Fresh-from-the-garden tomatoes are truly one of the greatest foods ever. Nothing can compare, especially not the cardboard orbs masquerading as tomatoes in grocery stores.
Yes, that’s a lot; however, Recycla has learned that it’s better to start off with too many, because you never know what will happen. The summer of 2010 turned out to be record-breaking for heat and lack of rain, so in spite of Recycla’s efforts, she lost a number of plants along the way. Still, the family was able to eat a lot of fresh tomatoes all summer, plus Recycla made lots of pasta sauce for the cold months. She loved reaching into her freezer in January and pulling out a reminder of the previous summer’s deliciousness.
For 2011, Recycla has thus far only planted four Yellow Pear tomatoes. Those are Recycla’s favorite tomatoes and she’ll snack on them from July until October. She’ll plant other tomatoes too, but hasn’t decided yet on the varieties.
If you’ve never grown tomatoes but are thinking you’d like to give it a try, now’s the time to get started. Tomatoes are incredibly easy to grow, whether it’s in the ground or in a pot on your patio. Since Organic Gardening has articles on growing tomatoes (and more), Recycla is going to just list a few important things here:
- Whether you plant your tomatoes in a pot or in the ground, you should plant basil and marigolds with them. Tomatoes and basil grow well together and the marigolds help repel cutworms and other pests.
- Tomatoes need regular watering, so water well on a regular basis. If the plants swing from the extremes of too dry to too wet and then back again, your tomatoes will crack, plus your plants won’t be as strong and healthy as they should be.
- If you grew tomatoes last year, if possible, rotate your plants to another part of your garden — or, if you grow in containers, replace the dirt — so as to minimize pest and disease problems.
Tell the Eco Women: Do you plant tomatoes? What are your favorite kinds?