Essvee, I just fertilize at the planting. After that, just sunshine, watering, weeding, suckering the plant, and
staking and tying the tomato plants.
Again, I could be wrong, but I do not fertilize after planting.
Good luck. I love the joy of growing a good tomato as you do.
Also, I am Virginia, and my climate and soil is not the same as yours.
When we lived on the High Desert in SoCal we grew a lot of Romas as the thicker folliage shaded the tomatoes better than the bigger Beefsteaks types that really suffered from the desert sun. We used drip irrigation to keep them watered and used the K-Mart version of Miracle-Gro a couple of times after the fruit started showing to keep them fed. Roma vines don’t stop growing..they just keep on expanding thruout the season. Back here in Indiana, it has been a dry June so we find that the Early Girl’s are cracking a lot. The Romas are the ones that seem to handle the variations in moisture and the sun/no sun the best…for us. We gave up on growing our own Sweet Corn..between the Deer and the freakin’ Crows we lose more than we gain. Let the critters go to the farmstands like we do !![:(!]
Mr. Mayor, thanks for the luscious pix. I always enjoy your garden posts.
Hey Fieldthistle, thanks for the reply. It’s my understanding that the 10-10-10 is great for when the plants are growing, but the nitrogen will keep the plant growing and not blossoming, so after a while it’s best to switch to a formula with no nitrogen but plenty of potash and magnesium. This will encourage the plant to stop putting its energy into getting bigger and to start throwing more buds and blossoms. My question is referring to when, out here in northern CA, should I switch from one to the other. I’ve been fertilizing every three weeks or so when I remember. It’s still early for tomatoes out here. I don’t have the fully shaped fruit that the Mayor has on his Romas. So as a still-novice gardener, I’m wondering if anyone knows if it’s too early to ask the plant to stop growing out here in CA. Hmm.
All that is not to invalidate your advice, I hope that’s clear. It’s just to make my question a little more clear. Did your dad fertilize just once, or did he keep it up all summer?
Thanks again, the still-learning essvee
Essvee, I’m no expert at all, but my Pop taught me to use a 10-10-10 fertilizer of
nitrate (nitrogen), sulfate of potash, and magnesia. You can use a 5-6-5 slow release
fertilizer, slow release meaning what is says, it releases slower and longer.
For quick help you can use something like Miracle-Gro, which produces green,fast, growth,
but the plant gets hooked onto it like it is a drug, and does more for the plant in my
opinion than the fruit. But again, I am no expert.
I just dug a small hole, sprinkled a little fertilizer, put the plant in, put in a cup of
water, cover the roots and bit of the base of the plant, sprinkle a little more fertilizer,
then another cup of water around the plant.
Hope it helps.
Strawberries are, have been and will be abundant. Kale and mustard greens are producing well. Lemon and Japanese cucumbers are getting ready to produce, and I have nine tomato plants, including four from seed my old man brought back from his ancestral Italy, that are raring to go. Got some beets to pull, and lettuce and radishes have been great when I remember to reseed.
Got my first apple on a three year old tree. My blackberries (thornless) are producing a little but the fruit is wicked sour. I’m wondering if it’s because it’s just two years old or because it gets almost no sun. Any ideas? My Flavor Queen and Dapple Dandy pluots I put in this year to replace the peach and nectarine that didn’t make it last year are flourishing.
While I’m here, got a fertilizer question. When should I start with the bloom and bud fertilizer for the tomatoes, that is the no nitrogen/high potash and the other one I can’t remember the name? Don’t have more than a few green fruits, mostly blossoms. Any suggestions will be gratefully received.
I had a major reorganization this year and built a bunch of 4 by 10 foot raised beds and installed drip irrigation. My plants are all looking good, but thus far I have only harvested some zucchini, basil, and a few pole beans. I have a lot of peppers, eggplant, and tomatoes that are tiny and green, but usually I don’t see much from them until later this month. My blackberries are WAY behind yours Mr. Mayor. It also looks like I’ll have a good grape crop.
All my citrus varieties took hits from the January freeze. I’m way off in where they should be. The Concords are going to be a bumper crop, as the vines were still in hibernation when the freeze hit. Figs are normal, Santa Rosa plums are way off. Olallie berries are abundant.
Doug, we have a had cool spring. I’m in Hinton, 5 miles west of Harrisonburg, Va..
But we didn’t have any real nasty frosts. My peach and apple trees did well and
are on proper seasonal course.
Al, my blackberries crop is massive, to the point that my father-in-law has been
recruited to pick as many as he wants and pass them out to all his many friends.
Been picking green peppers and cucumbers, and squash.
The tomato plants look great, but are about 2 weeks behind schedule.
Potato plants are looking good.
Our roses are doing well, but ready to attacked by japanese beetles soon, very soon.
Our lavender has never looked and done better.
We’ve had a generally cool spring here in the Shenandoah Valley.
already done – radishes, lettuces & arugula, spinach
still enjoying – beets, onions, swiss chard, summer squashes
close – tomato, chinese long beans (pole beans)
It’s a challenge to have the first tomato by 4th of July. Not gonna’ make it this year. I always use the first tomato on a BLT!!!!
I also relocated, and formalized, my herb garden this spring. It’s doing quite well, and is pleasant to look at when compared to the hodge-podge it replaced.
I have been picking tomatoes, beets, onions, beens , peppers, garlic and radishes. Everything has been doing well thanks to the Tennessee River which is only about 20 feet away and my stainless steel pump. I have been laying down about 10K gallons of water on Mamaw Smiths property and my own.
I am very thankful for that irrigation.
Paul E. Smith
We had a terrible freeze in April that took away almost all of the young fruit we were watching get started…Just a few of the late apples have come thru the disaster.
On the other hand the Roma Tomatoes , Concord grapes and summer Squashes are doing very well. The tomatoes are not quite ready, but given a week of full summer sun they will be shortly.
We have several large ‘Clumps’ of wild Blackberries. There will be no shortage of those thony little devils this season!
Picking a few to snack on as I mow is a good habit to have !!
How are the plants in your garden doing? What the freeze didn’t take (fruit) the Deer have been getting while the ‘guard-dogs’ nap on the deck. Luckily the deer don’t seem to want the Squash or the Tomatoes. We’ll see if they find the Grapes when the fruit changes color and becomes more visible (and sweeter).
I’m fairly new to this gardening thing but I am enjoying it.
I have a fairly good herb garden with with basil, majoram, thyme, oreagano,sage,parsley,cilantro and a few different types of mint. I didn’t know that apple mint is inedible untill this year but it looks good.
I also have tomatoes 3 different kinds, lettuce is still hanging in there, a row of carrots and for the forth year in a row broccoli.
Don’t know what I’m doing wrong with the broccoli but every year it bolts on me. I’ve changed locations, shaded it on real hot days watererd it regulary but it bolts every year. I’ve got a neighbor he just throws his in the ground and lets nature take it’s course, his are doing great. Chow Jim
I do not have a garden [:(]
However a local farmer’s stand just started having fresh Indiana Silver Queen corn this weekend.
Sandythruthegarden – Weber’s is open and the corn is delicious!
Thank you so much Al…I’m sooo glad to be with my Roadfood pals!
Welcome Back IQDIVA, we are glad to see you back with us. Hope you are feeling better
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