Success With Tomatoes

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I’m Charlie Nardozzi and this is the Vermont Garden
Journal.  Tomatoes are the most popular
vegetable grown in American gardens.  They
originated in South America, where tomatoes have been
popular for centuries.  In France,
they’re called pommes l’amore or apple of love, where it’s believed tomatoes
are an aphrodisiac.  In this country, the
early colonists believed that the poison in tomatoes would turn your blood to
acid.  Luckily we got over our early
superstitions and now Americans eat more than 20 pounds of fresh tomatoes a

It’s still early to plant tomatoes in our area, unless you
use some of these tricks.  Grow cold,
tolerant varieties, such as "Stupice." 
Preheat the soil by laying down red plastic mulch on the beds before
planting.  The plastic mulch traps heat
in the soul while the red color can increase yields up to 20%.  Protect transplants with a Wall o Water.  Wall o Waters are plastic cylinders placed
around individual plants with sleeves that are filled with water.  The water releases heat near the tomato plant
keeping it warm during cool nights.

Now for this week’s tip, treat your mom to a special new
shrub this Mother’s Day – an Invincibelle Spirit hydrangea.  Invincibelle Spirit is similar to the popular
Annabelle hydrangea, but instead of producing 6 to 8-inch diameter white
flowers, it produces large pink flowers instead.  Invincibelle Spirit is hardy to zone 3, grows
3 to 4-feet tall and wide, and blooms from June until frost.

Nest week on the Vermont Garden Journal, I’ll be talking
about the red lily leaf beetle.  But for
now, I’ll be seeing you in the garden!

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