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Tomato Gardening

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Today’s episode of Plain Gardening looks more like the tomato edition of “Hoarders”…Bill Finch of Mobile Botanical Gardens has 170 varieties of tomatoes!  He says that he’ll probably only raise three or four varieties and that should be enough for most gardens.

The most important thing is to GET THEM IN THE GROUND NOW!  Mid March is when you should plant tomatoes on the Gulf Coast…if you don’t Bill says you’ll miss the perfect tomato growing season.

When planting, don’t use the wire tomato cages you find at the store.  In our climate, tomatoes generally outgrow them even before the fruit arrives.  You can easily build your own—taller—structures; there are lots of ways.  Bill drove some old bamboo into the ground and tied them together with the vines that everyone around here hates.  If you wrap them while still green, the vines will dry in place.

If you’re worried about cold snaps, Bill recommends something called a wall of water…a water-filled plastic surround.  Or wrap a sheet around your cage.

If your tomatoes are lanky, just plant ‘em sideways!

Learn more at mobilebotanicalgardens.org

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