Getting The Garden Ready


It is the middle of February, time to start planning my garden. I have one extra large box and 2 smaller boxes. I can get 7 plants in the big box and 2 in each of the smaller boxes. And last year, I ended up with root rot for the first time. I found epsom salt will fix the PH and calcium/nitrogen imbalance and bought a big bag of it to put in the soil. It says to use it about 3 weeks before you start planting. Which means over this upcoming weekend I need to do it. I’d like to get plants in the second or third weekend of March.

Now, to figure out how to divide out my plants… I am not planting my cherry tomatoes next to my big boys after last year’s hybridization that made my big boys rather unappealing for salsa and tomato sauce. But I am planting both Big Boys and cherry tomatoes. Or would I prefer Beefsteaks? I’m not sure…. decisions, decisions…

In the big box; I’m putting 4 large sized tomatoes and 3 jalapenos. In the 2 medium boxes I’m putting cherry tomatoes in one box and patio tomatoes in the other box. I’ve been told I need to turn my hand at trying a new (to me) tomato plant called the Fresh Salsa tomato and as the name implies it is great for salsa, bruschetta, canning as chunked tomatoes, and light tomato sauces. I’ve also been told I need to try two new to me types of jalapenos; the Chilipeno Hybrid or the Black Jalapeno.

Last year, I grew a One Million Sweet Cherry Tomato plant. It was definitely a super producer and my family loved the tomatoes from it. Unfortunately, it hybridized with my beefsteak and big boys and I ended up with small Beefsteak and Big Boy tomatoes that did not work well in salsa or tomato sauce. So if I plant it again this year, it will be alone in a box. Or do I want to try a different variety of cherry tomato? There are tons of them and it wouldn’t hurt to try a different super producer cherry tomato.

And of course, I won’t be without my patio tomatoes which are my family’s absolute favorite tomatoes (even I like them sliced and cooked on pizza and I don’t really like tomatoes). Here’s the thing, as much as I love to garden, I find the selection at my local stores a bit slim at times for instance, I’ve never found a Salsa Tomato plant in Columbia nor have I heard of a Black Jalapeno or Chilipeno Hybrid.

I guess I need to get online and start checking for plants.

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