I shared our cor-ten steel beds last week and now here they are with our tomatoes. These were taken over a month ago, so they’ve grown like gang busters since then. We went much more simpler in our tomato plantings this year than previous years. Last year, we had 17 varieties and we went all our with fresh fish heads in the soil (read about it here), but this year we only did 10 varieties. We didn’t have the time to go the fish head route, so we pretty much just used E.B. Stone Organic Tomato and Vegetable Food, which we mixed into the soil per package directions.
The varieties we went with this year are Pork Chop, Dancing with Smurfs (this one is supposed to come out blue!), Brandywine, Green Tiger, Fireworks, PB Tie Dye, Cuostralee, Copia, Gold Keeper, and Wild Everglades.
Every year the Seems like every year we get attacked by spider mites. It actually wasn’t until the end of the previous years season when Ben learned what was obliterating the tomatoes prematurely. Last year we tried going with predatory mites, but it seems like we might’ve released them too late. The key is early detection. You can rid of them by spraying the leaves with water once you notice them. They like dry conditions and it gets pretty dry out here in the summer.
We created a trellis with our tomatoes and used 7 foot stakes and cattle fencing that we cut to fit, and just attached them using wire. Last year, we did the arched cattle fencing, but since we moved the vegetable garden to a new spot, it wouldn’t work here, so we just did it straight up. This way we just weave the tomato plants through.
The girls all get involved in planting them, in one way or another, and they each have their own tomato plant. I’m so excited for to see how our harvest turns out. They’re a lot taller and fuller now, so I’m hoping that in a few weeks we will get to enjoy some fresh home-grown tomatoes.