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Give your Tomatoes a Strong Start

Get the best tomatoes this year by giving your plants a head start. Leggy and sad plants have nothing to fear with this handy trick

It seems like everywhere I go I see tomato plants. I told my self I wouldn’t be growing tomatoes this year, we don’t have the garden space (yet) and there are several places around here with U-Pick tomatoes.But then something in the air (anyone else love the smell of tomato leaves? Smells like summer to me!) made me bring home these guys:

A six pack of Roma Tomatoes. A little leggy but nothing hard to fix. Tomatoes get ‘leggy’ when they can’t get enough light. Possibly because the light is too far away, not strong enough or because they’re squished close together and can’t get enough light so they keep going up.

Fortunately tomatoes are a funny plant and they can grow roots from any where along their stem. If you’ve grown tomatoes you might have noticed the bumps along the stems that sprout roots when the stems get close to the soil. You can use this to your advantage when saving leggy tomatoes.

Start by getting your maters out of the little six packs. Add a few inches of soil the the bottom of a container.

Snip off the lowest leaves, there shouldn’t be that many. Spread out the roots and place the plant deep in the pot. Gently fill in with more soil. You want to cover the stem!

You won’t immediately see a ton of growth. For the next little while the plants will be focused on root growth so it’s going to look like nothing is going on above ground. It’s the same reason why when you transplant annuals nothing happens and nothing happens and then suddenly out of no where you have 3 foot tall marigolds.

Keep them watered, sunny and warm and you’ll be eating tomatoes in no time!

If it’s time to plant them in the garden or you just don’t want to bother with a dozen pots you can dig a trench about 4-6 inches deep and lay the tomato down. Burying the stem with just the top few tufts of leaves showing. The plants will bend themselves and begin to grow up pretty quickly.

Be careful when weeding over the stems. This is a great time to go with a heavy mulch so you can keep you hoeing at a minimum.

Simplified Strawberry Pot Planting
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