From the Blog
On Today’s blog we have the pleasure of posting for guest blogger Jackie Edwards. Though we sell vegetable and herb plants already started in the garden center here at Cedar Grove Gardens she has written an informative article on starting from seed. Thank you Jackie!
Growing Tomatoes: Greenhouse Or Outdoors?
Growing tomatoes can be quite fulfilling. If done well, you can yield a bumper crop without having to work too hard. However, your crop’s productivity is greatly influenced by how you choose to go about the entire process. One of the things that you must consider is whether you are going to grow them outside the old fashioned way or whether you are going to use a green house. A lot has been said about both options, but both methods can work when all the proper growing procedures are adhered to in each case.
Things To Consider About Tomatoes
Being tropical plants, tomatoes require at least eight hours of sunlight every day. It is also important to note that tomatoes require soil with a pH of between 6.0 and 6.8, so if the soil in your area does not meet such requirements, you need to determine how much manure or fertilizer you will need to reach these acidity levels. Tomatoes also require at least two inches of water every week.
Growing Tomatoes Outside
If you are planning to grow tomatoes outside, you need to do so in the summer. You also need to do so in an area that gets adequate sunshine throughout the summer. It is important to consider that most tomato varieties have long growing seasons of 70 to 80 days, so it is advisable to plant the seeds 6 to 8 weeks before summer starts, and this needs to be done indoors or in a covered place away from the frost outside. As the warmth of the summer draws near, you should prepare the ground outside with a good deal of garden compost as well as a healthy helping of general purpose fertilizer. For the provision of water, you should place an adequate number of sprinklers to ensure that every plant gets its fair share of water. When transferring the seedlings, you should plant them 18 inches to 24 inches apart. You must also spray the tomatoes with the recommended pesticides. You can get more information on that from your local crop specialists. In addition, to help to control pests, you would also do well to plant some companion plants that are known to ward off pests alongside the tomatoes. Some ideal companion plants for tomatoes include basil, chives, and mint.
Growing Tomatoes In A Greenhouse
Opting to grow the tomatoes in a greenhouse gives you the freedom to plant the tomatoes at any time because in a greenhouse the light and warmth that the tomatoes require is provided by auxiliary lights and heaters. Tomatoes requires temperatures of 21C – 24C (70F – 75F), so you must count the cost of the electricity or fuel required to keep the plants warm throughout the entire growing season. In addition, for greenhouses, it is advisable to install water lines under the soil surface for the disbursement of water. You must also have sufficient in-greenhouse water storage. It is important to note that you must create sufficient ventilation in the greenhouse because tomatoes require healthy balances of carbon dioxide and oxygen in the air around them. Adequate air circulation also helps to keep off pests and diseases.
by Janet Lee Harrold
Is it just a coincidence that we celebrate our mom’s the most beautiful time of the year? In our hurried and jam packed schedule, am I the only one that remembers to take a moment and breathe in the beauty and many different fragrances of springtime? Over the years Mother’s day has become like most other holidays- commercialized. As a mother, I can promise you that most mother’s are not looking for expensive gifts, fancy dinners or jewelry. What most moms want to do on their special day is to spend quality time with their children, whether her children are young toddlers or grown adults, the most precious gift that you can give to your mom is something that money just can not buy. If you live local to Cedar Grove Gardens in the Boston area, one of the most expensive places to live, Mother’s Day doesn’t have to be expensive at all.
If the weather is in our favor, enjoy taking mom for a walk in the south end, where a few varieties of red dogwood may still be lining the streets, this is such a short lived season that you really don’t want to miss it. While you are there why not take a walk through the Boston Public Gardens and enjoy the sights and smells of the first public botanical gardens in America. You can expect to see mid season tulips, swan boats, trees of many colors and varieties like the beautiful chartreuse colored weeping willow trees that surround the lagoon and of course Mrs. mallard and her 8 ducklings, in fact if you time it right, you may just catch the beloved tradition that has been going on for more than 30 years “The Duckling Day Parade”
Maybe you’d rather not travel in town, that’s o.k. instead inhale the perfume in the air of the Arnold Arboretums “Lilac Sunday” take the 45 minute tour or browse on your own, the smells are intoxicating and the views are simply breathtaking. In addition they have children’s activities on the Honeywell lawn, among other activities, children can make a Mother’s Day card and enjoy the many vendors trucks if they get hungry.
I hope that you take the time and enjoy both the beautiful flowers that the springtime has to offer and your Mother’s company on her special day. Keep in mind that Cedar Grove Gardens is always here for you if the commercial route is the way you prefer to go, with flowers that are always fresh, unique gifts that you don’t find in the big lot stores and indoor and outdoor plants that arrive daily.