Monday, June 16, 2014

First ripe tomatoes!

Yellow Tumbling Tom

Monday, June 16, 2014

It is finally here; the first ripe tomatoes!  The number one vegetable grown in gardens across America is the tomato.  There is nothing like a vine ripened tomato fresh from the garden.

My first to the finish line in my garden this year are the Yellow Tumbling Tom and Baby Boomer.

Yellow Tumbling Tom is a dwarf that is happy in a pot or in the ground.  It is my first year growing this variety.  It will grow to 20-25” tall by only 6” wide.  You can put several of these plants in a single large container.  They are very ornamental, cascading over the sides of the container with their bright yellow fruits.

You can also grow the heirloom Red Tumbling Tom.  It has red cherry tomatoes and cascades up to 30” long.  It is a larger plant than the yellow hybrid.

Baby Boomer is a small cherry size red tomato on a dwarf plant as well.  Baby Boomer is an upright plant that will grow 20-25” by 20-25”.  It is purported to be a very prolific dwarf, yielding up to 300 fruits per plant.  They produce right up to frost.
Baby Boomer

To keep your tomatoes healthy and producing all season long, keep even moisture to them, don't water the foliage, and fertilize with one high in potash (the last number in NPK listings).  Uneven watering will cause fruits to crack.  Tomatoes are susceptible  to fungal diseases and water on their leaves encourages fungal growth.

How often you fertilize depends on whether you are growing your tomatoes in the ground or in a pot.  If in the ground, fertilize when first planted and then monthly after the first fruits appear.  I get the fertilizer specifically for tomatoes since it has high potash and the minerals calcium, magnesium and iron that are needed for robust fruits.  Lack of calcium can result in blossom end rot.  Egg shells have lots of calcium in them so you can crush the shells and place under the mulch around your plants as well.

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