Water Those ‘Maters!

You’ve planted your tomatoes and are eagerly waiting to see them grow so you can add them to salads, burgers, and other tasty dishes. To ensure you get the best fruit, follow these tomato watering tips.

In the Garden
Early in the growing season, you’ll want to water your tomato plants early in the morning. As the summer temperatures increase, you may want to water your plants twice a day. Tomatoes planted in the garden generally need 1 – 2 inches of water a week.

In Containers
Tomatoes that are planted in containers need more than those planted in the garden. Water evaporates a lot faster in containers as the soil heats up. A good rule of thumb for container tomatoes is to water them until water comes out of the bottom of the pot. As with garden tomatoes, it’s better to water the plants early in the morning. If the soil feels dry about an inch below the surface, water that bad boy again.

Mulch It Up
Adding a layer of organic mulch can also help reduce evaporation. This will keep the water where it’s needed which is keeping your maters nice and hydrated.

Visit our blog for some more plant tips and tricks!


Tip Top Tomatoes

Tomatoes are a vegetable garden staple. Grow gloriously red and ripe tomatoes this summer by following these tips!

Loads of Sun
Plant your maters in the sunniest spot in your garden. Tomatoes soak up loads up sunshine and need about seven hours of the stuff each day. When planting multiple plants, space the plants about 48 inches apart to allow light to reach the lower part of your plants. This will also improve air flow.

Rich Soil
Tomatoes dig rich, well-draining soil that is slightly acidic. Aim for a pH of 6.5 to 6.8. You can either use a soil tester at home or bring in a sample to your local garden center for a test. If you’ve got too much acidity, you can add dolomite lime. If the test results show that you have too much alkaline, you can add a little organic compost to your soil.

Bug Off Buddies
Placing companion plants like basil, onions, and garlic with your tomatoes can help ward off crop-damaging pets like nematodes. Moles also hate the pungent plant so…win-win.

Water and Mulch
Tomatoes need about an inch of water a week. To help keep the moisture from evaporating in the summer heat, spread a layer of mulch (shredded bark, grass clippings, etc.) on top of your soil.

So Long Suckers!
To keep your tomato plant’s energy focused on growing fruit, you’ll need to prune off the suckers. Suckers are the little leaves that shoot out from the main stem. This will help promote air circulation and reduce the chance of diseases.

We’ve got loads of lovely tomato plants at the Greenhouse. Stop on by and pick up a few!

Fresh Pasta Sauce

Have you ever made spaghetti sauce from fresh tomatoes? The delicious aroma of tomatoes, garlic, and fresh herbs fills up the house, making everyone antsy for suppertime. Try this amazing recipe out!

You’ll need:

  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 12 Roma tomatoes
  • ½ cup of fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh oregano, chopped
  • 1 tbsp of sugar (adjust to taste)
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 1 8 oz can of tomato sauce
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

To make:

Boil a pot of water and all Roma tomatoes, cooking for 3-4 minutes until the skins start to break open. Remove the tomatoes and put them in a bowl of ice water. Once cool, remove the tomato skins. Chop the stem area off of the tomatoes and toss.

Heat oil in a large pot. Add garlic and onion; saute for about 3 minutes until translucent. Add the tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes, stirring often. Cook another 10 minutes, using a masher to smoosh the tomatoes.

Once the tomatoes are broken down, add your tomato sauce, herbs, sugar, salt and pepper. Mash them for another 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium low; add butter. Stir until well blended.

Serve with pasta of your choice and top with some freshly grated Parmesan. Yum!

Have you started your tomatoes yet? If not, stop by the Greenhouse and pick up a few varieties.

Death By Tomatoes

From salads to pizza, tomatoes are a popular ingredient in most cuisines. Native to the Americas, the tomato originated back to the early Aztecs around 700 A.D. It didn’t make its way to Europe until around the 16th century where it quickly became popular with the Southern Europeans. The British, on the other hand, believed the tomato was poisonous.

Tomatoes? Poisonous? Back in the 1500’s, dinnerware was make of pewter which contained a ton of lead. Foods that had a high acid content (i.e. tomatoes) caused the lead to leach out into the food which resulted in lead poisoning and, more often than not, death. Pretty interesting, no? The poor didn’t have any fancy plates and therefore had no issues whatsoever munching on tomatoes.

Thankfully, the tomato continued to grow in popularity and we now have oodles of varieties from heirloom to big ol’ beefsteak tomatoes. Stop on by the Greenhouse and pick up a few for your garden!