Saturday, May 21, 2011

Time to Plant Those Tomatoes

It's been another cool, wet spring in north Idaho, but I think we are finally out of frost danger.  The 50+ tomato plants that I started in early March have been hardening off in the covered hoop bed for about two weeks.  We've been monitoring the overnight temperatures pretty closely with the help of a thermometer with a remote sensor and this has worked really well. 

When the temp is going to dip below 40 at night we cover the plastic with another "blanket" -- a heavier, blue tarp.  This has helped, along with the few sunny and 70 days we've had so far this year.

I have to admit, the starts look great and I'm calling the "starting tomatoes from seeds" a big success this year.  Now on to the next step - getting them into the ground.  We have two beds dedicated to tomatoes and this year I am trying something new.  Instead of the traditional tomato cages for support, we are going to try the cattle panel idea.   

We purchased a 16 foot section of cattle panel - we'll put an 8 foot section into each bed.  I'm still researching the best planting scheme.  Some people have put the panel down the center and staggered 3 or 4 plants on either side.  Another placed the panel about 1/3 into the bed and planted 7 on one side, allowing for a row or two of other crops in the same bed.  Either way, I'm not going to get 50 plants in! 

Stay tuned -- I'll post photos and the final outcome later this week!


  1. Hello Candace! I was walking through the Farmers Market and a nice lady came up to me and said..."Hi neighbor" Of course I was on a mission to get my lettuce, and couldn't quite place the face, and it wasn't until I checked my email and found your new listing that I thought...Was that Candace? I think I will recognize you next time, and if you see me...please stop me so we can "officially" meet. Hope you have a wonderful day!

  2. Hi! Well, it must have been another "neighbor," as I missed Farmer's Market last Saturday due to my own tomato planting! But that's what I love about FM - seeing old and new friends!


Thanks for reading and sharing your comments! Candace

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