, Salem, MA


February 14, 2014

North Shore Gardener: Roses are red, tomatoes will soon be, too


Choose a cloudy, overcast day to move the plants outside permanently. If transplanting must be done on a bright day, plant late in the day and shade the plants for a few days. If the weather is cold, gain additional warmth from solar heat-collecting water caps. Gallon milk containers filled with water and placed near the plants will collect heat and disperse it overnight. A paper bag will help break the wind, but black roofing paper will attract the heat and break the wind. Bushel baskets can be overturned and placed over the tender plants, too.

When tomatoes bloom, spray the flower clusters twice a week with blossom set spray, which contains a hormone that will help the fruit set as early as possible. Side dress the plant with fertilizer after the plant has blossomed.

Why didn’t we start our tomatoes in January and get a really good head start on summer? Growing tomatoes indoors is timed precisely because tomatoes can’t stand being in the house any more than you can. By starting them this month, they’ll be perfectly grown and ready to transplant outdoors at the earliest possible date, having had the advantage of a few warm weeks in your house. They’ll be far ahead of any plants started outdoors from seed in May in the still very cold soil. You’ll be sick of watering, moving, turning and tending those tiny pots, but you’ll be so glad you did it.

Start with one of the early varieties, such as Early Girl or Big Early. Plant seeds indoors about 10 weeks before the average last spring frost date for your area. Re-pot the tiny seedlings when they are 3 to 4 inches high. At this time, pick off all the lower leaves and replant up to the leaves. Re-pot again when the plants are 8 to 10 inches high, again pinching off the lower leaves to prevent rotting.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • misselwood_2 Rare, classic cars make an appearance at annual Endicott College show

    The original Concours d'Elegance was a fashion show on wheels. "It did start in 17th century France, where some of the aristocracy wanted to show off the fashions they were wearing," said Patrick Cornellison, chairman of the event. "Mainly women woul

    July 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • twenties_3 Ipswich's Castle Hill braces for 1,000 at Roaring '20s Lawn Party

    The latest dance craze started in the 1930s. The Lindy Hop, which first flourished in the ballrooms of Harlem, is expected to draw hundreds of people to a dance floor at the Crane Estate this Sunday. Organized by Boston Swing Central, a dance club in

    July 24, 2014 4 Photos

  • kallyson North Shore entertainment calendar Good cause YARD SALE TO BENEFIT JIMMY FUND. Saturday, July 26, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., 11 Anna Drive, Danvers. Family yard sale with all proceeds benefiting the Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Walk. WOOSHIE'S WARRIORS FUNDRAISER FOR MS. Sunday, July 27, 10 a.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • The reader's eye Name: Erika Torkildsen Hometown: Beverly Description: "I took this at the Salem Common around a park where I noticed a ripped basketball net amid the blue sky. Instead of taking the picture from my original view, I tipped the camera up from under the

    July 24, 2014

  • shakespeare Good cause The Bard comes alive on Misery Island Join Sea Station for its inaugural performance of "The Tempest Trials," a Shakespearean festival on Salem's Misery Island, on Saturday from noon to 4:15 p.m. The festival features actors of all ages participating

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Horoscope Leo (July 23-Aug. 22) -- Your goals and current lifestyle need a little adjustment. Be receptive to new ideas, and make a change if you want to feel better about the direction you are heading in. Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22) -- Your leadership qualities

    July 24, 2014

  • Dear Abby: Girl and cousin both need counseling after assault Dear Abby: My granddaughter "Cindy," age 2, was being watched by her mommy's ex-sister-in-law and her sons. Cindy went to her mommy and said, "Bubby hurt me." Bubby is what she calls her 10-year-old cousin. Her mother called the police. A policeman s

    July 23, 2014

  • Wednesday's Best Bets Best Bets for Wednesday, July 23

    Looking for something to do today? Here are The Salem News' Best Bets:

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Dear Abby: Younger couples weigh in on how they handle money Dear Readers: On April 11, I printed a letter from "Wondering in Washington," a man asking why young men in general today have the attitude that "any money I earn is mine" in a marriage or live-in situation. He said when he married, he and his wife c

    July 22, 2014

  • Dear Abby: Dating scene is frustrating for strong young woman Dear Abby: I am a young woman hoping to find "The One." But I have come to realize that I'm not the normal female. I don't get manicures or go shopping. (I hate shopping!) When I meet a guy, he likes that I'm "me," but if we get serious, then I'm eit

    July 21, 2014

NDN Video
Comments Tracker