Tomato update

TOMATOES! (Solanum lycopersicum).  Certainly one of my (Brandon) favorite things to grow ever!  Originally from South America, Spanish colonizers dispersed them from the Americas in the 1500’s.  The plant was thought to be poisonous because it is a member of the deadly night shade family Solanaceae.  It took nearly another hundred or more years in Europe before being considered for consumption and not as an ornamental.  A perennial in frost free areas but for most of us a favorite summer fruit (and yes it is a fruit).

In our garden, we have a dedicated plot for most of our tomatoes and our zeal for this fun fruit lead us to plant nearly 30 plants and 7 different varieties.  This year we are growing: sweet 100 cherries (1), super Sioux (orange) (1), yellow pear (1), yellow taxi (almost orange in colour) (1), Uncle Mark Bagby (large flavourful pink beefsteak) (9), royal chico (roma) (4), and the famous San Marzano lungo No. 2 (10).

Seed germination started on January 15th inside in plastic with Jiffy seed starter mix and a thermal blanket hot pad.  A month later we started another round in seed pellet trays.  Around March 12th due to our temperate climate we were able to transplant into our beds outdoors.  Fast forward to today (April, 25th) we are beginning to see a few small fruits on all the varieties and spent most of yesterday installing stakes and pruning.  Most of the plants are over 3 feet tall and are full of flowers.  For the vining varieties we prune to 3-4 main stems and continue to trellis up our stakes and for the bush varieties we are trying to keep at most 4 main stems.  Each plant receives a shovel full of home made compost every two weeks and our drip irrigation is set to two 1 hour sessions at 9 am and 4 pm everyday.

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