Garden Tips For Growing The Juiciest and Tastiest Tomatoes!

You always remember a good juicy tomato bursting with flavor!

Each tomato has the potential to be juicy and full of flavor a extra attention now will pay off big when it is time to harvest. Here are a few tips to help you achieve that goal:

  1. Healthy soil, healthy plants. Enrich soil with a good fertilizer amendment and compost every other week to keep plants supplied with their necessary nutrients.
  2. Remove damaged plants. Remove any fruit that shows dark patches on their bottom. These leathery patches, known as blossom end rot, cannot be reversed.
  3. Water well.  In hot weather, tomato plants need deep waterings. Tomatoes are also less vulnerable to cracking when the soil is kept moist.
  4. Cover the soil. Mulch will help block weeds  Mulch will save water and protects your fruit. Spread a 2-3” layer of mulch around plants, leaving 2” of room around the stem so water can reach the roots.
  5. Protect plants from heat. Hot sun has the potential to cause sun-scald, leaving tomatoes with pale, leathery patches on the fruits that pucker when they should be ripening. Bushy plants with lots of leaves naturally shade fruit from sun, however, plants with less leaves are more vulnerable. Cover plants with lightweight cloth covers through the first few heat waves.
  6. Remove tomato suckers. These small shoots sprout out from where the stem and the branch of a tomato plant meet. Though harmless, tomato suckers drain energy away from the main stems.

You pick tomatoes when you are ready for them, avoid letting them get soft and mushy. Tomatoes picked at the breaker stage, when they first show signs of changing color, are considered vine-ripened. These tomatoes will continue to ripen off the vine and on your kitchen counter.  Tomatoes picked at the breaking stage can still have the same flavor as one that has fully ripened on the vine. Never place tomatoes in the refrigerator to ripen.

Victory Gardens

Victory gardens, also called war gardens or food gardens for defense, were vegetable, fruit, and herb gardens planted at private residences and public parks in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and Germany during World War I and World War II. They were used along with Rationing Stamps and Cards to reduce pressure on the public food supply. Besides indirectly aiding the war effort, these gardens were also considered a civil “morale booster” in that gardeners could feel empowered by their contribution of labor and rewarded by the produce grown. This made victory gardens a part of daily life on the home front.

In March 1917, Charles Lathrop Pack organized the US National War Garden Commission and launched the war garden campaign. Food production had fallen dramatically during World War I, especially in Europe, where agricultural labor had been recruited into military service and remaining farms devastated by the conflict. Pack and others conceived the idea that the supply of food could be greatly increased without the use of land and manpower already engaged in agriculture, and without the significant use of transportation facilities needed for the war effort. The campaign promoted the cultivation of available private and public lands, resulting in over five million gardens in the USA[2] and foodstuff production exceeding $1.2 billion by the end of the war.

President Woodrow Wilson said that “Food will win the war.” To support the home garden effort, a United States School Garden Army was launched through the Bureau of Education, and funded by the War Department at Wilson’s direction.

In 1946, with the war over, many British residents did not plant victory gardens, in expectation of greater availability of food. However, shortages remained in the United Kingdom, and rationing remained in place for at least some food items until 1954.

Land at the centre of the Sutton Garden Suburb in Sutton, London was first put to use as a victory garden during World War II; before then it had been used as a recreation ground with tennis courts. The land continued to be used as allotments by local residents for more than 50 years until they were evicted by the then landowner in 1997. The land has since fallen into disuse.[13]

The Fenway Victory Gardens in the Back Bay Fens of Boston, Massachusetts and the Dowling Community Garden in Minneapolis, Minnesota remain active as the last surviving public examples from World War II. Most plots in the Fenway Victory Gardens now feature flowers instead of vegetables while the Dowling Community Garden retains its focus on vegetables.

Since the turn of the 21st century, interest in victory gardens has grown. A campaign promoting such gardens has sprung up in the form of new victory gardens in public spaces, victory garden websites and blogs, as well as petitions to renew a national campaign for the victory garden and to encourage the re-establishment of a victory garden on the White House lawn. In March 2009, First Lady Michelle Obama planted an 1,100-square-foot (100 m2) “Kitchen Garden” on the White House lawn, the first since Eleanor Roosevelt’s, to raise awareness about healthy food

Dees Bulb Planting

Bulb Planting

As the temperatures are starting to cool down this means it is time to start planting spring flowering bulbs. Flower bulbs are easy to plant and are the very first thing to bloom in the spring.  Bulbs bloom before the trees. Planting flower bulbs is a great fall activity and it is easy!  Even children can also join in the fun. Ensure sure the temperatures in your area are consecutively 65˚F during the day and at night, and plant before the first hard frost. A great tip to know how deep to plant your bulbs is to multiply the height of the bulb by three.   Plant bulbs pointy side up in an area with good drainage. Cover with soil then give them a good drink of water for a head start. It is as easy as Dig Drop Done.  You will have wonderful color in the spring!