Whether you’re a beginner or experienced gardener, growing tomatoes can sometimes be a bit tricky. In this week’s SCOOP, Joyce Carroll, Pitney Meadows Community Gardens Director (and Volunteer Coordinator) of Saratoga Springs, NY gives some expert tips for producing a bountiful summer harvest!

ALWAYS PLANT IN FULL SUN. Joyce recommends a good 6 hours of sun. Many community members use the plots available at Pitney Meadows Community Gardens because their yards are partially shaded. Tomato plants LOVE it hot!

ADD ORGANIC MATTER TO SOIL. Joyce usually adds both organic compost and worm castings (yes, it IS worm poop) to the soil, which help to enrich soil and retain moisture.

PLANT TOMATOES DEEP. It may feel funny, but Joyce recommends having about half of your plant down in the soil. Remove the branches that would be underground, for this is where all the new roots will form. Add more compost and water well before filling the hole with soil.

WATER AT BASE, NOT FROM OVERHEAD. Joyce recommends creating a moat before watering at the base, which will help get the water to where it needs to go (the ROOTS). Watering overhead crates wet leaves, increasing the likelihood for fungus and bugs.

SPACE PLANTS AT LEAST 2 FEET APART. This allows that plants to get proper circulation and gives you the ability to plant smaller crops underneath the tomatoes.

Pitney Meadows Community Farm is committed to empowering community members to grow their own produce and educating all ages about the vital importance of regenerative agriculture, healthy food and good nutrition.

Joyce reminds us that whether you’re a beginner gardener or an experienced gardener, there is ALWAYS more to learn. Pitney Meadows Community Farm offers a variety of educational programs, in addition to recreational and community events. All upcoming events and information about volunteer opportunities can be found at . Through their Pick-Your-Own CSA Program and community collaborations, Pitney Meadows Community Farm is on a mission to ensure that farm fresh produce is accessible to all in our community.

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