My Spray-N-Grow Garden

In about a month we’ll start planting our spring gardens here in South Texas and that means more talk about tomatoes. Tomatoes are the #1 plant here just like it is every place. We’ve spent a lot of research money growing tomatoes using Spray-N-Grow. These trials were conducted to imitate to how farmers would use Spray-N-Grow and they showed a yield increase of 50-60 % and increased sugar content (better taste). Home gardeners will do even better because they will apply more Spray-N-Grow to the plant and will use it more often.

What variety should we plant? This depends on your location, how much area you have, what size fruit you want, and container vs in the ground. Etc.

Here’s a little info to consider:
1. What varieties are best for your planting zone? Check with your County Ag Extension Agent or or local Master Gardeners Assn for recommendations for your area.
2. Do you want early season, mid season or late season bearing fruit? Early = 55-65 days, Mid = 70-80 days, Late = 80-85 days. Have some fun and try one of each, if you have the space.
3. Fruit size = 6-8 oz, 8-12 oz, 10-16 0z 16-32 0z, 32 0z & up.
4. Plant size = compact or bush?
5. Disease resistance = check the capital letters right after the variety name, for example Celebrity VFFNTA means that this variety is resistant to verticillium wilt, fusarium wilt, nematodes, tobacco mosaic virus and alternaria…that’s a mouth full!

In our area, I like Celebrity. It has a great track record with both gardeners and farmers. It’s a good producer with excellent flavor and fruit size of 8-12 oz. It has very good disease resistance VFFNTA. Arkansas Traveler is an old late season variety that is a fairly good hot weather producer.

Tips for growing good tomatoes:
1. Use good manure compost.
2. Start applying Spray-N-Grow & Bill’s Perfect Fertilizer at the 5-7 leaf stage or right after transplanting.
3. Mixture = 1oz (2 tablespoons) Spray-N-Grow to one gallon warm water (like you wash your hands in),let stand 15-20 minutes then add I tablespoon Bill’s Perfect Fertilizer.
4. Farmers and gardeners alike are using red plastic to enhance quality and yield. I haven’t tried this, but was introduced to it by our organic apple growers in Washington who use it to enhance color on their apples.

If you want to try and grow six pound tomatoes like Walter, our customer in Iowa, you have to start with one the varieties that make this possible. Try tomatogrowers.com for all varieties available.

Enjoy your time in the garden,

Bill

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Comment by Joanie on September 25, 2011 at 5:34pm
I have two EBs and have had them for five years with excellent results.  This is the first year that I have used dolomite in the boxes and most of the tomatoes had blossom end rot. Previously I used Nutri-Cal. The ones that did make it through without the rot were excellent.  Big, juicy, sweet, delicious tomatoes.  Think next year I'll  go with nutri-cal again and forget the dolomite.  Of course, I'll continue to use SnG for as long as I garden.  I don't mix them together--just alternate the products. 
Comment by robert lake on April 25, 2011 at 5:16pm

what is red plastic bill?

robert lake.

Comment by Linda Marshall on June 11, 2010 at 9:08pm
When we got our boxes this year, they had fertilizer with them, (you have to buy it every year), and they said we had everything we needed, and not to add other fertilizer or it would burn the plants. We have two tomato plants per box, (like they said to do), but they are so big, we can't even see the middle.
Comment by bettye198 on June 11, 2010 at 8:37pm
Dolomite at the nursery is powdered calcium and it is imperative to mix in the Earth Boxes with fertilizer. We have EB's too.
Comment by Linda Marshall on June 11, 2010 at 8:28pm
What is dolomite, and where do I get it? I don't think to much water is the problem, because we have earth boxes, and the water wicks up from below. They only get water from the top when it rains, and we have only had short showers lately.
Comment by bettye198 on June 11, 2010 at 6:08pm
Hello! We have done two rounds of sprays now on vegies and they are doing better than last year. Huge zucchini's and bigger leaves than last yr. Tomatoes ready to pop. Eggplant - all doing beautifully. So grateful for spray n grow! Roses love them too. I will also say that the black round spots on the bottom of tomatoes is BER: blossom end rot and that indicates a need for calcium. Best to blend some dolomite in the soil. Works wonders.
Comment by Linda Marshall on June 11, 2010 at 1:53pm
We have earth boxes with tomato plants, and they are growing great. We had tiny pink,fuzzy things, but the spray took care of them. Now I have black round spots on the bottom of the tomato's. What is that? Is that blossom end rot? I thought the top was the blossom end. Yes/No?
Comment by bettye198 on May 10, 2010 at 12:12pm
Since we have 3 of our Earthboxes dedicated to 6 tomato plants, we have used the organic soil/with handfuls of dolomite and fertilizer. We plant basil and marigolds near ( to fight the nematodes) and cover with a plastic with peep holes for the plant. They grow upwards of 7-8 feet with an abundant yield. If we see blossom end rot anywhere, it alerts us to more calcium nutrients. Hopefully your products will offset that this year. We have learned not to put heirlooms with hybrids in the same box.

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