Saturday, September 11, 2010

Self Sustaining Food-tomatoes



ARG, my backspace button has decided to not function and I have written this post 4 times now. Every time I misspell a word, I end up having to start over! I read at several forum boards across the internet, mostly at the APN where we are all trying to help each other become more self sufficient. I have noticed a trend that disturbs me. People do not seem that interested in gardening or working on learning how to produce their own food. It seems to be the norm to continue to stock up on store bought items. Now, I don't have anything against that, to me it's all good if a person is stocking up store bought food. Everyone has to eat so it's all a good thing. The problem comes in when you think about how store bought food will sooner or later be consumed. It's not a sustainable source.

I promised to talk a bit about growing tomatoes so let's do that now. Tomatoes are easier to grow than people think. All you need is a 5 gallon bucket, some rich soil, good drainage and at least 8 hours of sunlight a day. Don't forget the fertilizer, tomatoes are heavy feeders and need some help thru the fruiting season. Tomatoes can tolerate a pH level as low as 5.5 but prefer closer to neutral (7). There are plenty of heirloom tomatoes available in either plant form or seed form. The bushy types of plants (determinate) or the vining types(indeterminate). Don't forget about those wonderful cherry tomatoes, they are great for fresh eating and will produce tons of fruits thru the season. Tomatoes do the best when they are supplied with even moisture. Not too wet tho, tomatoes hate wet roots but if they lack water, they simply do not produce or your fruits will have blossom end rot. You will know you lack moisture if your fruits have black spots on the bottoms. Even moisture also prevents the fruits from cracking from a sudden, heavy rain. Indeterminate plants that vine out will need to be supported in some way. You could always just let them sprawl but the plants tend to do better, contract less disease and are easier to harvest from if they are tied to a trellis or a stake. tomato plants can very quickly grow upwards of 5' so be prepared with a tall and well anchored stake or trellis to support them. Pinching off side suckers that grow off the main branch next to leaf stems will help you to keep you tomato plat growing up instead of out. Tomatoes prefer weather between 55F and 90F, above or below can cause poor fruiting.

9 comments:

  1. I completely agree with you about growing your own food. I haven't been doing this very long so I have a lot to learn. With your help, I'll get there too. lol

    ReplyDelete
  2. The tomatoes in your photo shout "Fresh Salsa!" to me :-) Thanks for the very informative post!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks for an informative post. Have you thought about making a series on "veggie growing for beginners" in this blog?

    Currently I only have a balcony at my disposal, but I'm already mapping out every cubic inch (yes, I think vertically about gardening, too!) of the place, and trying to figure out where I can fit what and how much of it, so we can still fit a small breakfast-compatible bistro table and chairs there.

    For the patio garden, we'll have potatoes, lettuce, about a dozen kinds of common herbs, carrots, beets, onions, tomatoes, roses, blueberries, strawberries and grapevines. The trick is to grow as much as possible up along the walls and patio rail... That's not bad for amateurs, right? :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. LOVE your blog, found it last week and have spent days looking at all your posts. Thank you for sharing your farm life!! We have had a garden for many years but this is the first year that I am able to can, dehydrate and freeze from the garden. I still have to do basic shopping at the grocery store until I can build up my stock of all home grown, we should have enough home grown veggies to last until next spring and most of what we need of other items using sales and coupons to hold us for a full year. I look forward to reading your blog each day!!

    ReplyDelete
  5. SFG, you will get there, between Scifi and I, there's no way you can fail!

    Sue, good to see you! Oh yes, those Romas are great little tomatoes, the queen of the garden.

    Hi Penny! I know you are going to do great, desire is half the battle! I actually have thought quite a bit about the veggie growing idea, I am working on it presently for a whole spring time thing.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi Debby! I guess we were both posting at the same time, LOL. Welcome to the blog, glad to have you! You've got a great start, keep going!

    ReplyDelete
  7. http://myblog-nannysplace.blogspot.com/

    Thank you for the welcome, I too have had a blog for around a year, mostly for family friends and customers, forgot to add it to my post, sorry

    ReplyDelete
  8. use the CNTRL Home Button and the forward space button when you get to the work use the delete key .. :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. Or you can highlight the misspelled word and then just start typing, overwriting the mistake.

    ReplyDelete

Comments always welcome