Well, I received a package of seeds after my donation to the Klee Lab, so started some tomato plants from seed this year for the first time ever. They sent 4 varieties, so naturally I wanted to have 2 of each type – so on its own that’s 8 tomato plants. I should have known from day 1 I was out of control with tomatoes this year. Shopping in mid-may at garden centres repeatedly showed me tomato varieties I felt I needed, and I ended up with 11 different types….uh-oh. Good thing I have a lot of space and created new garden area this year!
The 11 plants were planted into the garden, or into containers for the last 2, on May 25th, 2021, experimental tomatoes a couple weeks later. All were about the same size, and came from pint size containers. Most came from Canadian Tire or the Superstore – pretty fancy sourcing this year.
Tomatoes by the lilac: ~2.5 feet between each tomato plant, substantial space around each plant for sprawl. (The back part of this garden area excluding the tomatoes is about 22 feet x 18 feet).
Tomatoes in the New Garden Area: 3 feet between plants, 40” between rows. (The back part of this garden area excluding the tomatoes is about 15 feet by 12 feet)
At planting, I used a combination of heavy cages and tomato spirals. This was insufficient – and I knew it would be, as tomato cages are NEVER sufficient in my experience. Perhaps with a small determinate variety in a container a cage would work?? I always need to add additional stakes in my container tomatoes to support the fruit. By mid-July, even the container tomatoes have outgrown their cages. This weekend (July 17-18), I added a bunch of additional spirals, bamboo stakes, and cording to help support the tomato jungle growing out back – I should mention I only prune where I have to, and do my best to allow my tomatoes to grow as big as they like. On July 17th, I saw my first ripe tomato – a yellow cherry! Popped it right in my mouth and it was super sweet and amazing. On the 18th – I got 2 orange cherry’s. Most plants are covered in fruit and/or flowers, and pollinators are everywhere. I suspect the 2021 Tomato bounty will be insane…