My friend Michelle used to say that  she couldn’t  grow anything.  But this year she’s loading up on plants.  

What’s behind the big about-face?  Tomatoes. 

“If you can grow something and actually eat it, now, that is  success,” she  told me  last weekend. 

You go Michelle.  

Everyone should grow tomatoes. They’re super rewarding .   You can eat them.  And homegrown tomatoes are so much better than store-bought that they will make you extra proud. 

So hop to it.  This is the time to put tomatoes plants in the ground.   Here are some tips–

1) Start with healthy transplants, good soil and sunny spot.  Our native clay will need to be improved with top soil and compost.   Or use a pot.  Just make sure it’s big enough.

2) Dig a nice deep hole.

3) Add fertilizer of your choice, and LIME. Tomatoes like lime so I add a handful or two then mix it with the soil.

4) Pinch off the lower leaves of the plant.  Then settle  it deeply  in the hole so only the top shows.  Roots will sprout along the stem and make your plant stronger.  

5) Refill the hole and press the soil down with your hand to remove air pockets.  Don’t forget  to add your label so you know what variety you have.  You don’t think you will forget…but you will. 

6) Water well and insert stakes.  Later you can tie the plant to the supports, but don’t postpone this step.  Get the stakes in the ground before the roots spread. 

Tomatoes like food and water so check your plants every day or two.   Then stand back and watch them grow.  After July 4th you should have some luscious homegrown tomatoes.  And you’ll be hooked on the sweet taste of success.

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