Master Gardener hint
It will not be long until we will be in the garden planting those warm-weather crops. Tomatoes seem to be a favorite for nearly everyone, and children love to run to the garden and pick those sweet cherry tomatoes. Most of us know tomatoes need a healthy soil and do not need to be planted in the same location each year, but there are small things we can also do to encourage healthy plants and more fruit. First of all, choose a tall, healthy plant; pinch the bottom leaves off; and plant in a deeper hole, which will allow roots to be in a more moist soil. Crushed eggshells are a good fertilizer and protects plants from pests, so you might want to mix some in the bottom of the hole before you plant. You can sprinkle a tablespoon of baking soda in the soil around the plant, which will encourage sweeter fruit. Finally, a favorite hint given in a gardening class by an older gentleman who had gardened for years is this: cut the bottom out of a large black plastic pot and put it around the plant, building up soil around the outside of the pot so it will not blow away. The black will heat up the soil, and the pot will protect the small plant from cold, windy days. If there are dry days and watering is needed, the pot keeps the water from running off and encourages it to go down to the plant roots. For more information about the Harrison County Master Gardeners, contact Wanda Phillips by email at [email protected] or follow the Harrison County Master Gardeners’ Facebook page.