alliums ameraucana Anthony Bourdain aphids Appleseed Permaculture aquaponics arthritis artichokes Asian Vegetables aussie basil baby chicks baby turnips bearss lime bee keeping beet greens beneficial insects benner tree farm Biochar Bitter Melon blight blooming hill farm boothby blonde cucumber brix broccoli brussels sprouts cabbage cabbage hill farm camp hill farm cancer caraflex celeriac chicken coop chickens children chinese tamale chives cilantro cilantro root coconut cold frames collard greens Compost coriander corn crop rotation cruciferous crucifers cucumber Dan Barber dan kittredge Dave Llewellyn detox dirty dozen dragon fruit Dutch white clover dwarf citrus eggplant Elderberries factory farms farm to table farmer's market farmers markets Fava beans ffarm to table fish oil flea beetle flowers food allergies food combining food miles founding farmers four wind growers Fred Kirschenmann french bulldog G6pd deficiency garlic garlic festival garlic scapes geese Glynwood grass-fed beef Great Outdoors Listening Tour green tomatoes greenhouse growing indoors Hanalei Hemlock Hill Farm heritage turkey heritage USA hudson valley farms hurricane Irene hyssop iced tea infections influenza Insect control isothiocyanates joan gussow jolie lampkin joong kaffir lime kale Kauai kohlrabi korean licorice mint Ladybugs late blight leeks lettuces local food locust tree maine avenue fish market menhaden meyer lemon mycelia mycorrhizal natural fertilizers nectary nightshades No Reservations Nurse cropping nutrient density okra organic Baby food organic christmas tree Organic Pest Control Parsley Paul tappenden peas Permaculture pesticides pesto petite watermelon plant sap pH plymouth barred rock pole beans potatoes preserving food purple basil qunice Radish Greens rainbeau ridge farm raised beds rampicante raw food real food campaign red hook Rockland Farm Alliance ronnybrook farm row covers salt-preserved duck eggs sambucus nigra seed saving seedlings Sheet mulching small space soil analysis soil blocks soil conductivity sorrel Squash Vine Borer star fruit sugar snap peas sustainability sustainable fishing Swiss Chard tabbouleh TEDx Manhattan terracing three sisters tomato sauce tomatoes trellis trovita orange turkana farms Tuttle Farm urban zen volt white clover winter harvest Winter Squash Young Farmers Conference
Indispensable Books and Resources
  • Edible Forest Gardens (2 volume set)
    Edible Forest Gardens (2 volume set)
    by Dave Jacke, Eric Toensmeier
  • The Winter Harvest Handbook: Year Round Vegetable Production Using Deep Organic Techniques and Unheated Greenhouses
    The Winter Harvest Handbook: Year Round Vegetable Production Using Deep Organic Techniques and Unheated Greenhouses
    by Eliot Coleman
  • The Biological Farmer: A Complete Guide to the Sustainable & Profitable Biological System of Farming
    The Biological Farmer: A Complete Guide to the Sustainable & Profitable Biological System of Farming
    by Gary F. Zimmer
  • The Garden Primer: Second Edition
    The Garden Primer: Second Edition
    by Barbara Damrosch
  • 1500 Live LadyBugs - A GOOD BUG! - Lady Bug
    1500 Live LadyBugs - A GOOD BUG! - Lady Bug
    Organic Insect Control
  • Acres U.S.A.
    Acres U.S.A.
    Acres U.S.A.

    The best farming and growing magazine money can buy!

  • Seed Starter Soil Block Maker Makes 4 Medium Blocks
    Seed Starter Soil Block Maker Makes 4 Medium Blocks

    2" Soil Blocker

  • Mini Soil Blocker
    Mini Soil Blocker
  • New York City Farmer & Feast: Harvesting Local Bounty
    New York City Farmer & Feast: Harvesting Local Bounty
    by Emily Brooks
  • What Doctors Eat: Tips, Recipes, and the Ultimate Eating Plan for Lasting Weight Loss and Perfect Health
    What Doctors Eat: Tips, Recipes, and the Ultimate Eating Plan for Lasting Weight Loss and Perfect Health
    by Tasneem Bhatia, Editors of Prevention

 

 

 

 

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Tuesday
May102011

The Art of Tomato Planting

Note all the "hairs" on the tomato stemWe kicked off last weekend with our first sale at the Palisades Farmer's Market and this week starts the first time we'll be at the Nyack Farmer's market.  It was a wonderful turnout and, as usual, the perks of having a stand is that we meet so many new people in the community as well as seeing familiar faces and friends.  As always, our tomatoes are the most popular selling seedling.  Well, our seedlings are really plants when you see how big and healthy they are.  We often get questions on the best way of growing them.

ROOTS

One of the reasons we plant our plants in Cowpots (made of cow manure from Connecticut dairy farmers) is that it's not only sustainable, but it allows for minimal root disturbance when transplanting - usually an added form of stress for the plant.  It's worth the extra expense.  Other "biodegradable pots" made of peat or coir, in our experience do not break down easily and you'll often find that they are somewhat still intact when you pull that plant out of the ground in the fall.  Not a good sign.  Cowpots, as long as you water them heavily at the start, will easily break down and simultaneously give your plant a boost of nitrogen for growing from the manure.  Neat huh!

 

The other thing to realize about tomatoes is that you want a plant that has an extensive network of roots.  The more roots the better and stronger your plant because a) the plant will have better drought tolerance and b) better access to soil nutrients.  This concept applies to all things that you grow.  What is especially interesting about the tomato are all the "hairs" that you see on the stem.  These have the potential to become roots so the deeper you plant and cover those hairs with soil the more roots will establish.  Neat, huh! 

We suggest removing the bottom 2 tiers of branches and leaves and plant to the hilt of the next level.  If your soil is not optimal when you dig down deep i.e. you hit sub soil which is clay-like or sandy, your other option is to plant the tomato sideways.  Initially the plant appears to be sideways and tilted on the ground but no worries, they plant will go towards the sun and straighten up.

 

WATERING

Tomatoes like water and as mentioned, if you are planting in Cowpots, water heavily the first week to start the breakdown process.  Avoid watering directly on the leaves if possible.  This helps prevent diseases like blight splashing up onto the leaves and prevents leaf sunburn.  One thing we do recommend is not just watering the small area around your newly planted tomato, but the entire bed around the plant.  If you just provide water to a small localized area around the plant, the roots (yes, it comes back to the roots) have no incentive to grow longer since all the water is in close proximity.  So even though it feels like you're watering bare soil, you are indeed providing water for that nearby tomato and encouraging its roots to grow long and seek out nutrients and minerals further away from its location.

 

We'll be at the Nyack Farmers Market Thursdays on May 12th, 19th and 26th from 8AM - 2PM and again at the cozy and comfortable Palisades Farmers Market Saturdays on May 14th, 21st and 28th from 9AM - 1PM.  We have 27 varieties of tomatoes but much much more!  Heirloom, unusual and hard to find seedlings are what we love growing.  Everything is organically grown and have been amended with nutrient dense growing techniques for the healthiest plants in the universe.  Come visit us this month!

Palisades Farmers Market

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