Friday, March 27, 2015

It's Tomato Planting Time

It's tomato-planting time at Marquez and at your homes. Students in Mrs. Fein's class have planted Sweet Cherry 100's. These cherry tomatoes do well at the coast as do Black Cherry. We'll plant other tomatoes after the break.

Some tomato planting tips:
- Decide when you want to eat your tomatoes. Check the maturity date. Determinate plants will fruit all at once. Indeterminate plants fruit over a longer period.
- Create good soil conditions for your plants. Amend your soil with compost before planting.  If planting in a pot, use good potting soil and avoid ceramic pots because they get too hot. Fertilize about every 2 weeks.
 - If using a pot, choose a big one.
- Water tomatoes deeply and infrequently once they flower. (In a pot you may need to water every day or every other day, depending on how hot the pot gets).
- Plant tomatoes in a sunny spot.
- If you have room, plant tomatoes of different sizes and colors. The kids will like this!
- When planting, take off 1/2-1/3 of the bottom leaves at the stem. Then plant the tomato all the way up to the remaining leaves.  Roots will grow from where you plucked the leaves and from the tiny hairs on the stem. The plant will be stronger.
- Rotate your crop if you can.  Try not to plant the plants in the same spot each year.

If you want, you can make a "Salsa Garden" with your kids. Plant tomatoes, peppers, cilantro together!

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