Question: What are the tricks to growing tasty tomatoes in Colorado region?
Answer: Life in Colorado has many advantages, but a long growing season isn't one of them.
- Choose an early variety and diseasetant plants. The fewer days to maturity, the more likely you are to get ripe fruit before a frost.
- A minimum of eight hours of full sunlight a day is required for tomatoes to do their best. They will also appreciate protection from the wind. Until the night temperatures stabilize at 50 degrees, protect your plants with wallswater (plastic, water-filled circular shelters.)
- Before planting, add nitrogen to soil at the rate of 1 pound per 1,000 square feet. Tomatoes like fertile, well-drained soil.
- Plants need to be "hardened off" to reduce environmental shock from moving outdoors. A week before planting, move them outdoors in their containers. Protect them from strong wind and offer filtered sun or short periods of morning sun. Gradually increase the time outside, starting with an hour.
- After the soil has warmed up, plant them somewhat sideways to take advantage of the "bumps" at the base of the stem that are roots waiting to happen. Bend the top of the stem so that the leaves are above ground, keep them watered and watch them grow.