Does the fact that Christmas is fast approaching make you think of growing tomatoes?
Of course not. Our thoughts are focused on making sure our homes are decorated for Christmas, looking for the perfect gift for that special someone and hopefully some holiday baking.
But, I am going to tell you why you should also be thinking about growing tomatoes this time of year.
So, to get the most tomatoes, you want to plant the largest (oldest) tomato plant you can in early March.
Many nursery greenhouses are starting their tomato plants from seed right now where they will grow, protected from the elements until March arrives when you will find them on the shelves of your nursery.
You may be wondering why you should start your own tomato plants instead of buying them at nursery?
Well the problem with purchasing your tomato plants from the nursery is that they have a very limited selection of tomato varieties. And, they may not have the variety you want, or it is sold out.
**Right now, many seed companies are having Christmas sales on their seeds including Burpee and Botanical Interests.
Growing your own tomatoes from seed is very easy and rewarding.
Here is how I have done it…
I like to use Starbucks coffee sleeves or toilet paper rolls, cut in half as my seedling containers.
Grab some seed starting mix from your local nursery or big box store. Some seed mixes have fertilizer already added. If not, then I recommend adding a slow-release fertilizer to your potting mix.
Wet the soil before adding to your containers.
Fill your recycled containers with the seed mix and add your seeds.
Place your newly planted seeds in a warm area, such as the top of your refrigerator. The heat will help them to germinate.
**Use a spray bottle to keep them moist. Don’t allow the soil to dry out.
Once the seeds begin to sprout, put them in front of a sunny window.
It may be awfully hot outside, but my garden is awash in brightly colored flowers from my single bougainvillea, Arizona yellow bells and ‘Rio Bravo’ sage, which shrug off the summer heat.
Earlier this week, I shared with you the first garden on the Arcadia Edible Tour. It was just wonderful to see the Sweet Life Garden in person.
However, we had to tear ourselves away from the first garden because there were more to see…
As you can tell, we were enjoying ourselves very much.
There was so much to see, that I still have one more post showing you some of our favorite parts of a few more gardens.
So come on back….you hear?
About this time of the year, I am busy helping my vegetable gardens transition into summer.
That means pulling any remaining leaf lettuce. Yes, it hurts to know that I now have to buy lettuce until next fall when I can grow it again.
Even though not all of my lettuce had bolted, none of it was edible. Once the temperatures get up to 90 degrees, the lettuce turns bitter.
|I love my crocs!|
Summer is officially here. To be honest, I think it is funny that summer ‘starts’ on June 20th when we have already had temperatures above 100 degrees for weeks.
It may be hot, but my vegetable garden is thriving.
Here is a snapshot of the past week in my garden:
|Clockwise from top: Basil, Thyme, Sage, Rosemary and Purple Basil.|
I always think of the week of Memorial Day as the first ‘unofficial’ week of summer. The weather is getting hot, the kids have their last day of school and it is also a time of harvest.