As the weather warms up (finally) many of us are thinking about putting tomato seedlings into the ground. Here are a few tips to ensure a bountiful harvest:
1. Make sure your tomatoes are 18-24 inches apart. It is always tempting to plant more tiny seedlings but adequate spacing will lead to a greater harvest in the end.
2. Luckily for us at the garden, tomatoes love full sun and heat so put them in your sunniest corner.
3. Tomatoes also suck up a lot of nutrients from the soil. Sometimes this challenges the soil quality in our container gardens. In keeping with our organic gardening practices, one easy solution is to save your discarded egg shells.
Rinse the shells, try to remove the inner lining and dry them well. Use a mortar and pestle or a rolling pin over a sealed bag, and crush them into powder. Add a tablespoon of egg shell meal to each hole before you insert your seedling. Apparently egg shells also deter slugs! (http://www.ehow.com/how_5988930_use-eggshells-tomato-plants.html)
Similarly coffee grinds provide nitrogen and banana peels provide potassium to the soil. Some gardeners add a scoop or two of coffee grinds to the base of their tomato plants every couple of weeks to replenish nitrogen in the soil. One or two dried banana peels can be placed at the base of each tomato plant’s hole before planting as well. (http://www.thegardenguide.typepad.com/the_garden_guide/how-to-grow-tomatoes.html)
4. If you plan to stake your tomatoes or put them inside wire baskets, insert them at the time of planting or soon there after. If the tomato plants are too big, you will risk harming their roots. Stakes should be placed 3-6 inches from the main stem. Do not tie your plants to the stakes until the first blooms appear to encourage the main stem to grow strong. (http://www.tomatodirt.com/tomato-stakes.html)
5. Tomatoes love water just as they love sun. Remember to water your plants regularly. It is recommended to water them at the soil line to ensure deep moisture penetration. (http://www.tomatodirt.com/watering-tomato-plants.html)
And as always, gardening is an on-going experiment. We will learn what works best from each other so feel free to post your experiences/tips and keep the conversation flowing!
Hi Fellow Gardeners
Just a friendly reminder next time you visit the garden to please weed around your beds. Our pesky dandelions are back in bloom and will soon turn to seed heads that will only serve to increase their numbers next year.
dandelion (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
A pick axe should be in the shed- a great way to lift them out from their roots at the bed’s edges. Also any work you do to remove dandelions and other weeds in the common areas will be much appreciated!
April is here and it is time to get ready for another season of gardening.
Please come out on Saturday April 20th from 11:00am-2:00pm
Meet your fellow gardeners, learn about the expansion project and visit your plot (or plot to be if it isn’t built yet!).
Who: Airin, Charles, Tziporah (5 years) and Ashira (2 years)
When: Joined the garden in 2008
What: Have grown garlic, beans, peas, kale,tomatoes, basil and this year pattypan squash
Likes: How our kids get so involved in watering, weeding and eating the vegetables
Tips: Water water water and remember to sucker those tomatoes
Frustrations: The soil quality in raised beds. We wonder what we can do as a community garden about it…..
Care to share your details on the blog and help us get to know each other? Please email your info to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will write you up too!
If you have passed by the garden lately, you will notice that a new fence has gone up. Our garden is slated to be double the size by next spring! We are not sure of the timeline yet but once some ground cover has been put down (gravel or bark mulch) we will be looking for volunteers to help build garden plots/boxes. Please email email@example.com if you are interested in helping out.
In addition, if you are interested in moving plots (i.e. from a shadier place by the train tracks to a sunnier place on the new side or maybe just for a change of scenery) also make sure to email us with your name and plot number so you can be re-assigned next season.
If you are reading this simply because you are thinking about joining our community garden, now is a great time to email us and ask to be added to the waiting list as we will have a whole bunch of new plots becoming available in the spring.
Garrison Creek Park Community Garden
Date: Sunday, September 30, 2012
Place: The Plots at Garrison Creek Park
What to Bring: Gloves for weeding/cleaning plots
Food and Beverages to Share (optional)