BILOWZ ASSOCIATES INC. is an award winning landscape architectural design firm with a proven philosophy: "Creating Design with Harmony & Balance."
Our company blog, Annie's Gardening Corner, takes a sneak peek at how we balance our own love for everything green + a place to find inspiration, garden ideas and landscape design tips.

To browse our award winning landscape design portfolios, click on our company website at WWW.BILOWZASSOCIATES.COM

Monday, August 23, 2010

The Last True Summer Jewels

Tomatoes, the reddest of all our summer fruit and the favorite staple of most are soon to be just straggly vines in our vegetable gardens. Both edible and beautiful in the same moment, tomatoes are the summer keepers.

Even though the season is almost wrapped up, it is never too late to share some valuable tips on how to grow outstanding tomatoes. First, pick your variety. If you want a fail-safe, bomb-proof tomato, the best choices are Supersonic, Super Fantastic, Big Boy, Better Boy to name a few. These varieties offer consistent fruit, are thick-skinned, tough to mess up and great for slicers. There are a number of other varieties to try if you are looking to stretch the tomato palette. Heirloom varieties are always a good choice but are more susceptible to diseases. If you are looking for great cooking tomatoes to use in sauces or for canning, Roma tomatoes are satisfactory but the San Marzano varieties offer thicker flesh and phenomenal flavor.

How to grow a great tomato? It’s pretty simple. Prep the soil well. Even though you may think this is a given there are no shortcuts on this one. Plant with black plastic as was recommended earlier in the season. Use less water and less fertilizer. Most of us tend to baby our plants, especially our tomatoes. Watering your tomatoes weekly is sufficient once the vines are established under black plastic. This makes the plants hardy and less susceptible to diseases while keeping the skin pliable, limiting ugly splits during heavy rain events. Flavors also intensify as the plant works harder for its nutrients. Like most fruits, the flavor becomes concentrated with a little less water. Will Cuppy provides the inspirational thought for the day. “Just when you're beginning to think pretty well of people, you run across somebody who puts sugar on sliced tomatoes. “

So grab your plant journals and make your seed lists for next year’s garden. Mark down some of the unusual varieties that may be tougher to grow but produce the true summer jewels.

Image from the Internet
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© 2009 Ann St. Jean-Bilowz/Bilowz Associates Inc. (including all photographs, unless otherwise noted in Annie's Gardening Corner are the property of Bilowz Associates Inc. and shall not be reproduced in any manner nor are they to be assigned to any third party without the expressed written permission and consent of Bilowz Associates Inc.)