Spring has finally arrived and our thoughts are turning to fresh vegetables, especially tomatoes. This cold, wet spring, means that soil and air temperatures are still cool, especially at night. Tomatoes are tropical plants and do best when soil is above 60 degrees. We have already seen several frosts, and our typical frost free date is around mid-May. The Growing Place staff recommends waiting to plant tomatoes in the ground until after that time and to protect plants from temperatures below 45° F. Cool temperatures will stunt tomato growth
As you plan your crops this year, think about what your family likes to eat and how much produce you will use. Cherry tomatoes grown in a container are an easy snack for kids and adults. You can also extend your tomato season by starting with early varieties like Early Girl and adding later producing heirlooms such as Brandywine. Tomatoes love water, but do best when watered at the soil level so moisture doesn’t collect on the leaves, attracting fungus. Consider adding companion plants such as basil, marigold, chives, and bee balm to your garden as they improve the growth and flavor of tomatoes.
Posted on 5/1/2013 at 8:00:00 PM