Clyde Tressler is a contributor to the New York Times Blog ‘The Local’. Read more. His passion is blogging. On what? For an idea of what he does start here: Visit Clyde’s Photoblog at http://clydetressler.net/.
- First- Tomatoes love sun!!! Just like us- so you have to locate the plants in a sunny location or grow them in pots that you place in a sunny location.
- Second – Plant them in compost or something like miracle grow topsoil. They like to be fertilized a lot. I use Neptune’s Bounty fish emulsion, because you cant harm the plant by overuse. (It smells like Caesar salad dressing.)
- Third – Tomato plants need a lot of water. You have to water them everyday. Especially when they get fruit on the vines.
- Fourth – You need to wrap a plastic bird mesh around the plants when you see flowers. Be careful not to damage the flowers! The mesh should be secured so it is easy to remove to get the fruit, and should have holes big enough for the pollinating insects to get in and out and to do their thing. (In Maplewood you will need to contend with the squirrels, who like to eat them).
- Finally – If they get any kind of bugs, just spray them with insecticidal soap.
Applying Number 4 was hard. I couldn’t get the plastic bird mesh.* Instead I used branches as stakes to hold my tomato stalks up. The stalks are heavy and tip over ever so often. Tip number 5 – I clean each of the leaves of my plants as soon as I buy them with a cotton swab dipped in plain old soap and water. It works wonders for my flowering plants as well as my vegetable plants!
Next year I’ll be better prepared! Thanks Clyde!
Are you interested in learning more about Clyde? Visit his blog http://syntheticblog.com/?p=9
9.12.09 My observations:
- Each Rutgers Tomato plant yields 5-6 tomatoes.
- I’ve noticed a trend with regard to when my tomato plants should be watered. Between noon and 1pm if they haven’t been watered they become wilted. If it’s a cloudy day and they haven’t been watered by 1pm this isn’t as pronounced. But if it’s a sunny day they look distressed. When this happens I water them immediately. The branches and leaves will rise soon after and the plant will look alive again.
- I’ve also noticed that after I’ve picked all the tomatoes from a plant the plant produces another set of new tomatoes. When the first set of 5-6 tomatoes have grown I prune the plant. Soon after more flowers bloom and a new set of tomatoes are growing. It’s well into September and my plants are still producing fruit!
* Clyde’s advice for the less adventurous: Cage your tomato plant at the time you plant them. Stakes are fine. Just remember to use a soft cloth to tie the vines if you go that route.
© 2010 W. S. Hughes I Support Agriculture (ISA)