By now, you’ve got your tomatoes started and in the ground. With the help of our first post in our Ultimate Guide to Growing Tomatoes, they were started properly and transplanted at the right time to the right location. Now what? For your tomato plants to provide plump, red fruit all summer, you need to provide them with some TLC.
Like most fruit plants, tomatoes need four critical elements to thrive ―water, light, food and pollination. So you just stick them in the dirt in a sunny spot and wait for the rain and bees, right? Ah, wouldn’t it be nice if it was that simple. Getting your plants just the right amount of these elements can be tricky. Here’s how to get it right:
Proper watering is key to having a successful harvest. Tomatoes that are grown in a dry environment can often develop cracks. If you let your tomato wilt you can decrease your yields or even cause some fruit to fall off the vine prematurely. Tomatoes that are running too wet can be more subject to fungal diseases. Be consistent. Generally, unless under heavy fruit-load, an inch of rain per week is adequate. I am a big advocate for mulching. Use shredded bark, weed free hay/straw, compost, or grass clippings. Mulch helps to conserve water and cool the soil in the hot months. It is also great to get the microbial action stimulated in your garden. A healthy plant of any kind starts with a healthy root environment.
Ready to learn everything there is to know about growing your own tomatoes? Good, because over the next few weeks we will bring you our Ultimate Guide to Growing Tomatoes. This four-part series will include:
Part 1: Tomato growing basics
- Seed starting, transplanting, location
- Watering, light, nutrients, growth
- Preventing common pests and diseases
- Organic and heirloom tomatoes
Sam isn’t the only one who gets to have all the growing fun! At our Connecticut location, we are incorporating product training into a hands-on growing experience. Last year, we grew tomatoes in raised beds and dutch buckets, and the success we had gave us the confidence to expand our crop this year. We are growing flowers, including petunias and sunflowers, and veggies of course, including everything from jalapenos to potatoes to tomatoes this year. We are also experimenting with different types of growing. We will be growing hydroponically in NFT channels, in raised beds outside again, and inside the greenhouse.
The first seeds to get started were the petunias and jalapeno peppers. Let’s take a look at how we got started:
What better way to get to know how crops grow than by watching one up close and personal?
In this blog, I will be tracking the life and times of one seed in our hydroponic test facility.
Every spring, garden centers, plant nurseries and hardware stores are filled to the brim with an abundance of beautiful vegetable and flower transplants. While their convenience might be alluring, take a look at the price tag before heading to the checkout line. If you are planning to grow a large garden this year, you may want to think about starting your own seeds, which can be easy, cheap and fun. You will be able to watch the lifecycle of your plants from seed to delicious vegetable. With a few basic seed-starting products from Growers Supply, and a little bit of know-how, your summer garden can be filled with great homegrown produce or stunning ornamental flowers. Read more
This is a fun time of year to go to the mailbox! Not only is this the time of year to get caught up with Aunt Edna and her cats-via holiday letter, of course-it is also the time of year that the seed catalogs begin arriving.
These seed companies are smart. They have us just where they want us, and they know it! Just look at all of those fresh veggies posing so deliciously! Meanwhile, we open another can of green beans for grandma’s “casserole surprise.” You can almost hear your taste buds collectively groaning. So before you go crazy and order “one of each.” Let’s talk seed strategy – here’s what you need to know. Read more