There’s nothing better on a hot summer day than a ripe, juicy tomato, picked fresh from my own garden. And since things are finally heating up outside, it’s time to get my tomatoes going.
I use one of two ways to plant my tomatoes:
1. The holey moley method. Simply dig a hole about the size of a soccer ball, and put a layer of compost or well-rotted manure mixed with a handful of bonemeal and 1 teaspoon of Epsom salts in the bottom. Then set in the plant so that only about the top 4 inches sticks up above the soil. (Clip off the lower leaves with scissors first.)
2. The trench method. Make a 6-inch-deep trench the length of the planting bed. Spread a thin layer of compost along the bottom, then trim off the leaves from all but the top 4 inches of the stem. Lay each plant in the trench horizontally, with the 4-inch leafy part curved up out of the ground. Pack soil around it so it stays in place, and then cover up the rest of the stem with soil.
After you’ve got your tomatoes planted, it’s a good idea to set in some basil, bee balm, or borage close by. These aromatic herbs are the best neighbors your tomatoes will ever have because they send out chemicals from their roots and leaves that make tomato plants healthier and boost ‘em to new heights!
And if you want to get the most mouthwatering tomato crop on the block, treat your plants to my Tomato Booster Tonic. To whip up a batch:
Mix 2 tablespoons of Epsom salts, 1 teaspoon of baby shampoo, and 1 gallon of water in a watering can. Generously soak the soil around your tomato plants in early summer, just as they show a bunch of yellow flowers, to stimulate fruit set.
For more super secrets on growing big, juicy tomatoes and other incredible edibles, check out my Terrific Tomatoes, Sensational Spuds, and Mouth-Watering Melons book, FREE for 21 days!