Page 99 - 2017-greengate-Gardensense-magazine
P. 99

Tomatoes require consistent, deep watering to thrive. Soil should be checked for moisture every day in hot weather. Water well, do not sprinkle - the whole root ball needs moisture. Be sure that containers have good drainage. Mulching around the base of tomato plants will help them to retain water and discourage weed growth. Drought causes black patches on the bottom of the fruit (blossom end rot), which are unsightly and make the fruit inedible.
After watering, feeding and supporting the plants care should be taken to keep plants as trim and compact as possible. Pinching off suckers that form at leaf stems will help to direct the water and nutrients to the main, established, limbs. While leaving some suckers on a pant may increase yields, too many can sap the plants energy and will eventually decrease the yield and quality of the fruit.
Tomatoes can be picked once they ripen, or when frost is imminent. Unripe tomatoes will ripen given time, or can be used in green tomato recipes. It is now time to enjoy!
Simple Tomato Sauce
3-4 medium tomatoes
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion chopped 1 clove garlic crushed
1 tablespoon tomato paste salt and pepper to taste
Sauté onion and garlic in a large frying pan over medium heat until onion is translucent. Add chopped tomatoes and stir until tomatoes break down and sauce starts to thicken. Reduce heat, stir in tomato paste, and then salt and pepper to taste. Simmer until desired thickness is achieved.
Planting
Plant tomatoes in a warm, sunny place with good drainage. They also do well in large containers on a deck or patio and thrive with reflected sun behind them as well as direct sun.
NOTE: Tomato seedlings should be planted deeper than most other seedlings, up to their first set of leaves. Larger plants should be planted several inches deeper than they are in the container.
Bush tomatoes
Bush tomatoes are determinate, that is, they grow to a specific size, produce fruit and then die. With their shrub-like growth habit they do not usually need staking. Some bush tomatoes are also known as early tomatoes. Along with a relatively short time to maturation, these tomatoes will blossom and fruit with low nighttime temperatures, a fixture at the tail end of most Calgary summers.
Maintenance
Tomatoes require consistent, deep watering to thrive. Soil should be checked for moisture every day in hot weather. Water well, do not sprinkle - the whole root ball needs moisture. Be sure that containers have good drainage. Mulching around the base of tomato plants will help them to retain water and discourage weed growth. Drought causes black patches on the bottom of the fruit (blossom end rot), which are unsightly and make the fruit inedible. Also, using a tomato fertilizer with added calcium will help combat this problem.
NOTE: The more direct sun for tomatoes the more flavour.
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