Growing Great Tomatoes

One of my most successful crops has always been tomatoes, which is great, since a homegrown, fresh from the garden tomato is one of life’s greatest treats.

If you are interested in growing tomatoes in the desert (or anywhere, really), I’ve found the key to be a good fertilizer and an early start.  However, the early start part can be tricky, given that tomatoes are very susceptible to cold and frost.  Enter the “Wall-o-Water.”  (You can buy them here)  It is a great little invention, which, essentially, creates a miniature greenhouse for each tomato plant. A general rule of thumb (for my area) is to get your tomato plants in before Valentine’s Day.  With the Wall-o-Waters, I’m able to get my tomatoes in around mid-January.  This head start is crucial to getting big plants that produce well.

The second thing that grows great tomatoes is using a good (organic, of course) fertilizer.  I use “Mater Magic.”  (You can buy it here)  I shake some in the hole before I plant the seedling and it really seems to make a big difference.

There you have it!  Pretty simple, right?  I already have three plants in the ground (which will yield PLENTY of tomatoes for our family this summer) – a cherry tomato, a regular beefsteak, and a yellow heirloom. If you have questions, feel free to leave them in the comments.