Good guess. No, that’s not the amount of weight I want to lose before summer arrives. I mean, yes I’d like to lose 8-10 pounds, but I’ve come to terms with the fact that I like lattes and bread WAY to much to hit my goal weight. I digress…anyway, the point of this post is that 8-10 pounds is the amount of tomatoes a typical plant can produce in one season! So what are you waiting for?! Kyle and I hope to spiff up our garden beds this weekend (no more frosty nights please), as this is what they look like now:
Here are some very general tomato tips we live by:
1.) It’s all about the soil. I can’t stress this enough. I almost fell over last year when Kyle told me how much he spent on chicken manure. But it’s worth it. Without fertile soil, your plants won’t be happy campers. Prepare your soil with fertilizer or compost and you won’t regret it.
2.) Tomato plants need at least 6 hours of sun per day. So before you plant, study your yard for an entire day and note which area gets the most sun. Wherever that may be, that’s the best place for your tomato plants.
3.) Use tomato cages. I’ll admit that we were cheap last year (weddings are so darn expensive) and chose to forgo them and we ended up with a TON of rotten tomatoes on the ground. This year, it’s all about the cages.
4.) Water! Especially on those hot summer days. Imagine if you were basking in the hot summer sun all day without a water bottle – not a good idea for you and not a good idea for your tomato plants. With that said, drowning them in water is not a good idea either.
Lastly, we use starter plants and not seeds and that has worked well for us. Seeds make me a little nervous, just because you never know if they will pop up. However, a few of my friends swear by seeds, so I think the takeaway here is to find out what works best for you. If you research growing tomato plants online, you will find a number of tips and tricks. Kyle and I only did the above last year and we had a million yummy tomatoes. I am not by any means discrediting the idea of “preheating the soil” or removing the bottom leaves when the plant grows to 3′ tall. I just think following all of those steps can be intimidating and prevent some people from planting a garden. I am here to say that anyone can grow a veggie garden – it’s not rocket science and it’s really, really fun to watch your garden grow.
Here is a picture of our garden last year. I’m picking green beans and our tomato plants are actually behind me. You can see why I am not writing about growing corn…it died. This picture was taken after our honeymoon and things certainly got out of hand while we were gone. Our goal this year is to keep our garden in check. It can get out of hand quickly – we nearly had tomato plants growing up the side of our fence!
If we can do it, you can do it. No fancy business here - just a little love, the right soil, and some sun and water will have you searching for salsa recipes in no time.