Best Way to Grow Tomatoes

Next to potatoes I would have to say tomatoes are the veggie or fruit I enjoy the most and have since I was a kid following dad through the garden taste testing everything. Nothing like a fresh juicy tomato dripping down your chin as you suck the juice from it.

I posted about my first experience growing tomatoes and how it was my first container garden even though it was on the eleventh floor of the apartment building I lived in. That experience made me want to be a gardener even more.

Fast-forward a few decades to 2005 when we purchased the home we call our own today. By this time I had lived through a heart attack but was left with heart damage and couldn’t do much of anything. Very frustrating, however I could still do a bit of container gardening which of course was tomatoes.

Raised Bed Tomato Garden

tomatoes in raised bed gardenThe first couple of years in our new place my poor heart health kept me weak and no heavy work. I was able to do a little at a time and decided I would try to work one of the raised bed gardens that were here when we moved in.

Of course I had started a container garden of tomatoes again so I used 8 of those tomato plants for my raised bed garden. It was my best year of growing tomatoes and I felt so proud of what I had accomplished.

As you can see from the picture above the raised bed wasn’t very wide so they tomato plants ended up too close together but still produced a lot of tomatoes. The next year I converted that raised bed to strawberries which is another fruit I love.

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Finally An In Ground Vegetable Garden

In 2009 I started a 4×4 foot veggie garden and each year I have made it a little bigger until now, in 2012 I have a 10×20 foot garden.

This year I started all our vegetable from seed, including a number of varieties of tomatoes, of course. I started them in seed trays and once it was warm enough I moved them out to the garage so I could put them outdoors to the lawn each day to get stronger and healthier.

The trays were very flimsy so I had put each tray into another tray to give it some strength but it wasn’t enough. One beautiful spring morning I was moving them one tray at a time to the lawn and a tray of tomatoes twisted in my hands and they all flew across the lawn with their name tags. What a mess.

I lost all my tomatoes except for about a dozen but had no idea where the name tags belonged.

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No Name Tomatoes

tomato plantsI was bummed for a while but I got over and will do better next year. So for this year I will have no name tomatoes until they are big enough to identify.

Out of the dozen I saved that day eight were planted in our vegetable garden and four I planted in a new garden I started this year.

Those I planted in the veggie garden were given the right amount of elbow room and are doing well even though they had a few issues with strong winds and poor staking abilities. I was fortunate not have lost any of them and will do better at staking next year.

tomato plants staked

I still have a lot to learn about growing tomatoes but I’m getting there, one tip at a time.

soon to be pumpkin pieOne warm summer evening last year, 2011, my fishing buddy Casey was driving me home after a day of fishing. As we drove passed the Moncton YMCA between Mountain Road and St. George I was sure I saw a huge vegetable garden.

The next morning I grabbed my trusty camera and headed over to see for myself. It was a big community garden. How cool is that?

I remember thinking a community garden would have been perfect when Jenny and I rented and didn’t have a place to grow a garden.

Yes, I was happy to see a place where people could go to grow a vegetable garden however I was even more impressed when I saw the sign showing that some gardens were designated for the food bank.

Seeing this inspired me to do something to help others less fortunate than we have been. We didn’t have money at the time as we had loaned what we had to our son who moved out west for work. But once he was settled and didn’t need money from home it gave me an idea.

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Donate To A Food Bank or Soup Kitchen

Once Steve was out on his own we noticed we didn’t need nearly as much food as we had so I suggested we continue buying a little more than we needed and donate it to a local food bank and/or soup kitchen.

If you’re in a position to help you could do the same thing. Just grab a few extra things off the grocery shelves and drop them off at a food bank or soup kitchen on your way home.

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Moncton Soup Kitchens

Mobile One Moncton – Mobile One maintains a preparatory kitchen which is located in Eglise du Christ-Roi. This Church is located on the corner of Dominion Street and Essex Avenue here in Moncton.

The entry to the Kitchen is on the Norwood Street Side of the Church (backside). The kitchen is open every day (except Saturday) from 1:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m.

Karing Kitchen – We believe that when we serve others, we come pretty close to seeing God at work, which is why we are a proud supporter of the work of the Karing Kitchen, which serves over 100,000 meals a year. – 75 Alma St., Moncton, NB E1C 4Y3

NOTE: If you are a soup kitchen or food bank in the great Moncton area please leave a comment with your details. I will add them to the list above.

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Maybe You Could Grow A Soup Kitchen Garden

We feel so blessed to have a home with a backyard we can grow a vegetable garden in. It helps us save on the grocery bills but as of next year it will also give us the opportunity to grow our own soup kitchen garden which will be delivered to local soup kitchens.

I also plan to start a food bank veggie garden at the YMCA and help others that way.

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

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