Thursday, April 26, 2012

Our Secret Tomato Planting Recipe

If you haven't already planted your tomatoes, the time to plant them should be just around the corner. We live in Zone 8 so our tomatoes have been in the ground for almost 2 months now.  We have always grown some killer tomato plants both in Utah and here in Texas we credit our success to a simple concoction that we put into the hole along with our plant.  I am going to let you in on our secret recipe. Let us know how it works for you.

Early Girl - Already have fruit on them

Into the hole where your tomato plant is going throw in:


1 Tb. Epsom Salt

1 to 2 Tums or Rolaids

1 Tb. Sugar

Better Boy - Planted 2 weeks after the Early Girls

I can't say that I have ever really know why I throw these three things into the hole with my tomatoes. I don't even remember where I learned this method from.  It was something that I heard just as we were getting ready to plant our first garden together as a newly married couple. So I tried it and we had awesome tomato plants, so I have always done it since then.  Well, I did a little research on why these three things might be beneficial to my tomatoes and this is what I learned.

"Chemically, Epsom salts is hydrated magnesium sulfate (about 10 percent magnesium and 13 percent sulfur). Magnesium is critical for seed germination and the production of chlorophyll, fruit, and nuts. Magnesium helps strengthen cell walls and improves plants' uptake of nitrogen, phosphorus, and sulfur.
Sulfur, a key element in plant growth, is critical to production of vitamins, amino acids (therefore protein), and enzymes. It's also the compound that gives vegetables such as broccoli and onions their flavors."

Tums or Rolaids are good to boost the calcium in your soil.  One of the things that is caused by a lack of calcium is blossom end rot.  This can be remedied by not only giving your soil a calcium boost but by making sure your plants get adequate amounts of water because it is the water that carries the calcium throughout the plant.

Probably the most perplexing item on the list is sugar.  From what I have read it seems that the sugar doesn't really act as a fertilizer for the plant itself but does nourish the beneficial microbes in the soil, enriching it, and providing a healthy environment for your plant to thrive in.  

What I do know for certain is that we have always used this little secret and have always had very healthy tomato plants. So I am not gonna mess with a good thing.Give it a try and let us know if it makes a difference for you.

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