Friday, 26 May 2017

Growing Perfect Tomatoes 101 | Fox News

My friends, perfect tomatoes are not those red tasteless orbs for sale at your local national grocery chain store, however nice they look. The most perfect tomato is the one you're going to grow in your garden this summer and is defined by its taste and texture: It is juicy, acidic, flavorful, maybe even spicy, and a whole different tomato from store-bought fare. How are you going to grow that tomato? Follow the guidelines below.


When it comes to tomatoes, you've got thousands of choices of varieties. Heirlooms, hybrids, determinate, indeterminate, some more tolerant to cooler temperatures, some more resistant to disease. Some are green, white, yellow, orange, purple, while others are striped. To even begin to describe the various varieties is outside the scope of this article, but the variety you choose matters.

You should choose a variety that is suited to your local climate. How do you find that out? The best way is to ask local seasoned gardeners. This might be a local farmer who sells at farmers markets, might be a neighbor, or might be a gardening expert at your local garden center. Whatever way you get the information, starting with genes which are adapted to your local climate puts you ahead of the game for success.


The soil is the foundation of everything, and so it is also the foundation of growing perfect tomatoes. I can't stress this enough. You should invest the majority of your effort in making the best soil you can. That means either buying high quality soil or soil ingredients (more expensive but less work for you), or building up good soil throughout the year with practices like green mulch, crop rotation, and composting (very cheap but more work).

The bed where you are planting should be, at minimum, dug up and tur ned over, with clods broken up and aged compost mixed in. This makes it easier for roots to grow, brings necessary air and nutrients into the soil, and allows moisture to be absorbed more readily and retained.

The compost could be well-aged manure, composted vegetable scraps and straw, composted leaves, or store bought compost, but the soil needs it. Not only does compost improve the nutrient profile and texture of the soil, but it also increases the soil's ability to retain moisture and to sustain necessary microbial life. Adding bone meal and blood meal are good natural slow release forms of nutrients.

Each tomato grower has his or her own secrets for growing perfect tomatoes. For instance, take Cynthia Sandberg, owner of Love Apple Farms in Santa Cruz, CA ('love apple,' or 'pomme d'amour' is an old romantic French appellation for tomatoes). Into the hole she digs for each tomato plant Cynthia adds a fish head, worm castings, aspirin, egg shells, bone meal, and mycor rhizal fungi. (In case you doubt the efficacy of this method, the tomatoes Cynthia grows go to Manresa restaurant which has consistently received a two star Michelin rating.)


Planting tomatoes at the right time is very important. Too early and frost will do them in, too late and fruit production will be limited. Long, hot summers are ideal for tomato growing, but if you live in a region with a shorter summer, either start seeds indoors 4-8 weeks before last frost date, or plan on buying transplants.

Another practice which some tomato growers swear by is the use of black or red plastic mulch around the base of each plant. The plastic seals the soil and maximizes heat and moisture retention. Regular mulch like straw or leaves also helps, although k eep a space of a couple inches between the mulch and the stem to prevent the stem from being exposed to prolonged moisture.


The consensus is that tomatoes do better as transplants rather than sown as seeds in a garden bed. When you transplant, dig the hole deep enough so that the entire stem, up to the first leaves of the plant will be under soil. Some people even remove the lowest leaves and plant that under soil as well. While this would kill many other plants, tomatoes are unique in that they grow roots out of their stems, and this type of deep planting creates a stronger root structure and can help tomato plants to grow twice as fast according to Robert Smaus, author of 52 Weeks in the California Garden.

Space plants at least 2'-3' apart for maximum fruit production.


Never spray water on tomato leaves because it encourages disease; rather, water deeply at the base of each plant once every 4-6 days. Watering too much and too regularly makes for weak plants and mealy, tasteless tomatoes and can encourage tomato diseases.

There is a method of water management for tomato growing called the dry farm method, which is to water tomato plants regularly until a certain point, and then to stop watering completely.

On Adamah Farm in Falls Village, CT, they plant their tomatoes into plastic sheet mulch, water them in on the day of planting, and then don't water again for the rest of the season. Here in Southern California, I like to water until the plants start to set flowers and then stop watering for the duration of the season. I have no need to call a Los Angeles plumber to install an irrigation system. I know it sounds crazy, but the consensus is that this method produces the most flavorful tomatoes possible.


The more effectively you can keep tomato plants from sagging over and drooping on the ground, the less chance for disease and ruined fruits. The items sold as t omato cages seem less effective than wood or metal fence stakes. I prefer metal 5' or 6' fence stakes, which are cheaper than tomato cages, last longer, and are more effective. I buy them at my local Home Depot. As the tomato plant grows up next to the stake, I tie the stem loosely to the stake for support. The thicker the tie, the less chance it will cut into the stem. So, for instance, a length of cloth would be better than a piece of wire.

Now get out there and grow the most amazing tomatoes you've ever tasted!

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Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Autos & Trucks :: Stolen Recovered Salvage Auctions

Stolen recovered salvage yards put up for sale all sorts of cars, trucks and motorcycles. Some are more damaged than others, and some of the vehicles only require minor repairs. Online, one has the opportunity to look at all the cars offered at the auction, estimating how damaged they truly are and what repairs they might need.

The business with stolen and recovered cars is extremely productive, since important profits are made. The supply is of course guaranteed by the increased number of car thefts, most of the recovered vehicles being far too damaged for the owners to be able to use them again. Insurance companies pay the theft claim to the owners and they sell the stolen and recovered vehicles to salvage yards. These vehicles are later purchased by different people, who ar e looking to save important sums of money on purchasing a car. They will take complete responsibility to repair the car and bring it back to its original state, making sure that it functions without any problems.

As someone interested in purchasing salvaged vehicles, you will be confronted with a number of options. The market is filled with interesting choices, even if some of these vehicles might be highly damaged. Fortunately, you have the Internet and its specialized resources that you can turn to for shopping around. Assess your options where stolen recovered salvage vehicles are concerned and take a decision that is based on actual facts, rather than hear say. There are determining factors that you will have to think about, including the repair costs, the price of the vehicle in question and the existing damage.

Even though purchasing a salvaged car might represent a smart idea, you will have to be extra careful not to be fooled. There are salvage yards and auctions where extensively damaged cars are sold, and very little information about their state is actually disclosed. You will have to discuss everything thoroughly with the person selling the salvaged cars, inquiring about key components such as the transmission system or the engine. If such parts are damaged b eyond repair, then you should think twice before purchasing the car. It is for the best that you orientate yourself towards a car that is worth salvaging, paying a price that falls within your budget. Such vehicles are usually bought from different insurance companies, the usable spare parts being put up for sale afterwards.

There are many great opportunities to discover when it comes to stolen recovered salvage yards. Many great vehicles are recovered by the authorities. These vehicles present different degrees of damage and they are sold to salvage yards to recover losses. Prospective customers are presented with all sorts of vehicles, being given the chance to purchase a car that is not so badly damaged but has a price that they can afford. Stolen and recovered vehicles are definitely cheaper and they represent an attractive option for someone who lacks the financial means to purchase a new car. Make sure that you will have all the info before actually making a purchase!

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