It has been hot here…93 degrees the past few days and even hotter in the tin can where we live (our air conditioner broke). It’s the kind of heat that melts your flip flops. But the tomatoes are loving it and the turkeys are doing well too. It’s amazing how little water they consume!
I am preparing myself for long, hot days spent in our trailer canning tomatoes. It’s the best part of August and I’ve been looking forward to it since the end of the last canning season. I’m hoping to have enough to put up ketchup and salsa this year. In the past I’ve just done spaghetti sauce and quartered/whole tomatoes.
We are growing all indeterminate (vining) heirloom beefsteak tomato varieties: Gold Medal, Large Red Cherry, Italian Heirloom, and Black Krim. Our growing method is as follows (It is vague, we are amateur farmers at best, and I am by no means recommending you follow it. This is more for my own documentation than anything else).
-Start in greenhouse, not too early or else you will waste all your seeds like we did and have to re-order. The night temps were finally high enough in March were we live. We did not use a heat mat.
-Transplant outside once it warms up and your starts appear hardy enough. Side dress with a hefty dose of calcium (oyster shells or egg shells saved all winter) to help with water regulation.
-Start pruning all suckers and prune to one or two main stems. Do not wait too long to start pruning or else you will be cutting away all of your plant’s energies. Remove all flowers until they are too numerous to remove.
-Trellis the main stems up by tying with twine to a 6-foot stake or PVC frame in our case. Continue wrapping twine around the stems as they grow.
-Continue pruning on a weekly basis or as frequently as possible.
-Do not allow tomatoes to rest on the ground or else they will rot or be eaten by rodents in our case.