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There's nothing quite like the success of growing tomatoes. If you live in the hot, sunny interior of BC, you will for sure enjoy the tastiest tomatoes ever if you grow your own. If you live on the coast, you'll have better success with tomatoes if you choose one of the smaller, cherry types, or if you grow the tomatoes under cover to keep them warmer and dryer.

Tomatoes do need regular watering, but they like to keep their leaves dryer, especially around the time that the tomatoes are ripening. If you have a deep roof overhang on the sunny side of your house, plant your tomatoes there for good protection. Or, try fashioning a little greenhouse with PVC pipe bent over rebar rods stuck in the ground. Cover the arches with greenhouse plastic and your effort will pay off when you harvest plenty of juicy, tasty tomatoes.

It's a little late to start your own tomato seed by May. But if you buy some plants that have already been started, you can transplant them outdoors in May. Give them a little protection early in the month, or wait until the end of May to be safe.

When transplanting tomatoes, bury them all the way up to their first leaves. They will be able to grow roots all along the stem. If you are planting them in a pot, the bigger the pot, the better. Use a two-gallon container per plant at the minimum. Tomatoes need plenty of room for their roots. They also will want depth, so a window box is not a good choice for a pot. Tomatoes love a rich soil, so dig some compost or manure into your garden soil, or start with fresh potting mix for your containers. Once transplanted, give your tomatoes a good watering.

Use Your Harvest

To put your first harvest to use, try this recipe for Summer Salad! Learn about growing lettuce or salad greens to round out your harvest for Summer Salad.

For more information on planting and growing your first vegetable garden, West Coast Seeds has a great growing guide.

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