Saturday, June 2, 2012

Growing tomatoes in Santa Monica

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I've had bad luck growing tomatoes. So this year I'm experimenting and growing them in bags of "paydirt" (you know, the kind of dirt you have to pay for).

As a rule, everything grows in southern California, but I'm close enough to the beach that our summers have a significant amount of "June Gloom." Fog and chilly mist don't do much for tomatoes. Or for zucchini, for that matter. I have some big trees in my yard, too, so when the sun does decide to shine, the planting beds don't see as much of it as they should. And no matter how much I amend, my soil is crap. Every year I plant zucchini and tomatoes hopefully, and every year they get mildew, fungus, rot, and other ailments that kill them before I get much of a crop.

So this year I'm planting my tomatoes directly in the bags of dirt. I poked drainage holes in the bottom, cut slits in the top, and stuck the plants in. I put them in a sunny spot that's still out of the way of most backyard soccer games. The plants won't dry out as quickly, they're somewhat protected from weeds, and I know the dirt is high quality.

So far they look happy. I'll keep you posted.


Sean said...

I live in Santa Monica too, and have been struggling with the same pain as well for years. It drives me crazy that I can't grow zucchini or tomatoes here. Good luck! What have you had good luck with here?

Erika Kerekes said...

Hi Sean - are we neighbors? :)

Things that have worked well for me over the years: snap peas, lettuce, arugula, chard, all herbs, tomatillos (not sure why they are hardier than tomatoes but they do seem to be), green beans. My lettuce is in a partly shaded area and thus grows well without bolting through July or August as long as I water it enough.

Rocky Mountain Woman said...

cute idea! The growing season here is exactly 23 minutes, so tomatoes are out of the question (unless you have a greenhouse)...

Shawn @ I Wash...You Dry said...

Great idea! You'll have to let me know if it works out, cause I really suck at growing anything!

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