The most frequent gardening questions that we field here in our local office are dealing with tomatoes. Here’s a quick list of things to consider when planting and growing tomatoes in your home gardens.
Plant in full sunlight away from trees
Plant in well drained soils and provide adequate water
Plant when soil temperature are above 60 degrees
Mulch plants at the base
Test your soil add fertilizer as needed
Transplant in the heat of the day
Overwater (plants require 2 inches of water per week during the peak of summer)
Underwater (Blossom end rot, known as BER, is common here and is caused when there is a water shortage while the fruit is developing)
Plant too close together
Leave plants uncovered if there is threat of frost
There are endless varieties of tomatoes out there, so try to plant for you specific need.
Have a good understanding of what end product you want to produce and chose your tomato plants accordingly.
OSU Extension has several valuable resources available to help make sure your tomato plants are producing the way they should.
A quick guide to tomato production can be found at http://extension.oregonstate.edu/mg/metro/sites/default/files/growing_tomatoes.pdf . All articles can be printed for you upon request at our local office, please stop by and see us with your questions and gardening needs. If we don’t have the answer we can help you find it.
Shanna Northway is the Extension agent for Grant County. The office is at 530 N.W. Main St., Suite 10, John Day, and at 541-575-1911.