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Once you have completed fertilizing, give your garden a moderate soaking with your sprinkler or hose nozzle to dissolve and distribute fertilizer through out soil.
When I begin to set out tomatoes I have somewhat of a unique approach, I dig planting hole, approximately 10-12 inches deep with a post hole digger, which also helps to determine spacing for each plant ( 2-2 ½ feet apart or about ½ length of handle of your post hole digger) I use post hole digger for several reasons:
1.Its much easier on your back, you don’t have to bend or kneel to dig hole. 2.The larger and deeper hole means that more of tomato plant itself can be placed deeper into ground and more plant you can actually place in ground stronger plant will be, because every bit of seedling that is placed underground will develop into root system, thereby you will have deeper and stronger roots from very beginning. 3.The loose backfill in hole allows for developing root system to get a firm foothold.
After you have gotten all your holes spaced out and dug, go back and sprinkle just a bit of Miracle-Gro into bottom of each hole then add just a small amount of water to hole. Gently remove your seedlings from flat and place it as deep as possible in hole. I recommend leaving no more than 1 - 2 inches of tomato above ground. Yes, it will take longer for your tomatoes to produce by doing this as compared to setting them out at that same depth they were in seeding flat, but you will have stronger plants and plants that virtually never need watering because at that depth moisture is pretty much constant unless it is an extremely dry summer. Believe me, if you set your tomatoes out at flat depth, you will be watering them at least every other day.!!!
The next thing we need to address is method used to control sprawling plant. Some people like to place straw down around their tomato plants and let them sprawl across ground. I believe this opens door for more pest problems, such as tomato hornworm. The method I recommend is using concrete reinforcing wire to make your own tomato cages. The wire can be purchased at most any hardware or do it yourself store. The wire has large 6” openings that you can easily pass your hand through when picking time comes. The wire is about 6 ft high which makes a very sturdy cage for even biggest tomato plant. To make cages, count off seven of squares and then, using a cutting torch or a study pair of wire cutters, cutoff bottom of seventh square which will give you six 6” spikes that will make cage as steady as a rock when they are pushed into ground. I place my cages around plants as soon as plants are in ground. Once you make cages they will last of years and years to come.
Our last area of concern is pests and diseases, specifically tomato hornworm and blossom end rot. The tomato hornworm is nasty little creature that will surround and chew through your plant at just below ground level. To prevent this from happening push a very large nail into ground right next to each tomato plant. This will prevent hornworm from surrounding your plant and eating through base.
If you see end of your tomatoes beginning to rot as they grow, then it is surely a case of blossom end rot, which can be easily stopped from overtaking your entire tomato crop. Go to your local pharmacy and get some potassium chloride, then place two heaping tablespoons into a garden sprayer and fill with water, shake to mix then spray your plants well. Do this weekly until no new end rot appears.
If you follow this guide and use a little TLC you will have some of largest and best tasting tomatoes one could ever ask for.
You will definitely be envy of entire neighborhood!!!
K.D. Wiseman is the owner of DMJ Enterprises and creator of Best Of The Home and DMJ Enterprises. Best Of The Home and DMJ Enterprises are popular home and garden websites featuring products for every corner of your home and garden including Quality Indoor and Outdoor Furniture,gardening supplies and more. Please visit both sites for your entire home and garden needs.