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Posted on 24 January 2013 by tomatocasual.com

7 Steps to Growing Award Winning Tomatoes

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By Mindy McIntosh-Shetter

In many areas of the country, the county and state fair is getting ready to start.

Throughout the fair, prized vegetables and fruits will be displayed alongside prized livestock.

In the past, these displays gave country folk a chance to show off their skills.

In my great grandmother’s case, it was a chance to become a county champion for 30 years.

Her secret was long kept by the family and passed from one generation to the next when we turned 16 years of age. Below are the secrets to her successful tomato garden. Her success was defined as humongous tomatoes, which won several county and state awards.

While following these steps cannot guarantee a world record tomato, it can help you become a more successful tomato gardener.

1. Prepare the soil – Preparing the soil Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted on 02 July 2012 by tomatocasual.com

Top 5 Things Tomato Gardeners Need to Remember this Season

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By Mindy McIntosh-Shetter

As we approach this year’s tomato season, many gardeners will be rushing out to their garden space to haphazardly plant tomatoes.

But don’t.

A little preparation will go a long way on not only preparing the garden but also preparing the plants for a successful gardening season.

First-Know Your Tomatoes

Every tomato gardener knows that their plants become, somehow, their babies by the end of the season. A gardener can tell a lot about their plants by just getting to know them. Study their leaf development, bloom development and fruit development daily. If you see a change, address it then. This will prevent many problems by being proactive verses reactive when it comes to pests and plant diseases.

Second-Know Your Tomato Terms

When shopping for tomatoes, keep in mind what you need. If you are going to Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted on 31 July 2007 by tomatocasual.com

Tomatoes Love the Beach: How Seaweed Can Improve Tomato Growth, Yield and Flavor

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By Danny Thompson

Photo Credit: Seaweed dunes? by nickherber used under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Okay, I don’t know if that’s actually true . . . I’ll look into it and get back to you.

But apparently, they like a little seaweed.

Regular use of kelp sprays on your tomato plants has been shown to make plants heartier and healthier, and even improve the soil conditions and flavor of the tomatoes.

In fact, Erika Jensen combed through a dozen scientific papers, and found that:

“The use of seaweed as a growth stimulator is widely supported by scientific studies. There is also some evidence to support the idea that kelp is useful in helping plants through times of stress, including drought, disease, and cold weather.”

Her report, published over at The Organic Broadcaster back in 2004, is ripe with info about seaweed and it’s application to agriculture (in case you were wondering, it seems that auxins, gibberellins, cytokinins and alginic acid are the things that do the trick).

If you’re interested in ways to improve the yield of your tomatoes (or, apparently, just about anything else that grows), you should take a few minutes and read it.

Now my only question is, who was the first person who saw a clump of seaweed floating in the surf and thought “ya know…I bet this stuff’d work wonders on my garden!”?

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Posted on 30 July 2007 by tomatocasual.com

How To Grow The Biggest Tomatoes In Town in 6 Easy Steps

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How To Grow The Biggest Tomatoes In Town in 6 Easy Steps - TomatoCasual.comBy Amelia Tucker

1. Start early OR buy plants.

Use seeds if you are set up to grow them with proper space, lighting and will be able to keep them moist. If you are not able to devote the time then buy plants. Let the greenhouse do all the early work.

2. Plant deeply.

It can not be said often enough that the root system is where a tomato gets its growing power. Plant your seedling as deep as the top two leaves, and you will have the best root system to support the most fruit. Don’t worry, the plant will not be set back by this.

Read the rest of this entry »

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