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Green Hills

Something is fishy. Planting tomatoes

Spring finally sprung! I love our garden, love the stuff we grow, all of it, but there's a special place for tomatoes. The variety, the flavor of a "real" tomato, that first tomato sandwich of the summer. Snacking on cherry tomatoes right off the vine. Cooking fresh sauces, tomato and cuke salads - I LOVE TOMATOS.

And we finally put some in the garden last evening. It appears that the cold snaps are done (and we have back-ups in the greenhouse if we are wrong).

So the fishy part of this - found a blog last year about a method of planting tomatoes to root deeper and to have great food ready for them as they grow. Fish heads. That's the main part of the "secret" though the hole depth is the other. As you may know, and if not here goes, tomato plants can be buried at depths greater than their initial growth as a seedling. Branches and stems will also root if in contact or below the soil. So this method of planting starts with larger seedlings - in our case they varied from 6" to 8" tall. We dig down deep enough to put a fish head or part of the fish carcass at the bottom of the hole and then cover with an inch or two of soil. Then the seedling and soil it is in is place on top but with about 1/2 of the plant, and the stems, below the soil level. The hole is filled and the plant is now 1/2 above the soil line.

This method creates deep roots that will fare well during dry spells, will root deeper, and will root into the fish. The fish will slowly decompose and feed the plant - and one main nutrient that tomatoes really want...calcium.

We get our fish heads from a sushi restaurant that's just a block from our house. Reduce, reuse, recycle and feed your plants!

Now I have to wait. We planted a cherry, two romas and a better boy bush. I'm hoping to have that first taste of a real, homegrown, fresh tomato in a few that time we'll have another 20 or so tomatos planted of all varieties. But that first bite...we'll celebrate!

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