More Better Tomatoes

tomatoes-greenhouse-2008sept08-lah-296Summer is just around the corner and the weather is (hopefully) settled. You’ve finally planted your tomato seedlings and you’re dreaming of luscious, red, ripe tomatoes—the sooner the better.

However, this is Colorado, and there’s no guarantee when it comes to growing tomatoes. Now that your plants are in the ground, what’s the best way to care for them to ensure the biggest, fastest harvest?

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My Favorite Seed Catalogs – Part 2

More of my favorite seed catalogs. Don’t miss Part 1!

Johnny’s Selected Seeds
Another Maine company, Johnny’s is responsible for the development of over a dozen familiar varieties such as Diva cucumbers (I love these), Lipstick and Carmen peppers, and AAS winter Bright Lights chard. Maybe it’s due to their breeding program, but somehow their catalog seems more scientific than those from other companies. I like to keep it on hand just as a reference, although I’ve purchased seeds from them as well. They include a germination chart for each crop, showing the optimal soil temperatures for sowing. Since I time my spring planting by a combination of calendar and soil thermometer, this is very useful information. They also carry a big selection of organic seeds.

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Upside-Down Tomatoes?

tomatoes-greenhouse-2008sept08-lah-296We’ve probably all seen the ads for growing upside-down tomatoes, with the plants protruding from the bottom of a hanging plastic bag full of potting mix. They’re the Big New Idea in gardening. The question everyone’s asking is, does this work here in Colorado? After all, this isn’t exactly prime tomato-growing country.

Carol O’Meara is the horticultural extension agent for Boulder county. She has decided to find out for herself if growing tomatoes upside-down works in our climate, and is sharing the ongoing results of her experiment on her blog, Gardening After Five. Carol brings up a number of important issues; if you want to try this too, reading her article is a good place to start.

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