Hopefully we have seen our last big cold snap of the season, so it’s time to get tomatoes in the ground.
Tomatoes need full sun for their entire growing season. Once frost is done, put them in a bed enriched with compost. A couple tablespoons of Rocket Fuel under the roots will help your plants get off to a rapid start. Feed them with Espoma Plant Tone monthly through the growing season or John’s Recipe containing Fish emulsion, molasses and seaweed at least every two weeks.
I like to put my tomatoes in a cage as soon as they are in the ground and wrap that cage with row cover fabric, top to bottom. Ours is called Grow Web (12ft x 16ft). Cut the fabric to size and cloths pin the sides together. The fabric will protect the plants from cold nights and, more importantly, harsh spring winds that can dry them out in no time. Don’t worry – it doesn’t block water or sunshine.
Remove the cloth when the plant reaches the top of the cage. If it starts blooming before then, remove the cover from the top of the cage and shake the cage gently whenever you walk by. That will encourage pollination from the top of the plant down to the bottom. Row cover can also be used to protect Peppers, Squash, Beans and all the tender spring vegetables in the garden.