I would like to start canning my own tomatoes in both whole form and in
salsa. What is the best variety for this? I'd like to get something
that grows well in my sandy loam kansas soil and has a decent yield.
Also, we'd like to have a few slicer tomatoes for salads and to eat
plain, what makes a good tomato variety for this?
the past few years, we've only used miracle grow fertilizer about 3-4
times during the season without any ammendments to the soil. Should
we consider manure or other fertilizers to increase the tomato yield
out of our smaller garden?
yes, you should definately use compost and/or well aged manure. There are a
host of reasons why but none more than the health of your soil. You feed the
soil and improve its quality with compost and manures. If the soil is
healthy the plants are more likely to do well. You will also boost the humus
in your dirt and its water retention abilities. Any earth, whether clay or
loam or sandy will benefit. The taste of the vegetables may improve as well.
You can grow plants without compost/manure as you have shown. For long term
success however putting organic matter in your soil is highly recommended.
You can either fork it in to the soil or lay it across the top as a mulch. I
do the latter and rely on worms and the like to mix it in over a period of
I don't know what variety would do best in your part of Kansas, but I don't
get much to do well here in Colby. I have never been able to do tomatoes.
My friends and neighbors usually do very well with tomatoes, not me.
I do can them, and know that you need one that is acidic, or you will have
to compensate for the lack of acid before sealing the jars.
My wife's uncle in Arkansas raises more tomatoes than anyone I have ever
seen. He plants 6 rows, 75 ft long, every year. His secret is to add a
hand full of "barn yard" in the soil about 2 inches below where he puts the
roots of the plants in the row when he is planting them.
In his case, "barn yard" is cow manure, urine, and straw that has been all
mixed together and aged on the floor of his old chicken house that has been
converted into a barn.
Good point about "acidic". Matter of fact, I'd add that *generally*, it's
good to avoid any variety that's advertised as having characteristics which
make you wonder "Why?" Low acid tomatoes? Why? They're *supposed* to have
some punch. Early tomatoes...sometimes they work, but the advertising
neglects to say that they may be tasteless. For me, "Fourth of July" didn't
produce any earlier than "Big Girl" or whatever beefsteak variety I grew
last year. Harvest was a week earlier. Not worth the space for a tasteless
I grow in raised gardens because of the poor soil here in Atlanta and
buy compost, etc in 40 pound bags at Wal-Mart for about 95 cents a bag.
I add turkey litter that has been processed for use on golf courses for
fertilizer. Growth is fantastic and it is organic. Right now I am
harvesting colliflower and broccoli from my winter garden planted in
Sept. Cabbage should be ready in about two weeks.
You might want to read these from KSU extension :
This is another article you might want to read just for kicks. It is a
historical document from 1933 and talks about growing tomatoes during that
time in Kansas and also about some of the old varieties of tomatoes. (It is
rather long so if you are on dial up, give it some time.)
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