• The Vegetarian Homestead

Planting tomatoes and peppers

I can grow peppers. They do great and I always harvest more than we can eat.

Tomatoes on the other hand have been a challenge. Last year they were a big flop and I only harvested maybe a basket full of tomatoes. It was very disappointing but we didn't give up. We took several steps to increase our tomato growing success this year.

This year before we planted anything in the garden we got a soil test done. It was a shock to find our PH was 5.1! That is very acidic and most vegetables like PH to be around 6. Could that have caused the tomatoes crop failure? I think it was part of it.

To correct the low Ph we added the recommended amount of lime. Lime also adds calcium to the soil which will help prevent blossom end rot. Higher Ph also makes nutrients more available for the plant.

We also bought all new tomato seeds. We had the impression that the varieties we were growing were more disease prone.

We planted our tomatoes deep. Our tomato seedlings were between 1-2 feet tall. We clipped off all the lower leaves The hole was 1.5 feet deep. We added a tablespoon of vegetable fertilizer mixed with lime and azomite and filled the hole with water before the plant was set in it. We back filled the hole until only 4 inches or so of the tomato plant was sticking out. We will go back and mulch the area this week. The tomatoes were spaced 3 feet apart so they will have plenty of air flow and space to spread out!

The peppers were planted the same way except they were spaced out 2 feet apart.

I apologize for the lack of pictures in this post but it was a long day and I forgot to take pictures! I am hoping and praying that all these steps we have taken will give us a great tomato harvest!

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