Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Using the trench method to plant tomatoes


Now that the Mother’s Day storm is over it’s time to plant your tomatoes. The first step is to get your plants used to being outside. Begin with a day in the shade and back inside for the night. Increase the time spent outside over the next 5 or 6 days, including exposure to direct sun. Finally, start leaving your plants out overnight. Once they’ve spent a night or two outside, they are ready to plant.
One trick is to lay your plants on their sides, while they’re adjusting to the outside. This will encourage the top to curl up, making planting easier.
The day you’re ready to plant, slip your start out of its container and remove any blossoms that may have started.
Next take off the lower leaves, up to about the top 1/3rd. Select the sunniest site in your garden to plant your tomatoes. Work in some compost or peat moss.
Dig a 4" to 6" deep trench that’s long enough to accommodate the length of your plant.
Add some fertilizer, such as Happy Frog 5-5-5 or Espoma 4-3-3 organic starter.
Cover the fertilizer slightly and lay your tomato plant horizontally in the trench.
Add enough dirt to completely cover the plant while keeping the top of the tomato upright.
Place your plant tag nearby so you’ll remember what you planted.
Water thoroughly and add a tomato cage.
Keep your Wall-O-Water handy in case of some chilly May nights. A Wall-O-Water can slip on and off easily to protect your plant.  Planting in a trench instead of straight down in a hole keeps more of the root system warmer, improves water and nutrient take up and gives your tomato the best foundation possible for a productive season.

No comments:

Post a Comment