I love to grow tomato plants. We grew many plant starts for my non-profit, Home Grown New Mexico and distributed them through the Master Gardener Fair, our potluck and yesterday to the CSA through my weekly email. Thank you to all the members that called and wanted plants. I hope that you got them through the distribution today. Enjoy planting and growing them. Here are a few of my tips.
Amy Hetager, CSA Blogger
Here are some of my tips for planting tomatoes:
1. Water underneath the tomato. This is a tip from my dad. He always digs the hole and then waters it. Fill it up with water and then wait for it to drain through the soil. This will water the soil under the tomato plant before you even plant it.
2. Add soil amendments. Tomatoes need good soil and nitrogen. I always add aged manure and compost to the soil a few weeks before planting. Here is a link to my blog where I write about this process. When I plant the tomatoes, I add a handful of Yum Yum by Soil Mender. It is originally from Santa Fe and includes alfalfa meal, cottonseed and kelp meal with other minerals. You can add it to the soil when planting and then throughout the season. I have only ever seen positive results and look for this to be on sale so that I can buy it several times per year. I also add wormcastings by the handful. You can use your own created compost or you can purchase them and use up to a third in the ratio of the soil. I usually add two handfuls.
3. Remove the lower stems of the plant, dig a trench and place the tomato into it with the top sticking out. It is windy in New Mexico and it is better to have a smaller plant with longer roots in May. This has produced stronger plants for me in Santa Fe.