P3210032Over the past 15 planting seasons for tomatoes, we  have normally  planted around the third week in March. This year we are right on target. I am always watching the weather forecast for cold and frosty nights. It can be a beautiful, sunny day in the 70s, but it is the night temperature (or, to be more exact, the temperature just before dawn) that concerns me. Frost will  damage the tomato  plants and can even kill them. If a frost is forecast, we can turn on the irrigation. This will blanket the tomato plants in warm water (50F) from the well. However, too much water on the plants can damage the roots, so it something we want to avoid.
What would help me sleep for the next month while there is still a danger of frost would be nice, warm nights. The tomatoes would also love it. Warm nights help them get a good start. It is very important that we grown a nice strong plant-and-root system so that when they start fruiting they have a good ‘frame’ to hold the fruits and a good roots system to feed the plants. We applied compost, limestone and some pelletized organic fertilizer to the beds before we planted to make sure the soil was in good shape to grow great plants.