How do I grow a quality tomato crop?
Tomatoes are one of the most popular vegetables to grow in home and market gardens. Here are the top ten things you can do for a successful season. Many years we say pray for rain, but you may want to save that for later in the summer this year! Consistent watering is very beneficial, noting that tomatoes do not like a soggy soil.
1. Select or prepare soil high in organic matter and sufficiently loose to allow for extensive vigorous root growth.
2. Apply needed fertilizers and mix into the soil prior to planting.
3. Obtain strong plants of recommended nematode and wilt resistant varieties. Set them into the garden as early as weather and recommended planting dates permit.
4. Water in newly set plants with a starter solution.
5. Provide protection from cutworms and other possible pests of the transplanting season.
6. Use mulching materials around plants within one month following planting.
7. Apply supplemental water as needed, drip irrigation being preferred.
8. Control insects and spider mites as well as leaf and fruit diseases if numbers are increasing week to week.
9. Windbreaks may be especially desirable as hot, dry weather develops.
10. Maintain the identity of different varieties to evaluate their qualities and thus determine the more appropriate kinds for future plantings. I like to plant my favorites, and I also try at least one new variety every year.
OSU Fact Sheets on Tomatoes include: HLA-6012, EPP-7625,7626 and 7627. I can almost taste the fresh salsa now. Happy Gardening!