Bonnie Plants has this advice page. They sell through Walmart.
This link has information about soil temperatures when planting tomatoes.
Tomatoes are strange in their ability to grow roots from their stems, so they should be buried up to their necks, in a manner of speaking, or laid on their sides. This root system will give them more food and a better system of drawing water up into the fruits.
Our neighbor Ernie in Moline had a tomato garden. That was all he grew, besides his fruit trees. We got sacks of tomatoes from him all summer. Garden tomatoes will spoil anyone against store and restaurant tomatoes, so I enjoy growing them.
The key to planting success is reading about the plant. One group wants as much sun as possible - tomatoes, corn, and sunflowers. Others are more tolerant of shade. Roses love sun but they do not like being cooked in the sun (unlike tomatoes, corn, and sunflowers).
Corn and tomatoes have a good start when the soil and night temperatures are warm. Early-bird tomato planting means risking a frost that will wipe out the plants. Rose bushes do not mind early spring cold snaps. The rosebuds take time to form and open. Cold snaps will keep corn from germinating while terminating the tomato plant.
Tomatoes are not going to fruit and prosper in marginal weather. The solution in colder areas (or earlier in the season) is to buy fast maturing plants - with the name "early" in them, or buy mature plants. The stores here have plants with fruit already on them. Since a wintry wind is blowing in a storm today, my urge to plant tomatoes is dimmed.
Our helper has another day left to finish the sunny tomato garden with me. We have the outer ring of the maple tree garden to mulch, and later the final rows of the main rose garden.
|Cherry tomatoes are easy to grow, easy to eat.|
On the Topic of Study
There is no substitute for studying various aspects of gardening. The same is true of theology.
The foundational works are the most important because the others often deal superficially with a topic. One example is the promotion of Epson Salts for the soil. Google that idea and many positive posts will come up, all of them misleading. Epson Salts will only help a certain type of soil. It is far more important to realize the composition of soil and how to maximize its value to plants.
One reader thought it impossible to work in his heavy, clay soil - as if clay is bad. In fact, clay has the most potential of all soil types. The tiny particles have the most electrical charges and therefore move minerals much better. The heaviness also means clay will hold more water, which can be good or bad.
The solution for clay - and for sand - is to spread as much organic matter on top of it as possible. That means mulch, newspapers, compost, manure, grass and garden clipping, and logs. The soil creatures will lighten up clay soil, mix it, and make it productive beyond belief.
Books make rose pruning so complicated that many gardeners never start. Hold the chart in the left hand while pruning with the right? Any pruning is better than no pruning at all, which is the default answer to the pruning chart.
Study includes first-hand observation.
And in Theology
Those who want to yammer about various topics while denying the Chief Article of Christianity are similar to the authors of coffee table gardening books.
When I see than an author denies justification by faith, I ignore his precious and precocious writing about everything else. That person is a bachelor of theology, which is the original name of the degree (not Master of Divinity). He is like CFW Walther, who was full of himself because he actually finished at Leipzig.
Someone is going to say, "Oh, he has no use for laymen studying the Word and the Confessions."
Not so! I agree with Henry E. Jacobs, below, who praised the laity for their study of the Word and knowing the foundations. Clergy try to dance around the knowledge gained by the laity, who are taught by the Holy Spirit in the Word.