Sturdy polyethylene-coated steel
cage with soft synthetic fabric liner
Planter is 8" diameter x 16" H
Holds 17 quarts of container mix
1-gallon water reservoir
Moisture-level indicator and capillary
Swivel chain and hook
Gardener's Supply Exclusive
Recycled Plastic (Aquasave)Liner
Click here for more Green Products
Gardener's Supply Company Organic Tomato Fertilizer
Specifications at a Glance:
- Contains vegetable or animal protein meal, peanut meal, natural nitrate of
soda, natural sulfate of potash/magnesia
- Slow release (5-6-5) granular fertilizer
- Low analysis; no risk of burn
- 1 lb. treats 40 square feet
- 5 lbs. treats 200 square feet
- Gardener's Supply Exclusive
Our slow-release granular fertilizer (5-6-5) gives your tomatoes all the nutrients
they need, including plenty of phosphorus for big, abundant fruit. For a healthy
start, mix a handful into the soil at transplant time and side dress when tomatoes
begin to set fruit.
- Provides all necessary nutrients and phosphorus for big, abundant fruit
- Provides balanced, slow release nutrients without the risk of burning roots
- Conditions soil for vigorous root growth and better water penetration
- Use during transplanting and again as a side dress
|The heirloom tomato, big Rainbow,
has been a secret among Amish Farmers for years.
Saving seed from one generation to the next, it was little
known outside Amish communities UNTIL WE
DISCOVERED IT AT AN AMISH FARM STAND.
What's more, Big Rainbow has to be seen to be
believed because the large, meaty fruits are not only
gigantic, they are multi-colored. Most are a glowing
golden yellow color with a red blush, like a peach, but
some fruits can also be all-red, all-yellow or all-orange,
presenting a rainbow of FOUR colors on a single plant.
What is an Heirloom Tomato?
Heirlooms are tomatoes that have been around a long time. Rediscovered in the recent
taste revolution, “heirloom” refers to tomatoes that are not hybrids, and have been in
existence at least 50 years—preserved for their superb taste. Heirloom tomatoes often are
unusual shapes or colors. Many people have never tasted “real” tomatoes—if you’ve only
eaten supermarket or other commercially produced tomatoes, you’re in for a delicious
Growing Tomatoes Organically
No synthetics or chemicals! Fertilizers and pesticides must come from natural sources to be
considered organic. Compost is the best soil conditioner and a great fertilizer as well—if you
have it, use it! Other organic fertilizers are also easy to find. Many gardeners grow tomatoes
with no pest control other than picking off tomato hornworms by hand.
Tomatoes love sun—put yours in the sunniest place you’ve got (unless you live in Death
Valley). Less than six hours of sun per day means a rangy plant with no fruit. No soil in the
sunny place? Consider putting your tomato in a container, then you can move it to wherever
Soil and Situation
matter, add compost—the best soil improver. Your tomato is a vine that grows up to ten feet
tall, but can fit in as little as one to three square feet of ground space. Stake, clip, cage, or
twine your tomato around a string, or plant near a chain link fence. See ‘Support’ for tips on
Containers—The Portable Tomato
Find exactly the right spot—and don’t be afraid to change your mind about it later.
Containers should hold at least 3 gallons, and must drain well. Clean 5-gallon paint cans or
buckets are good as long as you punch drainage holes in them. And of course, you should
feel free to decorate them as inspiration strikes.
Moving Day—Planting Your Tomato
Dig a large planting hole to loosen the soil around the root ball and ease the way for
questing roots. Ideally, the hole should be big enough to bury a basketball. Prepare the soil
by filling the hole with water the day before. Let the water soak in—your tomato will dig it.
Fill the hole part way with compost. Add a fistful of fertilizer and/or a few eggshells. Break
off all but the top 3 or 4 branches and bury the plant deeply, so the soil covers those former
branch sites—they will form roots, giving your tomato an extra solid foundation.
After transplanting, water when the top inch of soil is dry (or cheat—use a moisture meter).
Temperature, wind, and the soil type will affect how fast the soil dries out. It’s easy to water
too much. We recommend that you don’t think of “regular watering.” Do not try to keep the
soil moist. Instead, make it your goal to not let the soil dry out completely.
When you see tiny fruit on your tomato, cut way back on water (and fertilizer). This change
tells your tomato that it is time to focus on fruit. Water the ground around the plant—try not
to let water splash up onto the leaves. Water splashing up from the soil can spread disease.
Mix a handful of tomato or vegetable fertilizer—preferably organic—into the soil of the hole
or container. Add compost for richer soil. Scratch a handful of organic fertilizer or compost
into the surface soil once a month. Do not overfeed! The nitrogen in fertilizer (the first
number on the label) encourages leaf and stem growth. If you want your plant to focus on
producing fruit, cut back on nitrogen.When fall is approaching, cut way back on fertilizer and
water. If leaf ends start to turn yellow during early or mid-season, you may need more
fertilizer. Phase it in gently and see if you notice an improvement.
If you don’t pinch back your plant, you’ll get a tangle of vines, and less fruit. If you would like
to learn about pruning and types of tomato plants in more detail.
Go vertical—it increases fruit production and decreases the chance of diseases and pests.
For the highest yield, plant 18” apart, grow in single or “Y” shaped vines, and tie them
straight up. Support your tomato! Cages, trellises, garden net, or stakes are easy to find. Or
plant your tomato against a fence, or knot garden twine on a 6-foot frame and suspend
stems by twining them around the string. If you are using cages, prune your suckers so you
get 3 or 4 main stems (instead of a long “Y”), then start pinching off their growing tips once
they start spilling out and blocking the light of the tomato the next cage over. If you’re tying,
tie loosely—the stems will expand with time.
Pests and Problems
Your frequent visits will help you stay in touch with your tomato’s health. Problems are
minor when dealt with as soon as they appear. Tomato hornworms eat leaves and fruit, and
leave their calling card: black droppings. Pick the hornworms off and smush them—
disgusting, but effective! Try using homemade pest repellent/leaf cleaner, especially if you
see little white bugs on the underside of the leaves. Tomatoes can crack from uneven
moisture, or appear “catfaced,” with scars and holes in the blossom end from cold weather
or too much nitrogen. Ugly tomatoes taste great—just cut out any bad parts. Blights, late
and early, disfigure both leaves and fruit for those east of the Mississippi and on the West
Coast. Wilts can kill tomato plants.
Prevention is the best cure:
• Moisture control is key to disease control
• Watering at ground level instead of overhead
• Don’t tie or prune your plants when they are wet
• Don’t plant in the same area two years in a row, and make sure you clean up dead plants
at the end of the season.
As the Season Wanes
Get every last bit of tomato goodness! When there’s only a month left of warm weather: cut
off all growing vine ends, and all small and undeveloped fruit. Cut back on water and
fertilizer so the plant focuses on ripening existing fruit.
How to Get Help
Ask a gardening friend or neighbor—tomato people love to share tips! Try calling your local
agricultural extension office (most states have them), ask Dr. Google, or visit www.
© 2006 Windowbox.com
Grooming Heirloom Tomato Plants
All tomatoes are either Bushes (determinate) or Vines (indeterminate). Determinate
tomatoes stop growing on their own, and produce all of their fruit at once. Your heirloom
tomatoes are vines, or "indeterminate." This means they will produce fruit all season. If left
alone, they will grow into an unruly tangle of stems.
If you're short on space and if you want earlier and larger fruit, then prune!
Types of Growth
Mother Stem: The main vine. Everything else will come off it. It wants to split into many
branches, but you won't let it.
Leaf Stems: Growing off at right angles, these little fellows break the vine up into sections.
They get leaves and help with photosynthesis.
Flower cluster: These grow in the middle of sections, coming directly off the vine.
These flowers become fruit—we love them!
Suckers: These grow out of the crotches of the right angle leaf stems. They must be
removed—pinch them off with your fingers.
• For a well-behaved vine, prune to a single stem,
or a y-shaped vine with a short mother stem and
two long main stems. In areas with intense sun,
such as the southwest, more leaves are welcome-
a single stem can result in sun-scalded fruit.
Make sure to pinch off dead leaves.
• Pruning is easy—snap out the suckers that
grow out of the crotch made by the leaf stem
joining the main stem. The best snapping-time
is when suckers are 3 to 4 inches long.
• For a double stem, or Y-shaped vine,
llow a sucker near the lowest flower cluster to grow.
© 2006 Windowbox.com
Chrysanthemums Tomato &
Vegetable Insect Killer is a
insect killer for use on
tomatoes and vegetables. It
works quickly to kill
bean-leaf beetles, cabbage
loopers, Colorado potato
beetles, cutworms, flea
beetles and other garden
pests. Safe to use right
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Rolling Garden Seat with Turnbar
This comfortable rolling seat helps make your
gardening easy, eliminating the back pressure, pain
and stress caused by continuous squatting, stooping,
kneeling and other repetitive movements.
You sit on an old-fashioned tractor-style seat that is
adjustable up to 18in.H and swivels in any direction.
Great for gardening, painting, yard clean up and more.
Load Capacity (lbs.) 300
Wheel Type Pneumatic
Wheel Size (in.) 10
Dimensions L x W x H (in.) 22 13/16 x 10 5/8 x 15 3/4