I’m excited to be back to continue our “Know Your Grow” campaign. Last month, we talked about starting your summer garden from seed, and at the Midtown Farmers Market, students from Edible Sac High helped attendees plant seeds to take home.
This month, I have more exciting garden news for the masses of Sacramento—it is not too late to plant your summer garden!
In this short lesson, I’ll give you some simple advice for prepping, planting, and taking care of tomato plants at your home.
1) Preparing Your Soil
Cultivating healthy soil is the best way to ensure your tomatoes will grow into productive plants. You can use a shovel or a digging fork to loosen the earth in your yard. You will want to get down about 8 inches in the ground to provide room for root growth, and when you are done, you should be able to take some moist soil in your hand and form it into a loose ball.
Once the ground is nice and loose, mix in organic compost to supercharge your soil with rich organic matter. Then, soak the planting area and let it rest.
2) Planting Your Tomatoes
In order to dig a good hole, you have to look at the size of your tomato plant. Your hole will need to be big enough for you to bury a large portion of the stem of your plant. All the little hairs will actually turn into roots that support the plant as it grows, so make sure you bury it deep.
Once the hole is dug, add in a handful of organic fertilizer, mix it with some loose soil, and set in the tomato plant. Fill the hole with the dirt you removed, pat down gently to make sure the plant doesn’t fall over, and give it some water. It’s best to plant in the evening so that the tender plant isn’t stressed by afternoon heat.
3) Mulch Your Soil
Once your tomatoes are in the ground, you need to cover your soil with mulch. Mulch reduces evaporation and prevents weed growth. It will allow you to save water and time pulling weeds, which is what we all want. Then, watch with a careful eye as your tomato begins to produce!
Have any questions? Feel free to reach out on Instagram @EdibleSacHigh. You can also come meet me, Nicholas Anicich, and some of the Edible Sac High students I work with, at the Midtown Farmer’s Market on Saturday May 28th 2016. Hope to see you there!