I know, I know–a bunch of you have had your tomatoes out for a week or two (or more?). But I tend to be a little circumspect about the planting of my (this year) 96 tomato plants unless I’m planning on covering them and shielding them from a late cold snap. May 15th is the day.
All of my tomato plants are indeterminate varieties, and they all get huge, so they all get some kind of support. Most will be tied up to cattle panels, but some will be allowed to sprawl over shorter triangle or arch-shaped supports.
I’ve got these four white vinyl-covered wire shelving unit-type things that make good supports for shorter varieties (well, H got them from somewhere). The only problem with using them is that once the tomatoes get big enough that you can’t remove the support, the weeds tend to get a free ride under there.
I’m going to solve that problem this year by cutting a rectangle of landscape fabric to go under each one, then plant in holes in the fabric. I’ve also got a ton of cages of various types, but in my experience, they are better used for peppers and eggplant–they can’t contain the massive tomato plants that pull them out of the ground and then flop the whole production over on its side.
The varieties I do on the lower-level supports tend to be ones with thicker skins–San Marzanos, Principe Borgheses–as they don’t have as much problem with cracking, rotting, and insect or slug damage from being closer to the ground.
So today is all about digging holes and identifying spots to get them all in the ground by June 1st. Wish me luck!