I am wife to a magnificent man and mother to five wonderful children. Three of my children were born in the Northwest and two were born thousands of miles away in Liberia, West Africa. Birthplace is no matter, all of my children were born in my heart. This is our journey.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Tomatoes oh sweet tomatoes...

I love tomatoes. I really do. Better than icecream. There is nothing like a warm fresh off the vine tomato on a cool summer evening. We live in the Northwest and this time of year it is still a bit chilly at night for warm weather loving tomatoes. We got this idea from my sister-in-law last year and it works so well. We first lay down black plastic. Then we place the tomatoes where we want them to be planted. Don't pay any attention to that one laying on the ground on the left. It was so excited today was planting day that it was practically throwing itself in the hole (ok really we were gone for a few days and it needed water).

We plant several varieties including Romas and Beef Steaks as well as some other unique ones for interest. Also all sizes as you can see.

Then my talented hubby uses a knife to cut X's in the plastic for each plant. This may seem like a lot of work but before we started doing this our tomatoes would just sit and not do much for the first month due to the temperature. The black plastic keeps the soil warmer and helps with weed control.

The next step is caging and laying the soaker hose. Tomatoes don't like their leaves to get wet. In our climate especially the days are not sunny long enough to completely dry the plant before dark. Using a soaker hose prevents blossom end rot and a host of other problems not to mention how easy watering will be.

The last step is adding the clear (or sort of clear) plastic on top of the caged plants. This creates a greenhouse effect and gives those valuable plants a headstart on their growth. We will remove the top plastic in about 4 weeks. I cannot wait for the fruits of our labor. Stay tuned...

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