Make like Mayflower and MOVE IT

It could be the most important thing you do this tomato season.

That’s right, move the tomato garden to a new spot.

Seems impossible? Just plain unreasonable? Do it. Try growing some of your plants in containers. Experiment with a couple in that space behind the garage. Change it up at least a little bit! And hey, maybe you’ll be able to grow ten plants instead of six. You win.

As you consider this change start here: How was last season? If you did really well, pat yourself on the back. You may not need to make a change right away if you are maintaining a super rich and active soil situation in your garden plot. Active soil systems take care of many problems without our intervention. But I’m betting that many of you will put in a marginal review of last season.

Here’s what might be happening: When you grow tomatoes in the same space year after year, especially if you’re not so good at amending and enriching soils multiple times during a given year, the soil tires and gets depleted, yes. But more importantly, the pests and pathogens that plague us in a given season are also likely to camp out in the same space year after year. In most cases, they will prosper and become more virulent with each passing season. That means you might have a shorter and shorter – and less successful tomato garden each year.

Sound familiar?

MOVE IT. It’s not necessary to move the entire garden if you don’t want to. Just find a more welcoming spot for your tomatoes.

But here’s the rub. Virgin soil might not harbor the previously mentioned pathogens but it may need LOTS of amending. Do your soil work people. Add organic matter wherever you’re growing. LOTS of it. This first time in a new space, turn it in well. Add more in a layer on top. And be vigilant with organic fertilizers or other organic additions that will continue to boost soil energy and vitality.

See what happens. I hope you’ll have lots of success to report. And good reason to do it again next year.