Give Your Tomatoes a Kick Start
Want strong tomato plants with lots of tomatoes?
Got any old milk jugs?
I get my tomatoes in early May and transplant them into 1 gallon containers. This is the way I do it.
Cut the top off a gallon plastic milk bottle and punch plenty of holes in the bottom for drainage (this is food grade plastic) or use a clean 1 gallon nursery pot. Put a couple of cups of Dr. Earth Organic Potting Soil in the container along with ¼ cup Dr. Earth Organic 5 Tomato, Vegetable and Herb Fertilizer. Remove the lowest branches from the tomato with a razor blade knife, leave the top canopy of branches on, and place the roots of the plant right on top of the fertilizer. Finish filling the container with the organic potting soil, firm the soil in place around the plant and water well (use de-chlorinated or rain water when possible).
Keep your transplanted tomatoes out in the full sun during the day; move them in doors if the temps drop below 45° at night or if there’s a hard damaging storm.
Why go through this extra work?
• Pruning off the lower branches and planting tomatoes deep will cause roots to grow up the stem that’s buried in the soil. More roots mean more tomatoes!
• Every time you transplant a tomato from a small pot to a larger one you inadvertently prune the roots which will also increase the root mass. That’s what you want!
• Tomatoes should be planted when the soil temperature hits 70°. Right now (March 31, 2012) it’s at 57°. Your tomatoes will be in great shape with a huge root system when they’re ready to go in your garden!
Don’t Panic – Go Organic!
Pesches Garden Center Manager