Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Growing Tomatoes

One of my favorite garden items are tomatoes. Nothing is tastier than a fresh, red (or pink or yellow), ripe tomato. This year since I live in New Jersey I decided to have a Jersey theme. We are known for our summer produce, and tomatoes tops that list. I am growing Rutgers tomatoes, my first time growing them. Rutgers also happens to be my alma mater.
I also tried the Heirloom tomato I got from the Baker's Creek catalog. Its a Jersey Devil tomato, great for sauce since it has few seeds.
dexsc I'm also growing an old stand by, Brandywine. Last summer also everyday I ate a brandywine tomato sandwich.
Growing is off to a slow start this year, it's my first year growing from seeds. Just as I did last year, marigolds surround my tomato plants. Marigolds attract all sorts of good insects to your garden, good ones that eat the bad ones. Last year a few times I notice a tomato hornworm. They are so gross looking. Their ugly horns may be harmless, but they sure aren't. They are voracious eaters and can easily eat away at your whole plant. The marigolds attracted braconid wasps that lay their eggs on tomato hornworms. I was lucky,every time I saw a tomato hornworm it was covered with their eggs and within days he was shriveled up and dead. I hope my marigolds and the companion planting helps keep my garden organic this year.
I still don't even have flowers on my tomatoes, I'm hoping this week's warm weather and rain brings some by this weekend. I'm counting down the days til I can enjoy more of our garden. Right now we are just enjoying lettuce and spinach. Its better than nothing right?

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