Tag Archives: plant

Planting Tomatoes

As one of the most ubiquitous and best-loved vegetables, it’s hard to beat the taste and scent of sun-ripened tomatoes (the ones in the grocery store are usually artificially ripened) and the best way to satisfy the craving is to plant them at home! Since it’s just about that time of the year, here are a couple of tips and tricks for terrific tomatoes!

  • Start with healthy plants – If growing from seed or purchasing plants from your local garden center, you want to transplant the short and stocky plants. The greater the girth of the main stem, the better! This means they’ve established a better root system and will grow much stronger after being transplanted outside.
  • Sun, sun and more sun – Plant your tomatoes in the area of your garden that gets the most sun! They like about 8-10 hours a day of full sun.
  • The soil – It should be well-draining and rich in organic matter. Before planting add a little compost to the soil and remember to feed the plants with a tomato fertilizer a couple of times through out the growing season.
  • Wait until the perfect time to plant – Don’t get overzealous and try and stick them in the ground too early! Wait not only until after the danger of frost has passed, but until the soil temperature is 60 degrees.
  • Spacing – Tomatoes like about 1.5 – 3 feet between them to ensure good air flow (prevents disease) and ample space for roots to stretch out.
  • Planting the seedlings – A little trick from my dad – Bury the plant up to its lowest set of leaves when transplanting. Roots will grow along the stem and result in a stronger root system, which equals more tomatoes for you!
  • Support plants – I like to use the tall cages. This helps keep the plant from sagging and the fruit from lying on the ground, which can lead to rotting. It also makes it easier to care for the plant.
  • Pruning – If plants are staked, regularly pinch off the small suckers that sprout between the leafy branches and main stems. This will prevent your plant from getting too leggy and will keep the plants energy focused on producing more fruit.

Happy Gardening!

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A Green Thumb Gift

If you’re like me and sad to have the winter really upon us, here’s a great gardening gift that you can make inside for the green-thumb in your life.

Begonias are one of the easiest plants to propagate; most varieties only need a little water to start new roots. They come in infinite varieties (I love the leaves as much as the flowers) and stand up incredibly well as city house plants (requiring relatively low light, rather infrequent waterings (a once-a-week soaking will suffice in a pot with good drainage), and they are undeniably gorgeous.  Click below for the how-to.

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Fabulous Find: On the Upside…

52820.EE70CD27I am totally digging (well, not really since it’s hanging upside down), this upside down planter.  It’s the Boskke Sky Planter from Unica Home.  It’s built to hang upside down from a ceiling hook and uses a reservoir system to release water when the soil is dry.  The result, it requires up to 80% less water than conventional planters and needs refills as infrequently as twice a month!  Who doesn’t want that sort of efficiency for the basil pot in their kitchen?

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Tip of the Day: Planting Seeds

planting-seedsWhen starting seeds that will eventually be planted in the ground come Spring, use biodegradable Jiffy strips that can be put right into the ground with the seedling when it’s time.  Plants that grow in these pots have much stronger root systems as a result of having to grow through the cardboard material and you’re eliminating the waste that comes with planing in the cheap plastic seed trays.

Simply label the pods with a permanent marker then plant away!  When it’s time to harden them off and move them into the ground, you’ll be glad you did as you grow strong, healthy plants!

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