ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Planting Tomatoes in the Midwest

Updated on September 5, 2016

Planting for all Weather, Organically

I have been an avid gardener, 99% organic, here in Illinois since I was a kid. My parents always had a big garden and there is no taste that compares with your own naturally grown vegetables! Since this is one of the things that I love most, both raising and eating (but not weeding for some reason) fresh veggies, I felt the need to share one of the ways in which I have found success, growing tomatoes.

I prefer to grow my garden without plant drugs like miracle gro and other chemical fertilizers, I feel you get a much better flavor that way, and more vitamins, too! There are as many ways to plant tomatoes as there are languages and I want to show you my variation of what I once read in an organic gardening book. One thing that was most important to me about the process is that tomatoes like hard packed earth more than deeply fluffed up soil. Pick up your shovels and let's go!

Source

Preparing and Planting

Anybody can grow good tomatoes as they are pretty simple and straightforward to grow, but growing good tomatoes doesn't cut it for me, I want amazing tomatoes! I usually have my tomato plants grow 5 feet tall and then hang back down to the ground and trail another 4-5 feet on the ground, loaded with big, juicy tomatoes! (that would be 15 feet tall if staked all the way up!) I make gallons of homade spaghetti sauce, and pack it in the freezer for a wonderful winter treat, so I need a lot of tomatoes! Pay attention, now as here comes the secrets to tomatoes like this!

First, the best place to begin is somewhere in your yard, unless you already have a garden spot. Use a post hole digger if you have access to one, or a spade, and dig down about 18-24 inches. Buy plants that are leggy, that is, have long stems and a few leaves on top, as we want to plant them deep. If you can only find short ones, there is a way to do that as well. After you have the hole, fill it with your homade compost to where the top of the plant is level with the ground when you put it in. Now fill in around it with a mix of compost and dirt up to the top, leaving a saucer shape sloping toward the plant around it, to collect water during dry seasons. You may want to top dress with more compost about the time tomatoes begin to ripen in mid summer to keep them coming strong. If you have short plants, plant your plants about a foot deep, and fill around them as they grow, they will grow roots out of the stem all the way up as well as keeping those deep roots that sustain them in the dry summer months.

One trick I didn't point out was that if you do this in your yard, you can simply mow around it, and after a good rain, you can check your plants without all that mud. Like I said in the beginning, tomatoes like that hard packed dirt. Be sure to stake these well, as they will be heavy, and a good wind will blow them over. I prefer to drive a wooden stake in the ground to hold up a wire basket, but there are many ways to do this. I may in the future write more about other vegetables, as well as my spaghetti sauce, so be on the lookout for those, and until then, happy gardening!


What do you think?

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • putnut profile imageAUTHOR

      putnut 

      6 years ago from Central Illinois or wherever else I am at the moment.

      Please vote, comment and share!

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)