Tomatoes

Lauren will put stuff here.

Set out seedlings after air and soil have warmed up. It is too late now to start tomatoes from seed, but we can get very little seedlings from a garden centre or the like that will do fine. Tomatoes are one of the rare plants that actually benefit if seedlings are planted deeper than they grew in the nursery pot. Plants will be more anchored and sturdier, and roots will develop along the buried portion of the stem. Pinch off lower leaves, and plant. Plant basil amongst your tomato plants to keep the aphids away from the tomatoes.

Tomatoes need full sun, well -drained soil high in organic matter with an ideal pH of 5.5 to 6.5. "In the far North, choose early-maturing cultivars." (from a book published in Iowa. So are we far North?)

If starting indoors, sow seeds 6-8 weeks before you plan to transplant outdoors, which should happen two - three weeks after the last frost. (This is why it is too late to start from seed now.) Space supported plants 2 to 3 feet apart and unsupported plants 3 to 4 feet apart. Bury stem up to lowest leaves; set plant on its side if stem is too long. Stake, trellis, or cage indeterminate varieties, which grow tall. Support is optional for determinate varieties, which are shorter. Prune staked plants (removing side shoots where branches meet stem) for larger, earlier fruit. Mulch to prevent weeds, hold moisture in soil, and keep unstaked plants clean. Keep watered early and during flowering; reduce watering as fruit sets. If air is calm during flowering, gently shake plants to distribute pollen. Avoid high nitrogen fertilizers, which reduce fruiting.

When harvesting: if possible, pick fully coloured, firm fruit. Otherwise, pick fill-size green or slightly coloured fruit and ripen at room temperature out of direct sunlight. Store at room temperature unless they're very ripe, in which case refrigerate for up to one week.

many different types. all between 50 and 80 days to maturity from set-out date. can provide in depth list if wanted.

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