Tomato Garden Preparations

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Planting Peppers and Tomatoes, May 2013 - Andrea Meyers

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Over the past six years, we’ve done a lot of experimenting in our backyard garden, growing many types of plants and trying various locations to see what would work best. There has been plenty of failed experiments, and we’ve taken those experiences and changed things up a little each year.

One important lesson we’ve learned is to use landscape fabric to control weeds in the tomatoes and basil bed. Last year the weeds and volunteers went out of control, making weed pulling a daily job, so this year we planted through landscape fabric, which will help control the weed population. Now if it would only do something about the relentless bunnies

Another very important lesson we’ve learned is to plant fewer tomatoes and keep them spaced further apart. They get more sun and air circulation, and we get a better crop of tomatoes. This year we planted Early Girl, Mr. Stripey, Cherokee Purple, Amish Paste, San Marzano, and Roma VF, plus green tomatillos and Genovese basil in the same bed.

Napolitano Basil and Marigolds - Andrea Meyers

In another bed, we planted bell peppers, Genovese basil, Napolitano basil, and Mammoth basil, which lives up to its name with huge leaves.

And we have quite a few other things growing around the yard.

Chive Blossom - Andrea Meyers

Chives are blooming.

Sugar Snap Pea blossoms - Andrea Meyers

Sugar snap peas are climbing the trellis.

Sage leaves and blossoms - Andrea Meyers

The sage is blooming.

Rhubarb leaves - Andrea Meyers

And the rhubarb leaves are as big as elephant ears. The stalks are pretty tasty, too. Time for some rhubarb margaritas to celebrate Memorial Day weekend!

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