Archive for the ‘Plant Care’ Category

With the recent weather, our customers have come to realize the reason we sell tomato plants on Mother’s Day weekend. Not saying we could experience a frost but the likelihood is slim as Maryland has a frost free after May 10th. I do hope for those energetic people who planted there tomatoes in the ground because it was warm, that they grow OK but this recent cold snap will after certain types of crops. The soil temperature is not helping either as we took it the other day and it was just 51 degrees.

 

TO MAKE THIS AS SIMPLE AS POSSIBLE, I WOULD RECOMMEND SUCKERING OR CLIPPING OFF SOME GROWTH OFF THE MAIN STEM. EVERYTHING FROM THE GROUND UP TO 4” SHOULD BE PINCHED OFF THE MAIN STEM. EVEN IF YOU HAVE SOME FRUIT GROWING ON THEM. THE REASON IS THAT THE PLANT WILL THEN GO TO THE PRODUCTION OF THE FRUIT AND LEAVES ABOVE THE GROUND. THIS SHOULD BE DONE THROUGHOUT THE LIFE OF YOUR PLANT. HOPEFUL IT WILL LAST YOU TILL THE FALL IF WE DO NOT HAVE THE KILLER HEAT. JUST TO LET YOU KNOW LAST YEAR AT THIS TIME AT 1 PM IT WAS 96 DOWN HERE ON THE FARM.

MY HUSBAND, WILLIAM, AND I HAVE BEEN ASKED ABOUT THESE UPSIDE DOWN PLANTERS RECENTLY AND I WENT ON THE INTERNET TO FIND SOME ANSWERS.  A GOOD SOURCE IS HOWTOGARDENGUIDE.COM. THIS A NON COMMERICAL ORGANIZATION. IN OTHER WORDS THEY ARE NOT TRYING TO SELL YOU ONE WAY OR THE OTHER. YOU CAN ALSO FIND OUT HOW TO MAKE THESE THERE IF YOU WANT TO TRY.

SO OF THE DO’S: INCLUDE A GOOD YIELD, NO CUTWORMS OR FUNGICIDES PROBLEMS.  GOOD AIR CURCULATION. SETTING QUICKER AND MATURING FASTER

THE DOWN SIDE IS THE WEIGHT OF THESE, NEED FOR 6-8 HOURS OF SUN (THUS YOU HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT THE WIND), AND THE VARITIES YOU CAN GROW. THEY NEED LOTS AND LOTS OF WATER (MORE THAN GARDENING) WHICH MEANS YOU HAD BETTER MAKE SURE YOUR ANCHOR IS STRONG TO SUPPORT THIS WEIGHT (ROUGHLY 50 LBS WHEN WATERED) AND  ALSO THEY PERISH SOONER THAN THE GARDEN NEIGHBORS. THE VARITIES THAT ARE GROWN ARE NOT THE SAME ONES THAT CAN BE GROWN IN A GARDEN.

SORRY NO HEIRLOOMS AS OF YET.

FIRST AND FOREMOST THE TOMATO PLANTS MUST BE  DETERMINATE AND SMALL VINED. WHAT IS DETERMINATE? IT MEANS THAT THE TOMATO VINE WILL STOP GROWING AT A CERTAIN LENGHT. HIERLOOMS ARE GENERALLY INDETERMINATE GROWING 5’ OR TALLER.RECALL THAT FOR MANY PLANTS, THE RULE OF THUMB IS THAT THE ROOT SYSTEM IS ABOUT THE SAME SIZE AS THE FOLIAGE ABOVE GROWN. WHETHER THAT IS AN EXACT SIZE OF YOUR TOMATO PLANTS, IT SHOULD BE OBVIOUS THAT THESE PLANTERS HAVE TO HAVE A LIMITED ROOT SYSTEM BECAUSE THE SIZE AND WEIGHT OF THE PLANTER WOULD BE EXCESSIVE IF THEY WERE ANY LARGER THAN THEY ARE. SO LARGE PLANTS (NOT NECESSARILY LARGE TOMATOES) SHOULD BE AVOIDED IF YOU WANT THEM TO LAST. FOR EXAMPLE, MANY CHERRY TOMATOES ARE INDETERMINATE AND WILL GROW TO BE HUGE OVER TYHE COURSE OF A LONG SUMMER AND WILL BE STRESSED AFTER A WHILE IN A HANGING PLANTER. SO IN REALITY THE TOMATO SIZE IS NOT THE PROBLEM BUT THE SIZE OF THE PLANT FOR THESE UNDSIDEDOWN BASKETS. SO THE BEST ADVICE IS TO FIND A TOMATO PLANT THAT IS DETERMINATE AND DOES NOT GROW VERY BIG. A LOT OF CHERRY TOMATO PLANTS GROW LIKE WEEDS AND ARE TALL.  

 

SO WHAT CAN YOU GROW.  THEY ARTICLE SUGGESTED ROMAS AND A CERTAIN VARITY OF CELEBRITIES AND THESE HAVE WORKED WLL.  THE PATIO TOMATOES HAVE BEEN FAVORITES FOR YEARS. SOME FOLKS HAVE REPORTED SUCCES WITH TOMATO TUMBLER, TOMATO GARDEN PEARL, AND TOMATO YELLOW PIGMY. 

THEY ARE SOME HYBRIDS THAT ARE BING MARKETED FOR GROWING SPECIFICALLY IN HANGING TOMATO BASKETS.  THESE INCLUDE WINDOW BOX ROMA, MICRO TOM, BASKER BOY YELLOW AND BASKET BOY RED.

 

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With this exceptional hot summer and the lack of rain, the veggies we like sometimes get affected. Many people question why does the corn have missing kernels on the cob? The best laymen’s term would be like this, remember you ride in the country and you see the corn stalks with this spike on it. Well that spike as the thing needed to make the corn. When you peel the corn and complain about that sting or silk left on it, don’t because each silk connects to the corns kernel and that spike on top drops those important little items on the silk. Thus, your kernel is fertilized.

 

I just want to remind most of the customers that purchased our heirloom tomato plants, that you should do some things that you would not normally do with the red field tomatoes.

First, I know I am a little late, but when you transplant them, you should put them on a mound at least one inch higher than the ground around it. Remember the heirloom is not like the hybrid seeds you get in the store that have built in pesticides in the plant.

Second, Make sure they have water. That hot streak should have had at least three waters. Once every three days unless it rain enough. When watering, it should be light and be soaked into the ground. At least a couple of applications per plant.

Finally, stake them and follow their growth. Once they start producing you have to check every other day. Unlike the red tomatoes they will spoil and die because of the tender outside skin.