Even though the weekend was rainy and gray I soldiered on and planted the tomatoes and peppers. Due to the expansion last year I was able to plant a few new varieties of tomatoes. Along with the standard Roma and Better Boys, I put in some Arkansas Traveler heirlooms and cherry tomatoes. Both new varieties were created in Arkansas so hopefully they will be able to handle the heat and water issues that always make tomato growing so painful. I planted eight Romas, instead of four and I hope to can tomatoes this year if all goes well. Then of course I increased the cayenne and jalapeno plants to four each which should have me in peppers for the entire year again.
As you can see above I created the well system for the tomatoes. I have found this really helps to trap the water for each plant, especially when the temperature gets above 90. I don’t bother to do that with the peppers because their roots go deeper into the soil. I plan to top the tomato plants this year to force more fruit production, but more on that when the plants are bigger. I did almost run out of tomato cages this year and will probably have to buy some new ones anyway since most of mine are pretty beat up.