Tomato Matters

818.716.7130
Navigation Menu if ( function_exists( 'soliloquy_slider' ) ) soliloquy_slider( '1219' );

Gardener’s Holiday Wish List Day 8 – 2013 Tomato Growing Guide Calendar

Posted by on Dec 14, 2012 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

My favorite holiday gift for every tomato lover!

This may be really obvious…but I’m suggesting the 2013 Tomato Growing Guide Calendar as the perfect holiday gift for tomato lovers because it is just that! 

Tomato Growing Guide and Calendar

Created just for tomato lovers, the 2013 Tomato Growing Guide Calendar serves two really important functions.  Yes, it is a monthly calendar for the new year and there is plenty of space on each date to note events and appointments.

Calendar Pages InsideIn addition, each page of the year includes a beautiful picture – all are photos taken by me in my garden.  Every month also has details about what to do in your tomato garden and it’s coded for different growing regions across the country. There are 17 years worth of tips and suggestions that I share from my tomato growing experience. With ample room to jot down notes it also becomes a helpful record keeper.  This is most definitely a helpful tool for everyone growing tomatoes.

The 2013 Tomato Growing Guide Calendar hits home with tomato growers and people who simply love to enjoy eating tomatoes. The recipes included are easy to prepare and delicious. Whether you grow tomatoes and need the gentle reminders about tomato care or have fond memories of hand-picking vine ripened tomatoes in your Grandfather’s garden this is a gift that’s sure to please.

Tomato Growing Guide Calendars are shipped via US Mail unless you have some special delivery needs (we aim to please). 

To order, click here!

Read More

Gardener’s Holiday Wish List – Day 6 Pruners!

Posted by on Dec 11, 2012 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

I love my pruners!  I use them all the time and I like to have several pair. 

I have the long handled ones that I use for pruning roses or cutting back grape vines.  It’s the short handled ones, though, that I use every day in some way.  Also known as secateurs, these pruners have short handles and are operated with one hand.  A spring between the handles causes the jaws to open again after closing. When not in use, the jaws are held closed by a safety catch or by a loop.

Why do I have so many pruners?  One lives in the tool box in the car so I always have it at the community garden.  One lives in the shed out back.  One is under the kitchen sink and the other one always seems to be lost!

I really do use my pruners every day.  I use them to deadhead roses, and cosmos, and dahlias and every other flower I grow.  I use them when I cutback the hydrangeas in fall and roses each winter.  I use them to harvest tomatoes. Yes, you read that right! Sometimes tomatoes can be very easily plucked from the plants but to be safe, I like to cut them. If not, it’s too easy to accidentally remove the stem and tear into the skin.  This is especially true of cherry tomatoes.

There are several really good brands of pruners and they’re available at most of the garden shops. Felco, Corona, Fiskars are all great lines that offer various sizes.  Some have a slightly padded handle, which I like.  There are some made just for left-handers.  The shape is most important to me as I want them to have a small enough point to be able to get into small places.

My Mother once told me that if you give someone something sharp as a gift they need to give you a nickel.  It’s something about not severing a friendship.  I really don’t know the full details about that superstition but here’s what I do know – every gardener loves to get new pruners.  Just make sure they have a nickel ready.

Read More

Gardener’s Holiday Wish List Day 5 – Canning Supplies

Posted by on Dec 11, 2012 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

In August I find my kitchen counters overflowing with tomatoes. I try to arrange them neatly on platters, trays and in baskets.  Inevitably, counter space becomes so minimal that there’s not even room to slice up one of my tasty garden gems.  This is when the canning supplies come out.  Every gardener that grows more than a few tomatoes needs to have this!

Supplies for canningCanning supplies can be purchased individually or in sets.  The sets are so worth it – you know the rack is the right size for the pot and that makes a huge difference!  You don’t need anything fancy, but you do need all of the items…the magnet, rack, pot and specially shaped canning tongs, jars and lids are all necessary to do the job properly and safely.  A good book about canning (there are many) is really helpful as the science here is an important factor.

Canning supplies are easy to find. Some grocery stores carry it all. I’ve seen sets at Bed, Bath and Beyond, Smart and Final and of course, all of the cookware and restaurant supply shops.  This is a great gift – you will enjoy the delicious results as much as the person receiving the gift!

 

 

Read More

Gardener’s Holiday Wish List Day 4 – Garden Aprons and Tool Belts

Posted by on Dec 9, 2012 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Garden aprons and tool belts help me keep it together!

I don’t go out to the garden empty handed…ever! At the very least I’ve got a bottle of water, cell phone (so I can take quick garden photos) and pruners.  More often than not I’ve got garden tape, clips of some sort and a paper and pen as well.  Sure, I could keep a lot of those things in a tool box, but I want them on my person so I can just grab them and use them when the need presents itself.

So, how do I manage all this stuff?

Garden Aprons and Tool beltsI like to wear some kind of adjustable gardening apron or tool belt – something that isn’t binding or cumbersome.   This needs to have lots of pockets – at least one wide and deep enough for a bottle of water and one shorter so I don’t have to go digging around for my phone.  Then there are more pockets for gloves or my notepad – whatever I need to get your garden work done.  Some aprons also have clips which are really handy for holding scissors or other tools.   Garden aprons can be pretty and cute or strictly utilitarian in appearance.  As long as it does the job, I’m not too concerned with what it looks like.

I have several aprons/tool belts but I can’t say I ever bought one for myself.  No reason, really…I do think they’re brilliant and that every gardener would love to have at least one.  So go ahead and buy an apron for the holidays – your gardener will love you for it!

Read More

Gardener’s Holiday Wish List Day 3 – Wonder Soil

Posted by on Dec 8, 2012 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

 

Wonder SOil Expanding Bricks of Garden Mix

I discovered this at a recent trade show and I think it’s a really cool concept.  WONDER SOIL is a water saving gardening solution of expanding bricks, blocks, wafers and biodegradable pots. These state of the art products are made in various sizes and formulas for different gardening applications.  The mixes are 100% biodegradable and promote faster germination with stronger root systems, better growth and healthier plants.Wonder Soil products expand up to 9 times their volume when water is added, thereby eliminating the need for big bags of soil. 

I haven’t used Wonder Soil yet but I have seen it expand in demonstrations and also plants growing in it.  I’ve read the literature and the multiple benefits described. I’m intrigued enough to say that I will definitely order bricks to use in some areas of my tomato gardens and containers.  Part of the fun of gardening is the experimentation and discovery of new products.

From a practical standpoint, I know many gardeners complain of achy backs and the last thing they want or can do is haul several bags of soil around the garden. This could be just the answer.  I think it’s an inventive idea, something out of the ordinary and a fun and unique gift to give or receive.

Wonder Soil is available at local nurseries or online at www.wondersoil.com.

 

Read More