Lower South

March, 2012
Regional Report

Favorite or New Plant

'Bush Early Girl' Tomato
There are dozens of great tomatoes worth the medal of honor. So choosing one to call favorite is no small task. 'Bush Early Girl' combines a number of features that warrant it special mention. The fruit are medium to large and very tasty. The plants are not only determinate but very compact, usually reaching less than 2 feet tall, and yet are very productive. This makes them great not only for the garden but also for container growing. In fact, if you are going to grow tomatoes in containers this cultivar is a "must have". This is a very early variety (54 days to maturity), which is very helpful in yielding a good crop before the heat of summer arrives. To top it all off 'Bush Early Girl' is resistant to verticillium wilt (V), fusarium wilt races 1 and 2 (F), nematodes (N), and tobacco mosaic virus (T).

Clever Gardening Technique

Delayed Mulching on Spring Tomatoes
Garden writers can scarcely get through an article without recommending that the readers mulch their plants; and for good reason. However when the goal is to get an early planting of tomatoes or other vegetable transplants growing quickly it is best to pull back the mulch and let the sun warm the soil. This will speed up plant growth considerably. A few weeks later when temperatures have warmed considerably the weeds can be removed with either some shallow hoeing or mulch covering.

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