This year I was able to transplant my Cherokee Purple tomatoes about 3 weeks earlier than usual because of the mild temperatures in March. Seeing little tomatoes this early is strange, for me at least. It’s recommended that tomato plants be side dressed with fertilizer at first fruit set and approx. once a month after that throughout the season. Since my soil test last fall indicated a high level of Phosphorus I’m going to try and avoid adding anymore. Water soluble Calcium Nitrate 15-0-0 will be used in place of my usual 20-20-20 balanced fertilizer.
In my video side dressing tomatoes you can see just how easy it’s done. Applying fertilizer approx. 4 square feet around the plants I determined that each plant needed 0.33 oz. Using a 2 gallon water can I mixed 0.66 oz. and gave each plant 1 gallon of the mix. The Calcium Nitrate, being water soluble, will go to work right away. This will be done about once a month throughout the season.
To determine the amount of fertilizer needed in the garden. Note: Best to apply a little less than to put too much
Update: A combination of early planting, cooler weather and side dressing is allowing the plant to really put on a good crop of tomatoes as you can see in the picture. They’ll get another round of side dressing the first week of June.
Picked the first two of the season just the other day and letting them fully ripen on the cabinet. Cut up with cucumbers they'll make a good salad.
Over the years I've come to favor certain varieties that I'd like to share with you. Flavor most often determines my choices but in some cases production is also a factor.
Beans, Snap, Bush … Contender (production) Blue Lake (flavor)
Beans, Snap, Pole … Blue Lake (flavor)
Beets … Detroit Dark Red and Bull’s Blood (flavor)
Broccoli … Packman (flavor and production)
Cabbage … Copenhagen Market (flavor and holds well)
Cantaloupe … Hales Best Jumbo (flavor and production)
Carrots … Danvers 126 (production)
Cauliflower … Amazing and Snowball self-blanching (flavor)
Corn, Sweet … Incredible (flavor and production)
Cucumber … Just about any Burpless (flavor)
Eggplant …. Black Beauty (flavor and production)
Lettuce … ButterCrunch (flavor and production)
Mustard Green … Southern Giant Curled and Tendergreen (flavor and production)
Okra … Cowhorn (flavor and production)
Onions, Bulb … Candy (flavor, production and they're huge)
Onions, Tops … Evergreen White Bunching (production)
Peas … “Top Pick” pink eye purple hull and Zipper Cream (flavor and production)
Peppers, Hot … Hungarian Hot Wax (mild flavor and production)
Peppers, Sweet … Bull Nose (flavor and production)
Potatoes, Irish … Red Lasorda (only kind we can get locally)
Spinach … Bloomsdale (flavor)
Squash, Summer … Early Straight Neck and the Crookneck (flavor and production)
Squash, Winter … Butter Cup (flavor and production)
Tomatoes … Cherokee Purple and Black Krim (flavor)
Zipper Cream Peas
Incredible Sweet Corn
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