Wednesday, June 12, 2013

They're Alive! (Or, One of My Favorite Things)

The tomatoes are finally planted, not a moment too soon--they were about to give up the ghost and turn themselves to compost, what with too much wet and not enough soil to sustain their little roots in the peat pot starters they were trapped in while hardening off.  This has been the slowest warm-up to summer that I have experienced since moving to the Farmlette seven years ago, and it is seriously throwing off my gardening mojo.

Anyway, they are in the ground now:  Orange Jubilee, Stupice, Hilly Billy, Silvery Fir, and San Marzano No.2, all happily ensconced in the dark rich soil of the back garden.  While I trust in the power of rabbit poo compost to grow everything and anything, for my tomatoes I add a little something extra:  Tomatoes Alive! Plus fertilizer. Now, don't hate me for sounding a little like a commercial, but really, this is amazing stuff! It's a wonderful mix of all sorts of good things, like ground oyster shells, bone meal, blood meal, kelp.  I put a small handful in the bottom of the hole before planting my tomato plant, and the newly planted vine takes off like a rocket.  When flowers start appearing, I scratch another handful into the soil around the roots--it helps ward off blight and blossom end rot beautifully.  As both of these tomato diseases are very common here, particularly in wet, cool summers, it's handy to have a little trick up my sleeve to perhaps get a head start at warding them off.

We all love a fresh, homegrown tomato--but they can be surprisingly challenging to grow.  I swear by this stuff, as in the four years I've been using it, I've had good luck with tomatoes which never succumb to blight, ever.  (Aside from last year, when I picked the wrong ones to grow in a very humid and hot hoophouse, and wound up with a jungle of vines and no fruit--silly me.)  If you've been struggling, consider giving Tomatoes Alive! Plus a try--it's not too expensive, and there always seems to be a coupon available to take a bit of the edge off of shipping, at least. 

Check out the all natural products available at Gardens Alive.    Right now, there's a coupon for $25 off!

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