Tomato Success with Craig LeHoullier-A Way to Garden With Margaret Roach May 18 2020
Well you can't go wrong with working organic matter into your into your planting hole for your tomato plants so we have the baby in the ground and do stake cage Trellis or living. What are you know again? Maybe give us a guidelines for be there in big gainers or in the in the ground not for the Straw Bale so much because that has its own architecture so the plant in the ground You need to water it in. Because often you've got a plant that it may not have been hard enough as well particularly if you get it from someone that you haven't grown it yourself and you don't know the hardening process water it in. I don't feed my plans for a couple of weeks. So they they have everything they need just through their own photosynthesis in the sun in in the water that you give it. And what's in the ground so I don't feed right away? I actually had the strategy of what I used to support. My plant definitely depends on the type of plant. It is meaning three general types of tomatoes. Indeterminate so the ones the unruly stepchildren. They grow out they sucker. They drive people crazy. They're also ninety five percent of the tomatoes we know of and they also are the Cherokee purple sun goals and the brandy wines and the ones that. Make your drew when you think about them so you. There is a strategy for indeterminate. Varieties The dwarfs indeterminate and And when you think determined Roma something that grows about three or four feet tall it's tomato factory for about two weeks and then you can say goodbye to it Drops behave like in determines. Only they grow half half the rate so if you're going to need for Cherokee for Cherokee purple thing to your your dwarf will be a nice tidy. Four feet determinants endorsed should not be pruned and they actually are perfect candidates for what? I like to call the useless tomato cage. The metal cones that you know people who are just starting off what by them. Put them over there tomato. It's an indeterminate tomato over two weeks. It's still June and they wonder what's going to happen for the rest of the year is the tomato. It was just pouring out the top of this thing. determining some dorsal stay right in there. I I am a sticker The reason is down south. We have so many diseases in critters down. Low that if I were to allow plants to sprawl Hungry Curtis would come take bites floods. We get to them. Diseases would hit that foliage. You can let plants sprawl if you put a nice thick layer of some sort of a like a straw down. And if you've got the room to let them do it cause an indeterminate will take up. What five square feet or more? I mean it just it will be massive for like the other thing that you and I don't do as Trela sing and I'm GONNA refer people over from the transcript and they can see the trial seeing from this story that I did with Tom. Stearns at High Moen but the staking do you then Prune because I want to get onto some of the Next Steps Joel. We you tie it up every foot. Or what's the so? I'll use the eight foot metal core stakes that you could buy at the big box. Stores hammered near the base of the plant and then So the difference in putting strategy is that there is an ideal. I would like to think that I'm really disciplined. It pruning and topping and the reality which is gardeners have a tough time removing living tissue. It's growing willing looking happy. So let's do ideal Craig would probably Let two or three suckers develop so let's say by two or three feet off the ground you're tomato plant has four main stems and then you're suckering all four of those stems as they grow up with and then I tie that make a topiary out of it. I used Cecil Twain and I make a tie about every splitter so and so the plant will be about maybe a foot and a half wide. This allows you to plant your indeterminate. Maybe within two feet apart and for me is a real variety nerd. I want to grow as many different things each year. So I I tend to plant plant a little closer than his than is recommended but what I use is lease removal foliage removal pruning trying to keep the plants a little bit separate from each other as they grow up And it's hard to do that. And then if they get once they get to the top of the eight foot steak ideal Craig would say this is enough if I let these grow further. They're going to get too heavy the fruit. That's GonNa Forum on that extra. Hangover may not right than any way. So I'm just going to remove it and I usually don't do it because I hate to remove living tissue at the end of the year so I'm GonNa be better. My my New Year's resolution is a gardener is going to be. I'm going to my plants when they get to the top of my steak so so that we don't run out of time after I left. I wanted just sort of race ahead to the so. So we're tying this up when you say. Take you out the suckers between a main stem and the side branches. Sometimes there's in the crotch there. There's a third little piece that happens. And that's a sucker right. Yep you've got up and down and then you've got roughly ninety degrees. The lead comes forty. Five degrees outcomes the sucker in every joint between the leaves in the mainstream. So you really need to be on top of it okay and so then you said earlier so here. We have the plant in the ground. Were supporting along way. We planted a deep. You said earlier real quick about the you. Don't feed right away. You do some point down the road or what about head about two weeks in our start using a fertilizer of choice and this is where what people use to feed their plants with. They'll need to let that fit into their own personal gardening. Philosophy in in the two major categories being conventional inorganic so Yeah so I am not yet strictly organic. I'm kind of slowly moving in that direction but I will use An all purpose ten ten ten granular and sprinkle that around the base of the plant Maybe about six inches from the stem in a ring and work that in. And they'll do that every two or three weeks if I'm in a container Sometimes I'll just use one of the water soluble all-purpose mix it up a tablespoon gallon and I'll give each of my plants a cup and a half or so each week now. The rationale between frequent feeding and watering and a container is the root of the container are limited in what they can get to the nutrients in the water or within the bounds of that container unlike garden growing plants that they can reach down in deep and get nutrients and water so daily. I do daily watering containers. And don't forget we're we're pretty hot down here and But I let the plants tell me You Blossom Enron the entry the entry level method into blossom end. Rot is withholding water from tomato plants in stressing them out in the heat of the summer to the point where they start visibly wilting in the middle of the afternoon when they're developing little. Small fruits of the plant is doing so much work. It wants food. It wants water you were you take a few days and go a trip your forget to tell your neighbors to water. The plant will at doesn't die but that stress induces a calcium transport issue and that will lead to the beginnings of blossom. Indra you come home your water the plant the plant recovers. You're like good. I've saved the plant. A my tomatoes have lots of men right so duration regular watering and making obsessing of walking through the garden. My plants happy. It's never really wilting. You will not ever see an incidence of blessed as long as you're in good quality soil. Where all of the micronutrients are balanced and there sufficient calcium for the planet to use it unless you stress it and if you stress the plant will tell you that well guess what. We'd used up our time and I haven't even used you having. I know it's terrible but but as I said we have to really great conversations that we've had before that will include what the transcript which are about some of your other tomato adventures plus this New York Times piece that I just did from the fully organic perspective but also with some other ideas to be lots and lots of Tomato Info. The transcript and plus instagram live on Fridays. We Glover to at NC tomato man. Thank you Craig. I'll talk to you. this was absolutely wonderful. One one quickey. Whoever gets the book if they emailed me? I'll be happy to sign a plate that they can stick into that book publishing gives me and then I can mail that to them with a few packets of seeds that are really special. And that will Make it a little bit of A. You know maybe a special things for whoever when. Thank you all right..