Hello gardening friends and welcome to my blog! I will do my best to answer your questions, give gardening tips, and help you with your gardening problems, from non-toxic pest control to ideas for frost and sun protection and more! It might take me a while to answer your emails, since it is soon to be my busiest season and I’m outside working all day until after dark. Please email me instead of calling, as I am not around the phone all day. Thank you!
After the last frost is passed it will be time plant your early spring gardens. The 2016 (average) last frost date was April 7th in Paso Robles and February 15th in San Luis Obispo. But every year is different, so be prepared!
My first tip is to amend your soil with plenty of good quality compost to increase organic matter, and also use an organic complete fertilizer according to directions, thoroughly mixed into the soil prior to planting. I highly recommend Black Diamond Vermicompost (made by worms!), locally available from www.slocountyworms.com. There are many brands of organic-complete fertilizers available at local nurseries, like Miner’s and Farm Supply.
Tomatoes need extra calcium added to the soil to help prevent blossom end rot. Diamond K brand of agricultural gypsum is an organically-approved, low cost amendment that supplies calcium and sulphur. It is available at Farm Supply.
If you aren’t sure what your garden soil lacks, consider having your soil tested to see which amendments you may need to add. The cost is from $40 for a basic test to $70. There are many soil testing laboratories listed on the Internet, including Peaceful Valley Farm Supply and A & L Western Agricultural Laboratories. Most nurseries will also send in your soil sample to be tested.
My focus this winter & spring will be on TOMATOES!. I am growing over 60 varieties of tomatoes this year, most of which are delicious heirlooms! See the extensive list on the Website! There are varieties which are better for cool, coastal conditions on a separate list, along with another list of those that grow well in containers. The days listed next to each tomato variety are the approximate number of days from transplant to harvest. NOTE: INDETERMINATE specifies a plant that keeps growing and bearing fruit all season until frost, while DETERMINATE varieties are bush-type plants that grow to 3′-4′ tall and bear most of the harvest all at once over a period of two weeks or so, then die.
Also, please make sure to check out Tomato Planting Tips on the blog home page . . .