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There’s nothing that quite captures the joy of growing your own food as that moment when you pick those first fresh tomatoes from your garden. They work on almost all the senses – the beautiful transformation from green plant to yellow flower to deep red fruit; the earthy smell of it; the satiny smooth skin against your fingers when you pick it off the plant…

Then there’s that taste. Ever eaten a tomato fresh off the vine that is still slightly sun-warmed? Absolutely amazing. No wonder gardeners are in love with tomatoes!

Every Memorial Day weekend, we break out the party hats to celebrate Tomatopalooza with specials on plants, tomato growing accessories, and advice for home gardeners. In honor of Tomatopalooza, here are some practical tips on getting a beautiful harvest this year:

  • Please get them planted soon! We’ve got a limited window to grow these gems and the sooner yours are in the ground, the sooner you can reap (eat) the benefits.
  • You might want to invest in a season extender – even if you aren’t technically extending the season. The nice thing about these tubes of water is that in addition to keeping the plant warm (remember, we still could get frost into June), they protect your plants from transplant shock.
  • Yes, you need cages or stakes. Tomato plants are like children – they need structure and support. New fruit will benefit from improved air circulation and it keeps the plants away from ground pests.
  • Food and Water. A slow release fertilizer is perfect for your young plants. Water thoroughly but not too often and try to water early in the day so that plants will dry off before evening. As always, we recommend drip irrigation systems because they are more efficient and get the water down to the roots and you don’t lose water to evaporation or runoff. If nothing else, don’t water from the top down – this does nothing except get the leaves and tomatoes wet and make them more prone to get diseases or rot.

We hope you have a safe Memorial Day weekend – and that you get some gardening in during the holiday.

Happy Tomatopalooza!