The Roma Tomato - a favorite for salsas because of it's thicker flesh.
When we plant our tomatoes in the ground we first amend the soil with a compost, we like cattle manure or cotton burr compost.
The plants are about 6" tall with a good root system. Sometimes we take out the power drill ( if we can find it) attach a small 4" auger onto it and predrill our holes. Fill them with a 1/4 cup Biotone and plant the tomato plants. Water in with our drip system.
Once the tomatoes are growing we stake them with tomato stakes and put a straw mulch of 3" thick around the base of each plant.
You need pollinators in order to produce fruit. Bees... we have a lot of them. Our gardens have been organic for 10 years and I guess the bees know that and stick around to help pollinate. We leave the wild flowers growing around the edges of the garden and sometimes plant extra flowers in the rows. Our favorite is the herb Borage.
Tips For Growing Roma Tomatoes
If you’re a fan of fresh tomato sauce, you should be growing roma tomatoes in your garden. Growing and caring for roma tomato plants means that you’ll be growing the perfect tomato for making delicious sauces. Let’s look at a few tips for growing roma tomatoes. What is a Roma Tomato? A roma tomato is a paste tomato. Paste tomatoes, like roma tomatoes, generally have a thicker fruit wall, fewer seeds, and a denser but more grainy flesh. Roma tomatoes tend to be oblong in shape and heavy for their size. They also tend to be more firm than a non-roma or paste tomato. Roma tomatoes are determinate, which means that the fruit ripens at one time, rather than continually through the season. While they can be eaten raw, they are at their best when they are cooked.
How to Grow Roma Tomatoes
Caring for roma tomato plants isn’t that much different from caring for regular tomatoes. All tomatoes need plenty of water, soil rich in organic material, and need to be staked up off the ground for the best fruit production. Roma tomatoes are no different. Prepare the soil of your tomato bed by adding compost or a slow-release fertilizer. Once you plant your roma tomato plants, water them at least once a week. Once your roma tomato plants are 6-12 inches (15 to 30.5 cm.) high, start staking the roma tomatoes up off the ground. Romas do tend to be a little easier to grow than other tomatoes due to the fact that many are fusarium and verticillium wilt resistant. While these diseases can kill other tomatoes, many times roma tomato plants can withstand the disease.
When is a Roma Tomato Ripe?
While tips for growing roma tomatoes are helpful, the end goal is to harvest roma tomatoes. Because roma tomatoes have a firmer flesh than other kinds of tomatoes, you may wonder how to tell when a roma tomato is ripe. For roma tomatoes, the color is your best indicator. Once the tomato is red all the way from the bottom to the top, it is ready for picking.
Now that you know how to grow roma tomatoes, you can add these tasty, saucing tomatoes to your garden. They are just one of the many tomatoes that you can try adding to your garden.
Credits and to read more at Gardening Know How: Tips For Growing Roma Tomatoes
Tomatoes are one of our favorite vegetable plants to grow here at Blumenflor.
We started the seedlings in February, grew them on in the greenhouse, making sure they get the right nutrition , the right growing temps etc.
They are now hardy sturdy plants ready to plant outside. We have amended the garden soil with compost and waiting to plant right after Easter.
This year we have the following Tomatoes for sale. Come out to the Garden Center to pick yours up. We love to talk gardening and will help you with any questions you might have.
Celebrity Tomatoes are our go to tomatoes. We have trialed them year after year and they are our best producers. A medium type all around tomato resistent to disease.
Roma Tomatoes are our salsa makers! They produce an abundance crop once they start.
Old German the Heirlooms which are an orange colored fruit that is lower in acid and they produce a nice big fruit.
Sweet 100's are the smaller cherry type tomatoes, kids love them.
Early girl Tomato is the earliest producing and also a medium type juicy fruit.
Today we will feature the Celebrity Tomato -
A Prolific, Hardy Tomato, withstands our west Texas heat. The Celebrity tomato is a hybrid cultivar prized for its strong plants, disease and pest resistance, and robust production of fruit. If you've ever struggled growing garden or patio tomatoes that become vulnerable to pests or just don't produce very many tomatoes, the Celebrity may be a game changer for you. These tomatoes usually weigh in at half a pound each or more, and measure four inches across: the perfect size for a slicer! Its meaty texture and smooth globe shape make it a perfect sandwich tomato, but it can also be used in salads or in sauces, or chopped and simmered with fresh herbs to serve over pasta.
Among tomato-growing aficionados, this variety is known as a "semi determinate" plant, because after reaching its full height of 3-4 feet, it continues to produce fruit until frost (unlike determinate tomatoes that have a "bush" habit and finite fruiting period/single crop, or indeterminate tomato plants that continue to sprawl and produce fruit throughout their growth season (like cherry tomatoes)
Because they produce such an abundance of large fruits, these plants definitely need cages or stakes to keep them upright. Even with cages, you may find you want to use some plant ties for extra support, especially as fruits grow larger. If the vines seem too heavy with fruit you can always pluck some tomatoes just before they fully ripen, and finish ripening them in a sunny windowsill (indoors, or squirrels might start snacking on them).
Scientific Name Solanum lycopersicum, cultivar 'Celebrity'
Common Name Celebrity tomato
Plant Type Annual
Mature Size 3 to 4 ft. tall
Sun Exposure Full sun
Soil Type Fertile, well-drained
Soil pH 6.2 to 6.8
Bloom Time Early summer, fruits appear through fall
Flower Color Yellow
Hardiness Zones 5 to 8 (USDA)
Native Areas Native to Central and South America
Toxicity Green parts of plant may be toxic to dogs or cats
Growing Celebrity Tomatoes -
Even inexperienced tomato growers may find this variety to be relatively trouble free. It's resistant to many pests and diseases, and has a robust growth habit. It also can be grown easily in containers, Use a large container that's at least five gallons, to give your plants plenty of root space, and make sure the container has good drainage.
Grown in ground Soil -
Tomatoes like a rich, well-drained soil. It's important to add new soil and amendments to the garden area where tomatoes are grown each season, and to rotate nightshade plants to benefit from optimal soil nutrition. The Celebrity tomato does best in a slightly acidic soil. You may also want to consider companion planting best for tomatoes.
Two words: full sun. Celebrity tomatoes should be grown in full sun.
Watering at the base of the plant with a watering can or drip hose, instead of using a sprinkler or hose from above, is recommended to help prevent spread of blight or disease. (Rain is good too!) Water in the morning or evening on dry days, and avoid watering during the hottest part of the day in summer. Tomatoes like plenty of water, but they do not like wet feet. If your tomato plants are pot grown they will need to be watered more often. Good drainage is essential to prevent root rot and overwatering may cause leaves to turn yellow.
Temperature and Humidity -
The ideal temperature for tomato plants to blossom, fruit and ripen falls in the 70 to 85 degree F. range.1 Being such a hardy plant, variations in temperature probably won't do too much damage to Celebrity tomato plants, but if a heat wave crops up, be sure to water with cool water in the morning and again in the evening so the foliage doesn't dry out. Too much humidity may increase susceptibility to mold or mildew, but the Celebrity has been bred to resist such problems. Even though Celebrity is more a bush type of plant, it is important to leave plenty of space between tomatoes planted in a row in the garden. Good air circulation will help prevent many of the disease problems that plague your plants.
Common Pests and Diseases-
This hardy hybrid plant is resistant to verticillium wilt, fusarium wilt, and tobacco mosaic virus, as well as nematodes. Tomato fruits are tempting to birds and small wildlife, so you may need to protect them with netting if this is a problem in your garden.
Growing Celebrity Tomatoes from Seed-
With the right set up, growing tomatoes from seed is fairly straightforward. Germination will be dependent on light, heat and moisture but most tomato seeds have a good germination rate. Use a seed starting mix and follow the instructions on the seed packet. A greenhouse is ideal for starting seeds for the vegetable and flower gardens but you can grow tomatoes from seed in a sunny windowsill. Once the seedlings emerge, they will begin to reach for the sun, so remember to turn the pots regularly to keep the plants from becoming leggy.
You will need to harden off your tomato seedlings before planting them in the garden. You can accomplish this by exposing them to outdoor temperatures for increasingly longer periods of time over a week or several days. Choose good-sized containers for transplanting your seedlings, or plant in your garden once the seedlings are at least six inches tall, and all danger of frost has passed.
Potting and Repotting-
Most tomatoes grow easily in containers, with a few simple guidelines to follow, and Celebrity tomatoes are no exception. The most important tip for rowing tomatoes in pots is to make sure the pots are big enough! Tomato root systems require a good amount of space and good drainage. Once transplanted a light watering will help avoid transplant shock. When you are ready to plant out in the garden, dig a deep hole and remove the seed leaves and up to several sets of lower leaves depending on the size of your seedlings. You can bury up to a third of the plant in the soil which encourages a strong root system and helps the roots take up available water.
info credits How to Grow and Care for Celebrity Tomatoes (thespruce.com)
We have a special project going on at Blumenflor... Raised beds. Four of them.
Measurements are 8ft.L. x 3ft W. x2ft.H. They are made of metal which we left unpainted. We like the rusty look plus our soil can always use the extra iron. They are just 4 walls bolted together, there is no bottom. We laid down high quality landscape fabric first and then built them on top of that thinking to keep the weeds down.
Last winter we had that vortex freeze and many of our shrubs and trees that we had in pots died. The raised beds are filled with those shrubs and trees on the bottom filling up 4 raised beds at least 3/4 of the way. We are thinking they will eventually decompose similar to the Hugel method. Filling up the rest with a mix of garden soil, peatmoss, compost either chicken, cattle or cotton. We are still working on the best ration but a 2/3 soil and 1/3 compost seems to be what worked for us. We did not use direct garden soil from the garden because we hate weeding! It is a matter of what you have on hand. For example you could use your old planters from the summer that had died and fill up with that. If you do use top soil from garden make sure all weeds are out, maybe even sieve it through. You can hand weed too, it probably won't be as bad as an actual garden.
We planted strawberries , sweet potatoes, herbs and now have winter crops like kale, cabbage etc. in them.
They are drip irrigated using netafim drip emitters at 1ft apart.
The whole purpose of a raised bed for us was the convenience of not having to bend as much, closer to the greenhouses or to the house in general. Walking by them every day is a joy especially when you can see how everything is growing on a higher level.
It also keeps the rabbits out. Birds do still get in there. We have to work on that yet.
All in all we love these raised beds and feel the investment in them was well worth it.
Our raised beds were made by the team at Root to Plate here in Seminole. Check out their webpage Root to Plate
You can make your own out of the materials that are available to you...
Check out our online store to buy Garden Supplies or even compost.
We are thinking of doing a work shop on raised beds in the future.
Keep up to date with our social media either facebook or instagram pages.
We were pushed by our suppliers to get our orders for plants in at a very early date. They are even wanting our spring 2023 0rder.
Demand is high but supplies are hard to find.
The reason for offering our Pre-Order plants has now taken front stage... they will be in short supply.
12" baskets are our best seller and by Mothers Day we are always sold out.
We get in small plants and plant them and grow them for you for 2 months give or take. We take great pride in this project and hardly ever get to see them at their full potential bloom because they sell so fast.
The pics above are at the stage that they will be sold. We have some beautiful combos this year.
The 12" basket can be used as a hanging basket, set into a planter as a drop in option or actually taken out of the basket and planted into your planter.
DIY is our thing at Blumenflor and our Team has so much knowledge to help you through any project. If we don't have that knowledge we recommend somebody who does.
Another shortage we had last year was certain vegetable seeds. We are affiliate with Botanical Interests and sell their seed in store. You can also buy through Blumenflor using this affiliate link.Botanical Interests It is like shopping local just online. We receive a small percent of the sale at no cost to you. Buying seeds now is a must if you want certain things. Please use the affiliate link to support us as well.
Botanical Interests are out of Colorado. They were spared the devastating wild fires in their area but many of their neighbors have suffered loss. Most of their employees know of someone who was affected by this tragedy. As a support to their community they are donating a portion of online sales to the Boulder County Wildfire fund. We here in Texas can help out by buying online from them.
Back to our Pre-Order plants. We are thankful for every order!
You are supporting a local business, 7 team members of Blumenflor and making it possible for Seminole to have a local Garden Center who supports a local Farmers Market.
I personally am overwhelmed by the support of community and appreciate everyone of our customers.
God is good!
PS. Here is a coupon of 10% off all Pre-Order plants... happy online shopping!
When my supplier emailed me this morning that there were seed potatoes to be had, I jumped on the opportunity to get some good quality potatoes.
I had just heard from a good source up in Canada that there would be a shortage of potatoes this year. One more thing to add to our ever changing life of shortages.
We are planning a much larger garden at Blumenflor this year to get more available local, organically grown produce to offer at our Farmers Market.
There are some things we are good at growing and one of them is potatoes.(the other is tomatoes) Last year was hard to get top quality seed potatoes. The year before we had a great crop.
Get the Garden ready with amendments. Our secret... wait for it... manure! But it has to be a composted manure that has been well aged, not fresh!! Composted Cotton seed meal works also. We like our composted cattle manure from back to Nature. Not only are they here in Texas but close enough to call them local. You can always use your own manure but again make sure it has aged a few years.
Deep tilling the garden bed is a must and that's where you incorporate the manure. It is better if you can do all this prep in the garden in the fall or now in the winter.
The Old Farmers Almanac suggests to plant potatoes for this area of Seminole end of March. We like to get them into the ground early March.
When we get our potatoes in they usually have already "chitted" (a process of letting them get sunlight so that they start growing green sprouts) I guess we are so far south that the heat helps them along. I remember from Canada that we would put them on the window sill to get them started.
The seed potatoes then need to be cut into smaller pieces before planting. One potato probably has 3 to 4 eyes (sprouts).
Cut the potato leaving at least the size of a quarter around the eye. We have found that these cut potatoes grow bigger and more than if we would have just planted a whole potato. After they are cut we dry (cure) them for 24 hours in a warm area on cardboard.
We never mixed them with ash or sulfur powder because again we have the warmer temps here in Seminole to let them cure over on their own. In areas that are more humid it is a good thing to use the ash/sulfer powder. Or if you do not have the room to dry/cure all the potatoes.
Next is getting back out into the garden , making very deep holes of about 1 foot, or like us this year, we will be using our new hired hand... the Tractor. The soil already has the manure but since potatoes like a slightly acidic soil we add in peatmoss into the deep rows and some biotone for extra starter fertilize.
Place just one cut, dried potato piece into the deep hole/row 1 foot apart. Cover the holes/row completely.
They now need water. We use a drip system from Netafim that has the emitters 1 foot apart.
Leave the water on for 12 hours for their initial soaking.
Covering the whole patch with 4" of straw will help retain the water longer.
Your best water indicator is your finger! After the initial watering , check every other day by placing your finger into the soil. If it is dry 2 knuckles down it is time to water again. A 2 hour watering will suffice if checked like this regularly.
Potatoes do not like to be soggy but moist.
Once they start blooming that is a sign they are making little ones! This is the time that they use the most water. Keep a regular water check with that finger!
We never put more fertilize on for fear of over fertilizing them. Heaping the plant with extra soil helped keep the potatoes from getting too close to the top of the soil and turning green. Green potatoes give you tummy aches!
After the blooms have died we dig into the side of the plant very carefully and remove small potatoes known as New Potatoes.
This would be some time in May. Waiting for the whole plant to die down and even have dried leaves is what we want to see before harvesting which would be some time in June.
After digging out the potatoes, hopefully you have a potato fork, Dig about 2 feet away from the middle of the dried plant.
We have cut too many nice potatoes in half using a spade.
Leave them to air dry in the garden for just a few hours to harden off the skin for better storage. Do not wash them if you are wanting to store them. Gather them into a dry cooler place to cure them even more for storage.
The best tasting potatoes are freshly dug ones.
We did make a few mistakes also and the main one was washing off the spuds before curing them, not good. They only last about a week and start to shrivel. So no washing, best just before you use them for a meal.
Hopefully this little journey with our planting experience can be of a help to you.
Advice: keep a written or picture journal. It is nice to go back and review what was done before.
Your own experiences are the best.
We are here to help as always, Happy planting.
This is the social media post going out today...
"Today is Giving Tuesday.
Would you have a heart to donate a CSA/ Farm Share Box for the 2022 season?
CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture.
Every week CSA members receive a box of local organically grown produce plus eggs and baked/canned goods.
In turn we are also supporting our local small farmers and their families.
We need to have members buy the membership upfront in December so that we can calculate our costs in preparing the gardens.
During our growing season we often give away our CSA produce to
families who can’t afford to buy them.
We would love to help a special “kitchen” here in Seminole that is preparing meals on a weekly basis.
Your donation would be greatly appreciated!
If you want to buy a CSA membership for yourself or a family member the enrollment is open till Dec. 31, 2021"
Our community is blessed with many who have a heart and open hands to give to others.
Sometimes we would like to help but don't see where or how.
God has given each one of us a special talent.
Some to give
Some to comfort
Some to pray for others
Some to listen
Some to play an instrument
Some to sing
Some to teach
Some to cook for others
Some who seek out persons to help
Some who wait to be asked to help
Some who garden to give away to others
and many more talents that combined bring out the best in this community of ours.
We at Blumenflor have seen firsthand how giving has many rewards. It's not that we seek these rewards, they are just
experiences we do not forget. God has always provided for us and we trust he will in the future.
Today and everyday we can seek out to help others.
May you be blessed in your giving of your talent to others! Do not hide it under a basket!
more info at this link:
As I sit here watching the lighted candle on the Advent Wreath my thoughts wandered to Christmas and the many traditions of a German background. The Advent Wreath was always my favorite. Four Sundays before Christmas the first candle (Hope) is lit to signal the coming of Christ. This year it falls on Nov. 28. Here in our little community hardly anyone knows of this tradition.
A couple of years ago a newly found friend (Roslyn) ordered an Advent Wreath with the colors of the pink and purple candles which is the Catholic tradition. I was used to the red colored candles. Needless to say I was tickled pink to fill that order and to learn more about her family traditions.
My college training instilled in us, as a floral designer, you have to know the traditions of others to help them make the right choices for their holiday needs. Growing up in Canada you are surrounded by multiculturism.
My very talented Niece who owns a flower shop in a Jewish community in Canada knows the importance of knowing when Hanukkah is. She also introduced me to Grinch trees years ago. Her flower shop is the original Grinch Tree Workshop!
FIRST CLASS FLOWERS LTD. - your local Calgary, AB Florist & Flower Shop (firstclassflowerscalgary.com)
We make Grinch trees here at Blumenflor out of Shrubs that you can plant after the holidays. I guess we started a new tradition with them.
Other traditions here in Texas would be the Las Posadas of many Hispanic families.
Each family embraces their own traditions over the years.
How nice to share with others and learn more about your community.
Another German tradition is the Advent Calendar which is a countdown to Christmas. Each day starting December 1st. we would open a window/door on the calendar to see what was behind it. It keeps children excited throughout the month.
My sister made a pouch calendar for my children and filled it with little toys. We used it for years. Getting parcels from Canada were always special events for us!
Back to the Advent Wreath...the first candle is HOPE.
May we never lose HOPE.
Wishing everyone a Hope-filled Advent!
My gift list reflects my love for trying out different types of food.
Growing up my mom would announce that she was heading out to the Asian Market to see what she could find to make for supper.
My dad would visit the Delicatessen regularly to see what kind of Bratwurst they had made this week. Around Christmas it was also to see if the famous singer back then "Heintje" had come out with a new album. An Advent Calendar was usually in the package he brought home with German chocolates.
Growing up in Canada I was surrounded by the diversity of many different cultures and their culinary influence was impressed on me. I love Sushi and what I would give to go to a local Donair shop or order Poutine!
What I miss the most are the Delicatessens. Going to World Market in Lubbock is the best present to myself for the Christmas season.
We bought a glass front fridge this year and kept it stocked with items like Eggs, Drinks and our CSA bags. Slowly we are adding new items and maybe another dream of mine can come to fruition some day... to open a Delicatessen!
Here is my Gift List...
The best tasting Root Beer and Ginger Beer from Colorado, Mesquite Mustard, California Dates, Stroopfwafel cookies, local Apple Juice from Idalou, Sauerkraut, Apple Butter, Apple Salsa, Apple Cinnamon Syrup, Apple Cider Spices.
Come by to visit, on cold mornings we have Hot Apple Cider!
PS. The most precious gift I have ever received is the Grace of Jesus Christ My Savior!
I wish everyone this Gift of Love which is free to all who are seeking Peace!
Jesse is our volunteer who comes in a few hours a week to help us out and to learn all things about a Garden Center.
She is a talented young artist and a musician. You will also see her at Farmers Markets selling her handmade items or playing the guitar.
We have always had Volunteer Wednesday and many have learned gardening here at Blumenflor through volunteering.
Here is Jesse's Gift List...
A set of Polka Dot Metal Planters, Indoor Plant, Ceramic planter with wooden stand,
Pollinator T-Shirt, Fall Bulbs, Plant-tone fertilize, Key Chain, Plant Lapel,
Plant Planner Stickers.
Rustic Aimee has been with Blumenflor for over five years.
She took some time off to have a beautiful baby girl but she is back helping us out with her vast knowledge of Horticulture.
I kept pushing her over the years to get a good education.
She attended Western College in Snyder, Tx. and has her Applied Science Degree in Turfgrass & Landscape Management.
Her love for plants is obvious when you see her in a flower bed transplanting or pulling weeds. I used to tease her that she had a vacuum cleaner in her back pocket because when Aimee finished a job it was always weed free and so nicely cleaned up. She has an eye for Landscape design and knows her plant material.
Below is her pic of the Gift List.
Fall planting Bulbs, Bulb-tone to feed those bulbs, Christmas Cards for Plant Lovers, Wire Victorian style Wheel barrel, Coir to fit in there, Butterfly Key-Hider, Abelia Rose Creek shrub, Metal Hose Tub, Rustic Lizard Ornament.
Pollinator T-Shirt, Hammock, Coir Mat. Rubber Mat Tray
Gift Card from Blumenflor - the best gift for a gardener!