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Sanitary Tomato Planting

OK….you’re worried about soil borne nasties and other junk that may be looming out there in your garden. Perhaps you’ve used the same plot or place for your tomatoes year after year and that soil needs a rest. You planted there because it’s the perfect spot, well fear not, because we’re going to use that same “Sunny” spot without using that same sunny spot….confussed? Don’t be, we’re about to embark on a great experiment.

Y’know….Tomatoes are kinda like computers when you’re having problems with them, it’s hard to pin down the exact cause of a problem with just a few physical hints….like yellow leaves at the base of the plant. There’s a common malady that has about a dozen different potential causes. Could be Calcium deficiency…..root nodes……lack of potassium….too much phosphorus, OK you get the idea. You could get a nose bleed trying to figure all this stuff out. Maybe that spot out there in the garden needs a rest. So this year I’m doing some experiments to see if a few 5 Gallon containers and a Cubic Foot of “Scotts Special Garden Soil” per container. We’ll see if the plants we put in the containers do better than the last few years when we put them in the ground

Let’s make a list of what we need to do this.

1- 16″ planter (pretty close to a 5 gallon bucket”)

1- Bag of “Garden Soil” (1 Cu. Foot) of some type…Scott’s….Miracle Grow….or if you’re lucky enough, your own compost. Do NOT use moisture control soil…..it actually does too good of a job….we want the roots to be a little drier than moisture control allows.

Some stuff to put in the bottom of the planter to promote drainage…..I used plain ol’ straw….volcanic rock works real well, use your imagination.

A REAL sunny location with a minimum of 8 hours of sunlight (some varieties can get by with a little less…say 6-8 hours), in case you decide to use a spot you haven’t before.

Anyway, fill the container with your drainage material so that the container is 1/3 filled (a little more for stuff that will compress). Then we dump the soil in and we have the makings of a perfect “Sanitary” planting medium…isn’t this exciting? I know my pulse increased! Next comes the fun part….choosing the Tomato Plant to go into our “Lab”. You can chose any plant you like, we’ll be going into supporting the plants as we move through the growing season. Just as an aside, this whole creation we’ve made weighs about 45 lbs. So if you’d like to shift the planter after the initial placement you can….just be careful not to put your back out. So, voila as they say, were done for now and can take great pride in the experiment we’ve begun. I’ll be updating this on a pretty regular basis and we’ll see how we do….see you next Saturday.

Posted Saturday, June 4th, 2011 by by admin, under Planting Tomatoes, Tomato Care.

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