The Hoss Garden is in full swing and the tomatoes are coming in strong. A couple of years ago, we installed a small greenhouse to grow our own plants. I wanted to try new varieties of tomatoes and other peppers. I had only planted Amelia’s the last few years, because that’s all I could get. Last year, I trialed the following varieties: Mt. Glory, Talladega, Bella Rosa, Fletcher and a few heirloom (just for the fun of it). I can only grow Spotted Wilt Virus Resistant Tomatoes for the most part. I always try to grow a few heirlooms and a couple generally make it. While all the F1 Hybrids did fairly well, Bella Rosa was my favorite, and that’s the only Round Hybrid I grew this year. It’s a nice large uniform fruit with very little cracking. It has large yields and it tastes great! Next year, I want to try Tasti-Lee, a new one developed by the University of Florida.
Drip Irrigation in the Hoss Garden
I use no commercial fertilizer. I apply a large amount of cow manure compost a month before planting. I plant all of my garden on Drip Tape, no plastic mulch, just drip tape. We use the Hoss Double Wheel Hoe with the furrow attachments to install the tape about 4″ to 6″ deep. I plant right next to the tape. In the past, I had a lot of blossom end rot, but haven’t had that problem in the last two years. We have all heard that calcium deficiency and improper watering causes this. My soil samples have always showed a high calcium level. However I believe the calcium was unavailable. The combination of large amount of good compost and drip irrigation works for us the Hoss Garden. Very little insect and disease pressure makes growing tomatoes one of my favorite things to grow.