Start saving your eggshells, because it's almost time to plant tomatoes. Love Apple Farm's annual heirloom seedling sale is under way at a new venue; Ivy's Porch in Scotts Valley.
Ivy's porch is a one-acre collective, on Scotts Valley Drive just south of Victor Square, specializing in home decor, antiques, and collectibles. Beautiful gardens feature topiaries and statuary. The Farm has planted a garden which showcases attractive combinations of ornamental and edible plants.
This year's plant sale features 100 varieties, 30 of which are new. I'm partial to the sweet, pumpkin-colored Sungold cherries, but am also in the market for tart marinara varieties.
A tropical plant, tomatoes need a lot of sun. The Farm recommends cherry tomatoes for locations that receive less than a few hours daily.
Tomatoes are well-suited to containers, and Love Apple's website provides detailed instructions to ensure success. Consider a half wine barrel for two plants, or a 15-gallon container for one.
No matter where you plant, proper nutrients are necessary to get those tomato-laden 6-foot tall plants. That's where the eggshells come in, along with worm casings, bone meal (or a fish head), aspirin, and other amendments, which are also explained on the website.
This year, I'm going to try the recommended staking procedure: my stake and string method was too cumbersome.
For this early work and regular feeding, you will be rewarded with aromatic, just-picked orbs of sweetness for snacks, sandwiches, salads, and sauces. Right at your fingertips.
Love Apple Farm's tomato sale at Ivy's Porch, 5311 Scotts Valley Drive, Scotts Valley. Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. and Sundays 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. Visit growbetterveggies.com.