welcome to the organic green doctor blog

i am a family physician who was diagnosed with
early mild cognitive impairment(mci) amnestic type on december 21, 2010
this is a precursor to alzheimers disease
because of this diagnosis i have opted to stop practicing medicine
this blog will be about my journey with this disease
please feel free to follow me along this path
i will continue blogging on organic gardening, green living,
solar power, rainwater collection, and healthy living
i will blog on these plus other things noted to be interesting

Thursday, March 10, 2022

garden news-planting my tomatoes


it is officially tomato planting time in my garden
i have 8 beds that are about 3 ft x 8 ft in size
i use 3 beds for my tomatoes 
i plant 2 tomatoes per bed

over the years i have found if i only plant 6 tomatoes then that will give us enough tomatoes to eat and freeze some and give away some without overwhelming us with tomato harvesting

so far i say that each year but i give in eventually to planting more since there are so many varieties to chose from

now growing tomatoes in santa barbara is not like growing them in texas or arkansas
the biggest obstacle besides the lack of real warm temperatures is the presence of fog

if we have a real foggy cool spring and early summer then the tomatoes will not do well
if we have a warmer less foggy spring and summer they do great
one year here i produced a lot more tomatoes per plant than i ever did in texas

we dont have to worry where i garden about freezing weather but we do have especially this year some upper 30s and 40s night time temperatures that tomatoes do not like
remember tomatoes are a tropical type fruit
even exposure to those low temps can affect how well the tomato will grow and produce fruits

with all this fog we get sometimes we struggle with fungal and viral infections in the tomatoes

also when you plant in a small area like i do you are risk of having those diseases accumulate over time in your soil so it can be hard to grow some varieties like the heirlooms

one thing to do is to rotate your crops in your smaller garden so the same type plants arent planted in the same area each year
peppers and tomaotes are kinfolks so dont plant your tomatoes where your peppers were
you might get fungal and viral infections more readily

here is what i do in my 400 sq ft garden
i will plant 6 tomatoes in beds which did not have tomatoes or peppers in them last year
it sometimes takes some shifting of what you are planting 
ideally you would want to leave one bed empty each season to allow it to rest
thats so hard to do
i say im going to do it but i end up planting it anyway

here  are my tomatoes i planted this week
early girl has disease resistance it always does good here its an indeterminate which means it will grow all season long

celebration a similar tomato to celebrity which has some disease resistance it is a determinate which means it will grow only so many tomatoes then thats it

big boy is also disease resistant and an indeterminate

mortgage lifter is one that i accidently picked up when i thought i picked up a sungold i had planted it in texas one time and it did quite well its the first time ive planted it here

sungold is a indeterminate and has some disease resistance i call it the crack tomato if sees candies was going to sell a tomato this would be the one

black krim is a heirloom that seems to always do well here it does not have the disease resistance the others above have

here is how i plant my tomatoes

the bed is prepped ahead of time
a thick layer 3 inches or more of compost is added
i also if i have it empty out a 5 gallon bucket of my worm compost i make myself
sometimes if its ready i also dig up my walkways which are really a 1 ft deep and 1 ft wide trench full of mulch that has composted to a nice fine compost
i add a good sprinkling of an organic fertilizer

the bed then is forked in with at broadfork or a large garden fork to mix this stuff all up
the bed is then raked smooth and soaked with a solution of fish emulsion seaweed molasses
if possible the bed will sit empty for several weeks
i cover this with pine straw until its ready to plant

this year i will be planting two of my tomatoes in where my leeks are growing
i remove enough leeks to be able to plant the tomato
i prep this small area just like i do the other beds by adding a handful of compost and organic fertilizer working it in the area with a hand trowel then soaking it with fish emulsion
when the leeks are all harvested i will finish prepping the rest of the bed
this usually occurs when the tomatoes are just starting to get larger

when i plant my tomato i dig a hole deep enough to bury at least half of my tomato stem
i remove any leaves that wouldnt be above ground
i also make sure no leaves are touching the ground
i add a handful of worm compost to the hole
i plant the tomato
i water it in well with that fish emulsion seaweed molasses solution
i also build a small moat around the tomato

before the foggy season hits i make sure the soil around the tomato is covered with pine straw or some type of mulch to keep moisture from splashing up on the leaves
this makes them susceptible to fungal infections and viral infections

i put a large 6 foot cage around each tomato to allow the tomato to grow inside the cage
i use that solution above twice a month to feed then
i usually water them with my dripper system and bury a 3 gallon tub next to the tomato and water deeply during the hot part of the year

so far
doing this gives me an ample crop of tomatoes each year

i also may add a couple of tomatoes in june for a fresh fall crop of tomatoes
so i then would have 8 tomatoes

the organicgreen doctor

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