’re growing.  I’ll figure out later just who is who when they start bearing fruit.  Ahhhh, the surprises of our gardens.

greenhouse carnage
Tomato ‘Red Racer F1’
Tomato ‘Valentine F1’

I’m also planting two varieties I’ve never tried but get raves, ‘SunSugar’ and ‘Celebrity’.

Tomato ‘Sun Sugar’ photo from Cottage Farms Direct

When planting, be sure to sink that tomato plant deep, they will root from anywhere on the stem, also, as my friend the Tomato Man, Tom McKusick says, they are heavy feeders.

snipped off the side leaves to plant deep

This is a video Tom and I did in 2013 when I hosted and produced a tv show, Dig In Minnesota.

Tom puts a fish head in the bottom of the hole, then places the tomato plant, anchors it with soil and adds more amendments including worm castings and bone meal. If you’re not into that, add a fertilizer ( I suggest doing a soil test)  If not, look for a slightly higher phosphorus number ‘P’.  Also place barrier around the stem at soil level to deter cutworms.  Burpee has a top 10 tomato solutions you may find interesting too.

it’s in the hole! Reference: Caddyshack

For cutworm protection, I’m using the yogurt containers from my seedlings.  Any container will do, just cut out the bottom and side so you can place it.

the toasted coconut yogurts is really good too! Oh, and these are cutworm protectors

Stake or cage your tomato plants. I recommend the sturdier cages with a coating.  They’ll get better air circulation, have fewer pest problems and allows the fruit to totally ripen.  You can use old nylons to tie the stem to the stake, if necessary and prune the weak side stems.  You’re growing the plant up not out.  Place the cage right away or you’ll wish you did!