Jack's Tips on How to Plant Tomatoes
Al’s second generation owner, Jack, shows you how to ensure a successful tomato harvest in the future with helpful tips when planting.
1. Pick your tomato.
You really want to pick a tomato that you love. If you don’t know what you love try something out! All of the tomatoes and really, all of the plants that we grow are tried and tested in Jack and Dee’s yard and garden before it hits the garden stores. You can trust them to be the testers and if it doesn’t pass muster you will not see it! Grandpa (Jack) says that you really can’t go wrong with any of the tomatoes we grow. If you don’t know where to start ask an Al’s team member and they can narrow down what you want and give you some options to choose from!
2. Clear off all of the bottom leaves.
This method is really only used if you are planting the tomato laying down. One of the benefits to planting a tomato laying down is that it will shoot out more roots from the stem. The part that you picked the branches off of will shoot out a root system making the plant stronger and not as top heavy. This will provide a good base for your plant. It will also keep them from getting sunburnt right off the bat!
3. Dig a trench.
To lay your tomato down flat you will want to dig a trench deep enough to cover the roots. If you think it is deep enough dig some more… Trust me, I thought I dug deep enough and grandpa told me I didn’t but I still had to try and lay the tomato down. Well, the trench I dug was not the right depth and Grandpa was right. He taught me that you really want to cover all the roots that way the soil can keep the roots from drying out.
4. Lay the tomato flat.
It looks funny I know, but it really works!
During this project we planted gallon tomatoes but all of these suggestions apply to our little four inch coir fiber pots too! With those it is even easier because you can plant the pot and all because it will decompose. Make sure you cover all the edges of the pot because those dry out quicker too.
5. Cover the stem and roots.
Cover the stem and root ball so that 4-6 inches of the top of the tomato plant is sticking out. The tomato knows what it is doing so it will start growing up towards the sky with no prompting.
Later on Grandpa will go back and stake up the tomato plant so he doesn’t have to bend over to pick off the ground. It also keeps the foliage from shading the fruit and keeping it from ripening.
Make sure to fertilize! If you use 16.16.16 fertilizer in the beginning before you plant it helps peppers because it gives them nitrogen. Peppers you can’t over fertilize but with tomatoes you don’t want to use as much on them because it tends to push out more foliage which then shades the fruit. Shade doesn’t help the fruit ripen as quickly.
Water! Drip tapes are really helpful but note that different plants need different amounts of water. Tomatoes Grandpa stops watering around the fourth of July. Cuts down the vine and it gives you a lot more flavor in the tomatoes!
Till your soil! It makes planting tons easier. You can dig a hole with your hands and it helps with the roots on your fruits, veggies and herbs! Makes it a lot easier to grow.
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