On this week’s episode, the guys talk about growing tomatoes in the vegetable garden. They mention that tomatoes are one of the most popular crops in vegetable gardens across the world, but that they can also be one of the most challenging to grow. They first discuss the different varieties that are available, including heirloom and hybrid variations. Heirlooms, while beautiful and delicious, can be highly susceptible to diseases. Meanwhile, the hybrids provide a more consistent appearance and are resistant to troublesome diseases like tomato spotted wilt virus. They suggest growing tomatoes like Bella Rosa, Mountain Glory and Brickyard for disease-resistance and improved yields. They explain why growing your own plants is a much better option than purchasing them at a store. They also explain that the size of the transplant has nothing to do with how well the plant will do once planted in the ground. They discuss trellising techniques including cages and using twine to do the Florida Weave. Travis suggests using cages for indeterminate varieties and the Florida Weave for determinate varieties. Finally, they explain the importance of adequate calcium when growing tomatoes. Supplementing calcium by adding Pelletized Gypsum will help to prevent blossom end rot, which is caused by a calcium deficiency.
On the Show & Tell segment, Greg has a Watermelon Radish that he grew. They cut into the radish and observe the bright pink to purple coloration on the inside of the radish root. Travis mentions that watermelon radish, also called red meat radish, tends to be less spicy than traditional radishes. They also take longer to grow but are less susceptible to splitting as they get larger.
On the Q & A segment, they answer questions about lunar planting and the difference between ammonium nitrate and Chilean Nitrate. Travis explains that the concept of lunar planting is a myth or “old wives’ tale,” and that potatoes will grow regardless of the moon phase. He suggests planting potatoes as soon as your climate or soil conditions will allow, and not to wait on the moon for planting. Greg explains that Chilean Nitrate is an organic product that is naturally mined in Chile, while ammonium nitrate is a chemically produced fertilizer. While they have a very similar action in the soil, one is naturally-derived and the other isn’t.