Growing Tomatoes Requires Water!!

No, No, No…..Not the way you think! I mean we don’t need water for growth reasons, we need water for “Protection” reasons!! Have you ever gone out to the Garden and seen a Tomato with an open wound….to high off the ground to be a ground critter, but opened up just the same?!

fire_hydrant_800_clr_8582OK! Here’s the answer to the mystery and perhaps the answer to a whole lot more than just a mystery! I discovered this more by accident than use of my intellect….and anyone that knows me would have already figured this out! ☺
You know who cause that gaping wound? A Bird! Yes a bird, and do you know why that bird would mess with your pearls of the garden? Simple, it was thirsty! Yes my friends birds get thirsty too! So they open up a Tomato to have a little sip of moisture.
So what impact does this little revelation have on your gardening efforts? Plenty, if your paying attention. Aside from helping out the birds with their thirst there are TONS of reasons why we would want to provide a nice water source to attract birds to our plot of Tomatoes. Want to make sure your Tomato plants don’t have the dreaded “Tomato Horned Worm”? Want to make sure aphids and thrips don’t flourish? Care to have a generally healthy garden, all Tomatoes aside? Well then, you want a flourishing population of birds! Birds LOVE caterpillars, they love most of those pesky little nuisances that populate the underside of leaves, and they look for ground insects that generally don’t add to the growth of our beloved Tomatoes, as well as other vegetables in the garden! So let’s put a bird bath or some other source of water containment in the garden and attract as many birds as we can! The dividends paid are huge and actually we’re providing a much needed service to our feathered friends. So get out there and invite the birds into the garden. You’ll see less nuisances and more healthy Tomatoes for your efforts!

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What To Do With Extra Tomatoes!

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Have you ever had a Tomato fall off of a vine?…or how about finding a gnawed Tomato near the ground!
You may not want to throw them away….Watch this video

So now you know….You can extend your season from a broken Tomato!

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Tomatoes Are Playing A Role In Tomorrow

tomato 4.26.16The University of California has a machine it calls the Robovator! This device on the back of the tractor is being used in the West side of the San Joaquin Valley in a Tomato Farm. I know…..I can hear it now…..Jack’s done it again, another piece of useless trivia! Well, not so fast my garden buddies! Let me give you the facts behind the “Robovator”. Traditionally, these big farms go out and hire a ton of laborers to “Cultivate” the rows of Tomatoes and get rid of any weeds or other unwelcome visitors. Now, take another look at the picture. Do you see how far the fields run? How long do you think it would take to walk a row and cultivate and fertilize it? Well here’s the good news. That tractor is cultivating at 5 MPH and laying down precise amounts of fertilizer simultaneously with ZERO harm to the Tomato Plants. If we compare this method to manual labor we can see a massive difference in the two. The benefits going down the road are huge. Not only that, but this is just being tested on Tomatoes. How about String beans, cabbage, broccoli, and an entire host of other vegetables and flowers. On a political note, imagine the impact this will have on the border. A large number of illegals are not going to be coming into America if there’s no work for them! All in all, I see a bright future going forward.

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10 Great Reasons To Eat Tomatoes!!

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1. Keeps skin healthy
Tomatoes are high in lycopene. The lycopene and antioxidants helps protect the skin from UV light damage while keeping signs of aging at bay.

2. Builds strong bones
Tomatoes have high levels of calcium and vitamin K which are both good for repairing and strengthening bones. Lycopene has been shown to improve bone mass which makes it a good food for fighting osteoporosis.

3. Prevents cancer
A number of studies have been done now finding that tomatoes with their high levels of lycopene reduces the chances of getting different cancers such as breast cancer, lung cancer, prostate and stomach cancers. Lycopene is a natural antioxidant that works to slow the rate of growth of cancerous cells. Cancer occurs when there is oxidative stress and inflammation. Tomatoes proved the body with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory support.

4. Promotes Sleep
Adding tomatoes to your diet should not only help you sleep better, Getting better sleep will also improve all areas of your life.

5. Improves vision
Tomatoes are high in vitamin A which is also important for good vision.

6. Weight loss
They are low in calories, dense with nutrients and high in energy. They are high in water content so they help curb your appetite. Tomatoes also helps with constipation with their high fiber and water content.

7. Prostate protector
Studies have shown that prostate tumors grew much more slowly in rats that were fed tomatoes.

8. Lowers blood sugar levels
Tomatoes are good for hearth health. They are effective and reducing cholesterol levels and lower blood pressure with their high levels of vitamin B, folate, niacin and potassium. Including tomatoes in the diet lowers the risk of heart attacks and other heart problems.

9. Reduces damage from smoking
Tomatoes can reduce the damage caused by smoking. Tomatoes contain coumaric acid and chlorogenic acid that work to protect the body from carcinogens that are produced from cigarette smoke.

10. Keeps immune system strong
Tomatoes are an excellent source of vitamin C which helps to boost the immune system.

So there you have it…..the top 10 reasons to keep growing and enjoying Tomatoes. There is one more important reason to grow Tomatoes. It gets you outdoors and into nature! There’s a lot of healthy benefits to being outdoors just with regards to your mental state of being……so get out there and cultivate some health! ☺

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Tomatoes Never Lose Their Popularity!!

As a result I think from here going forward we’re going to take a new direction with the Tomato 411 Blog. Rather than continuing with our efforts to give the why’s and wherefor’s of planting Tomatoes we’re going to become more informational with current happenings in the world of Tomatoes. As you look around the site you’ll find a wealth of the basics for planting, supporting, fertilizing, preventing disease, and harvesting and storing Tomatoes. You’ll find information on Tomato Varieties, Seed Merchants, and Diseases and problems concerning Tomatoes. If you use the search function on the site you’ll be able to get to any of the information you need quickly by just typing in a few keywords. Now don’t get nervous, I’m not going to abandon the original purpose of this site, I’m just going to emphasize current Tomato events versus the how’s and why’s of Tomato planting to a greater degree. Naturally I’ll keep all the information here up to date so you’ll never have to worry about stale information.

All of that being said we’ll begin with our journey through the world of Tomatoes and their current impact on our world and palettes ☺

Below you can see a chart revealing the vitamin, mineral, and elemental content of a cup of Tomatoes. I’m always amazed at the amount of content in the ever popular Tomato!
Recently I wrote a Blog entry on the genes found in a Tomato…..damn near rivaling the genes in a human numerically. That, coupled with the nutritional value of a Tomato, makes on helluva healthy fruit/vegetable!!

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So you folks can look forward to more and more informational content with an emphasis towards up to date and current content. We’ll vary the topics vastly so as to keep your attention and interest going forward. We’ll throw in some of the modern goods that are out there that make your gardening life more efficient and or easier.

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Heirloom and Heirlooms, Classic Toamtoes

Does anyone out there know what we call this Tomato? Yeah, me neitherChocolate_Stripe. Just Kidding, actually it’s an Heirloom Tomato….a Chocolate Stripes heirloom! We’ll be picking seeds and types of tomatoes for our gardens this year and I wanted to remind you folks about the “Heirloom” Tomato. Heirlooms are a little less tolerant of certain diseases and some of the criters out there but on the whole they are not as bad as some folks say. I’ve grown Heirlooms for years and they do just fine for me. So, without further ado, I’ll give you a list of Heirlooms you might want to look into.

Black Cherry (purple/black)
Brandywine, Sudduth Strain (pink beefsteak)
Chocolate Stripes (red/green striped) (Pictured at left)
Blondkopfchen (yellow cherry)
Black Krim (purple/black beefsteak)
Brandywine, OTV (red beefsteak)….My Favorite!
Amana Orange (orange beefsteak)
Azoychka (yellow/orange beefsteak)
Delicious (red beefsteak)
Dixie Golden Giant (yellow /orange beefsteak)

So now you have some Tomatoes to look at if you’ve ever thought of try your hand at some Heirlooms…..Good Luck!
 

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Hey! Happy New Years and Happy Tomatoes

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!year_crush_year_400_wht_17759

Well here we are….the days are getting longer day by day…..all the Holidays are out of the way and a little R&R is in order! So give yourself a break and relax for a little….and while you’re sitting back you might want to let your mind wander to those great yields of Tomatoes you’ll be enjoying just a few months down the road. One of the best ways to get a great yield and really enjoy your Tomato harvest is to do a bit of planning. I like to use plain old graph paper and let the divisions represent square feet. If you allow a three foot circle to represent your Tomato plants you’ll be off to a good start. You might want to get adventurous and think about using large flower pots as home for some plants…..Cherry Tomatoes do great in planters and they are always handy because of their ease of placement. Determinate (Grow only to a certain size)  Tomatoes do well in containers as well. After you’ve done a little planning you can then move on to what varieties of Tomatoes you want to grow.
Burpee’s new Seed Catalog features a new Tomato Hybrid from France…The Madame Marmande see the picture…
MadameMarmande
They sure look good ☺
I mention this because there are over a 100 new varieties of Tomatoes coming out this year. So if you haven’t ordered any any Tomato Catalogs now would be an excellent time to do so!
The Madame Marmande is actually an European Heirloom Tomato that has had some cross breeding done to yield the Hybrid Tomato of the picture.
Yes Tomato devotees, the year 2016 is shaping up to be  great year for growing our Tomatoes!

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Hey Christmas Is On The Way…How About Tomato 411?

411_bookcoverYes fans this is an unabashed commercial this month promoting the 100 plus pages packed with useful information for the novice Tomato grower! I do this not to promote the book so much as to give you folks the opportunity to cross someone off your Christmas gift list with a gift that will be giving long after the Christmas Season is over!
Chapter 1…….A Little Background
A bit of history on America’s favorite vegetable
Chapter 2……Varieties: Which One’s Are For You
A look at the various varieties of tomatoes
Chapter 3……Growing Healthy Tomatoes
From seed to harvest and everything in between
Chapter 4……Fertilizing And Maintenance
Side dressing to Sun scald and Cracking it’s all in this chapter
Chapter 5…….Harvesting Your Crop
ABC’s of getting the most out of your harvest and even Green Tomatoes
Chapter 6…….Diseases and Pests
The Title says it all!
Chapter 7…….Growing Organically
Once again the title tells the story!

The book along with this website will give you all the insight you need to make a great Tomato Farmer in your neck of the woods. I might add there are NO pictures in the book to inflate the size of the contents. I originally conceived the idea of the book along with a companion website as the best way to deliver content and I think it was a good choice…..and all of you have proven me right I believe. Have a Very Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays, your choice. See You in the New Year upcoming ☺

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Let’s Get Out The Tomato Minion…

character_with_magnify_glass_17698Alrighty then….here we are at the bitter end of the Tomato Season and a fair season it was. Not the best ever in Michigan but pretty good!
So what do we need to do now? Let’s take a quick look at what we can do to help out for next season.
First and foremost is to clean out all the old plants and rough up the soil a tad. Use a 3 or 4 prong garden cultivator to just give the soil a quick turn and roughing. The reason you want to do that is Tomato Worms. They burrow into the soil to reappear next season. There are those they claim that the winter cold kills the cocoon….that my friends is total Bull S**t!! So rough up that soil, the tomato or tobacco worms don’t burrow very deep….maybe an inch and a half, so if you expose them or kill them BEFORE they can become a moth in the Spring you’re WAY ahead of the game.
Obviously part of the clean up is putting away any cages or frames or post you used to support the Tomato plants. One of the key things you can do on a continuing basis is to feed the soil.
What should you use to “Feed” the soil? Egg shells are excellent, Coffee grounds are excellent to condition the soil and make it better for earthworms…..speaking of earthworms, if you have access to any place them in your garden beds, they do miraculous work if you let them. DO NOT place anything in the beds that would be considered food for any criters in the area unless were talking microscopic critters.
Another thing you may want to do is decide what Seed Catalogs you’d like to receive next year if you’d like to take a shot at growing your own plants from scratch. There are articles here at the top under “Tomato Seed Vendors” or you can Google “Tomato Seeds” and you’ll have all the support you ever wanted.
That wasn’t too painful was it? Next month brings us towards the Christmas season…we’ll see if we can’t get some thought flowing for Christmas gifts for gardeners…see you then ☺

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Tomatoes And Pet Peeves…

SupermarketTomatoOK…what do we have here? I’ll help you out….This is a Vegetable Display Stand in a local Supermarket….It could be a display anywhere in the country at any Supermarket out there. I want you folks to take a close look at this display. What’s missing?…..Go ahead take a few minutes and use all your perceptive powers………OK times up…..What’s missing? Give up? Well, I’ll tell you!
REFRIGERATION!!!!…..THAT’S what’s missing…..and do you know why there’s no refrigeration? because Tomatoes DON’T need refrigeration…..Catsup or Ketchup, if you prefer, DON’T need refrigeration! As a matter of fact, refrigeration actually “Hurts” the flavor of Tomatoes because the cold causes the Tomato to release an enzyme that degrades the flavor of the fruit. Let me ask you a quick question. If the marketing experts in every Supermarket in the country know NOT to cool or refrigerate the Tomato, why in God’s Green Creation would any mere Tomato devotee think their wisdom is superior when placing Tomatoes in the refrigerator? I personally don’t get it….same with Tomato Ketchup….it’s a processed food, a highly acidic processed food. Bacteria doesn’t like acidic conditions. I’ve had my ketchup on the kitchen counter for as long as my memory allows me to recall and NO ONE has ever gotten sick. Can you imagine a plate of great scrambled eggs and you put ice cold ketchup on them? What a travesty….of course a lot of folks think it’s a travesty to put ketchup on them in the first place, but that’s their problem.
Alrighty, I’m all done whining….just remember to do what the Big Guys do….or DON’T do what the the Big Guys Don’t do……DON’T Refrigerate our buddy the Tomato!!
Till next month………

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