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Protecting Tomatoes


Well here we are in the middle of March and things are happening. For instance wind, unexpected cold, may be coming down, and you better be making plans to protect the tomatoes and peppers that you've got in the ground. I don't know if you're going to freeze but I know you're going to have some wind blowing.

The best way to protect your plants, of course the best thing to do is to have some insurance plants, and we've talked about potting them up in these pots like this and moving them in and out of the house in case of unexpected cold, so I hope a lot of you have done that. The next best way to do is to take your concrete reinforcing wire cages that you have and make little greenhouses around each one of the tomatoes. You can do this by covering these cages with either this row-cover, which is a thin type of sheet sometimes sold as agrinet, and it will give you quite a bit of protection. Or you can put plastic around them, just put plastic right over the top.

Now if it's going to be below than thirty degrees this will only give you protection for one-two degrees. If it's going to be cold for a long period of time you need to get out the old Christmas lights and play Santa again and string these Christmas lights from cage to cage and give you some artificial heat. That will take care of your tomatoes and peppers.

But even if it's not going to get cold be sure to put this covering around them, whether it be plastic or whether it be this new row-cover or agrinet, to give them wind protection and to warm them up so they will grow faster and produce quicker this spring because I've had all those expensive tomatoes I want.

This has been Jerry Parsons, Vegetable Specialist for the Texas Agricultural Extension Service, the Weekend Gardener.

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