It’s time to plant the tomatoes but first we want to prevent late blight getting to our plants. Now that the nights are warming up my tomatoes are anxiously looking forward to their new home in the kitchen garden. Tomatoes can be planted outside once the nights are 10C. I have trays of tomato plants on a shelf that have been hardened off and they are ready to go in the ground.
I love the thought of biting into the first tomato of the season. Don’t you? I want a successful harvest and no blight in the garden. After all, a good tomato harvest will have you making sauces for winter meals.
First we had to construct a new cover for the tomato bed. Late blight is a serious problem for tomatoes and there are ways you can protect your plants from this fungal disease. Above Farmer Jim has built the end corners for what will become the sides of the roof over the raised bed. He had some thicker plastic kicking around that he is attaching to the sides.
It took both of us to get the roof on top. Using two by four posts at each corner we were able to place the new roof on top. Using deck screws we fastened the sides on. Deck screws will allow us to move it from year to year depending on where the tomato rotation takes us. I never grow tomatoes in the same bed year after year. I like a four year rotation to prevent disease problems. The last task was to add plastic over the top and secure it to the frame. I am reusing the 3mm plastic from last summer as its still in good shape. The flaps on each end have been left loose so I can peg them up on sunny days. Yes, clothes pegs have become my go to clips. If you look closely at the roof, Farmer Jim made sure to add a bit of an overhang so the rain will run down and onto the ground, not into the raised beds. This roof should hold up well on windy days.
When you cover your beds, its important to remember to water them. Tomatoes like consistent watering to do well. Last year the tomatoes produced well into October and loved the depth of the 20″ high raised beds. I realized last year that the tomato plants growing in deeper beds produced later into fall compared to ones growing in 10″ high raised beds.
Remember to make sure your tomato plants go dry into the night, no overhead watering allowed. Try to water the soil, not the plants. Feed them with a bit of organic fertilizer when planting and they will be good to go.