I am making a list of the heirloom (and non-heirloom) tomatoes and peppers I am growing in my garden this year. I plan to keep track of each of these varieties and see how they do through out the growing season. I have planted each of these on May 19, 2012.
July 10, 2012
I want to keep you updated on the tomatoes and let you know how they are doing. When I planted the tomatoes, I planted them in a "trough". I dug a long trough in the soil and laid the tomato in it, then carefully turned the top of the stem skyward and buried the rest under the soil. Be sure to remove the lower leaves on the stem that would be covered by soil; this part of the stem will develop more roots. Or, you can just dig a hole that is an inch or two deeper than the pot to encourage root growth.
I always place a large wire cage on the tomatoes when I plant them. One year, I procrastinated and thought I would get to it "later". Well, later never came, if you know what I mean. I tried to put them in a cage in July and by that time the stems were not flexible enough to get them into cage and so they were left sprawling on the ground. I lost at least half of my tomatoes to rot, and fungus and other strange diseases. Plus, I couldn't find them in the mass of branches, then I would step on the branches and they would snap off, step on overripe tomatoes and they squished on my shoes, etc. Not a pretty picture -- it was pure YUK. I'll NEVER do that again! Always cage or tie up your tomatoes! There are several options on how to do it.
Two weeks after planting, I fed the tomatoes and peppers a dose of epsom salts and water. One teaspoon salt to one gallon of water and watered into the soil. It seems the jury is out on the effectiveness of epsom salts, but I still use it.
The next week, I placed an inch or so of fresh compost around each plant. Now that it is so very HOT, I have covered the compost with grass clippings as well - there is about 4 inches of the grass clippings. It really keeps the soil cool and stops a lot weed seeds from germinating. Notice, I did not say ALL weed seeds. I spend just a few minutes a week weeding the tomatoes, and it is the big perennial weeds that seem to germinate there- mallow mostly. (photo below)