A Tutorial On Tomatoes.

Around this time each spring, whenever there is a cloudy, cool day, I can usually be found in one of our hoop houses working up the tomato crop.  If you never had the pleasure of being in a hoop house on a sunny, hot day then you may not know that it is in fact not a pleasure at all.  Indeed, it is quite dangerous to be in a hoop house between the hours of about 9:30 and 5 from spring to fall.  So I have to wait for the cooler, cloudy days and also work at night, as long as the light holds, and early in the morning. Why so much work in the hoop house?  After the initial working of the soil, planting and mulching to block weeds and retain moisture, I spend a bit of time with an initial pruning and trellis work.  I was working on it this morning and thought I would shoot a couple of videos explaining a bit about how and why I do so.  If you’re a home gardener who’s been using those short little tomato cages you may want to consider pruning and trellis the pruned plant (only necessary if you’re growing indeterminate plants). You’ll get more high quality, cleaner fruit that is more easily accessible.  It also allows you to use more horizontal ground space for other plants because the tomato plant is growing vertically in a very small footprint.  Great way to save space in a square foot gardening situation.  I’ve added links below to two videos.  I hope you enjoy.

Pruning and Training Part 1

Pruning and Training Part 2

Hopefully you’ve enjoyed these tutorials.  You can find a lot more information online, in gardening books and from other farmers and gardeners.  Don’t be afraid to ask questions and be observant.  Volunteer to work at a farm and keep your eyes open.  You’ll surely pick up tips that will help you make your home garden a more efficient, productive and ultimately enjoyable place to be.  There is so much to enjoy about a garden during a Maine spring, summer and fall, how could you not?  I’ll leave you with the latest development in our garden, other than the neatly pruned and trellised tomatoes.  The first Sugar Ann Snap Peas!  Local Food.  Eat well – be well.

Sugar Ann Snap Peas.  A welcome sight and a welcome dinner guest!

Sugar Ann Snap Peas. A welcome sight and a welcome dinner guest!

Ryan Parker

About Ryan Parker

Ryan Parker is a farmer, writer, artist and musician. He currently lives in Central Maine with his wife, two children, a golden retriever, some pigs and chickens. He raises pastured and forested animals and grows a diverse range of vegetables without synthetic chemicals, pesticides, herbicides or taxpayer subsidies.