Sungolds, Orange Oxhearts, Tidy Rose… A tomato’s descriptive worth is almost as pleasing as the fruit this plant offers come summer. And after this weekend’s temperatures, there’s all the more reason to have its fruit on the mind, as the day’s heat primed the earth for this summer’s beloved crop. Experience has taught me that tomato plants prefer soil temperatures above 55 degrees while enjoying a spot in the garden with at least eight hours of sunlight. Planting in any cooler conditions will likely stunt the plant, sometimes leading the plant to fruit later than normal. Therefore warmth is key! Especially in Portland’s potentially mild-natured summers.

Home grown tomatoes, home grown tomatoes
What would life be like without home grown tomatoes
Only two things money can’t buy
That’s true love and home grown tomatoes

John Denver
Otherwise, tomatoes are unlike many of their other plant companions in that they easily cope with transplanting. This makes starts a good option for your garden, so long as you remain mindful of Portland’s unpredictable summer season and choose varieties acclimated to our flippant climate. In the past I’ve tried Sungold’s for cherries, Stupice’s for slicers, and Amish Paste for canning tomatoes… Each variety is hardy enough for Portland’s climate, while remaining pleasing on the palate.Tomatoes on the vine

And when it comes to planting, make sure to plant your tomatoes deep enough — tomatoes are somewhat of a charmed anomaly in that their stem has the potential to grow new roots! Therefore planting a portion of the stem eventually gives the plant a stronger base to rise from. So try planting the first two sets of leaves below ground and see your plants flourish. Finally, I often recommend soil with a bit of lime, bone meal, eggshells…this given the fact that tomatoes love calcium.

So here’s to a savory entrance into your own summer gardening practice. As always, feel free to reach out to us with any and all edible landscaping nuances. We’re available for edible consultations spring, summer and beyond!