How to grow tomatoes like a farmer

Five things tomatoes love

Tam grows incredible tomatoes – they climb all the way to the greenhouse roof! Here are five growing tips from our favourite farmer.

Tomatoes love hot summer

We have long days here in the summer, but the really hot weather that tomatoes love is short. Pick a short season variety – 55-60 days is ideal for the Edmonton climate.

Let tomato-tops reach for the sky

Never cut the top off your tomato, even as the seedlings germinate – they have all of their fruit clusters hidden within the growing point.

Keep the water flowing

Never let them dry out – even moisture is super important to a tomato. A dry day can result in fruit drop or “blossom end rot,” where the blossom end of the tomato turns black and withers.

Let them lay back and chill

To trench your plant in the garden, lay your tomatoes down in a furrow and cover them up along the stem, so the top is the only thing left above ground! They’ll root along the stem, in nice warm soil, (which they like) and won’t break off on a windy day! Same deal in a pot – plant them as deeply as you possibly can. Just pinch off the leaves that are going underground!

Treat your tomato to a restyle

Prune out the side shoots. If you are growing an “indeterminate” or “staking” tomato that will grow taller and taller and needs a stake or a cage, prune out the side shoots growing from lower down on the stem. That way, the tomato plant won’t waste valuable time and energy growing side shoots that will never produce before frost, anyway!

Come see for yourself

For our CSA families, you can join us in the greenhouse for a tomato-pruning bee with Tam on Sunday, May 7. Bring the kids and we’ll make you a wholesome farm lunch! (Now you can sign-up for volunteer grow and lunch-ers online.)