CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- In the March 17 Sunday Gazette-Mail, we gave directions on how to prepare the soil for an in-ground or raised vegetable or flower garden. Now that gardeners have prepared their beds with the right soil and nutrients, here's a summary on how to select the tomato that works best for you.
The information comes from a recent workshop given by John Porter, agriculture and natural resources agent for WVU Extension Service.
With the passing of the April 20 frost date, Porter said, tomatoes now may be planted through early June.
Tomato transplants can be planted much deeper than most other plants -- 1 or 2 inches deeper than if they were growing in the pot.
Plants should be in a location that gets at least six hours of sunlight daily.
Mulch to keep down weeds, to conserve water and to keep the soil from splashing up on the plant -- the main defense against blight. Keep water off the plant's leaves, stem and fruit.
Plants should get the equivalent of one inch of natural rainfall a week with a deep watering once or twice a week.
Indeterminate tomato plants grow continuously throughout the season, producing fruit as long as the plants are healthy. They work well in small spaces. As they grow taller, they can be staked. Plant indeterminate varieties 18 inches apart. Some of the most popular varieties are: