May 13th, 2013
Mighty Mato Grafted Tomatoes – Have Arrived!
One of the easiest and most rewarding vegetable crops to grow on your own are Tomatoes. Now they are even easier with the new Mighty Mato grafted Tomatoes. Mighty Mato Tomatoes are like superheroes they are stronger, faster, more able to fend off pests and diseases than regular tomato plants. They are also most drought so you can miss a watering or two. They are also more cold tolerant so they can begin producing earlier and continue producing later in the season. But most importantly they produce bigger crops of tomatoes.
How do they do this? They are better because they are “grafted”. Grafting is where the top part of one plant is attached to the root system of a separate plant (the rootstock). The top part of the plant fuses with the bottom part of the plant and combine the rootstock’s vigor and disease resistance with the exceptional fruit quality of the top plant. These are NOT genetically modified in any way. They are some of the same great varieties that have been grown for many years including several Heirloom varieties. One important difference between grafted and non-grafted tomatoes is that the graft must stay above soil level, and you should prune lateral suckers for best fruiting.
The Mighty ’Mato line-up includes twelve heirloom and four hybrid varieties. For 2013 you can choose from the following varieties at our stores:
- Amish Paste
- Black Cherry
- Black Krim
- Cherokee Purple
- Early Girl
- Green Zebra
- Mortgage Lifter
- Sun Sugar
- Sweet Million
- Yellow Pear
For more information about the varieties please click here. To see the picture below please click on them.
Mighty Mato – Grafted vs. Non Grafted
Mighty Mato – Beefsteak
MIghty Mato – Sun Sugar
Taste the flavour of home grown Tomatoes!
The weather is finally warm enough to start thinking about putting tomatoes outside in the garden. It is still recommended that you provide some protection from the cold night temperatures. You can do this by covering your tomatoes with plastic or a white cloth like our “Crop Cover” or “Frost Blanket”. When the night time low is above 10 degrees Celsius, or 50 degrees Fahrenheit, you can leave them uncovered.
Whether you are a seasoned tomato growing veteran or a new gardener here are a few tips to help you grow better tomatoes:
- Tomatoes are heavy feeder, they are the teenage boys of the plant world. You should add manure and fertilizer to the soil before you plant.
- When you plant the tomatoes plant them deeper as new roots will develop along the stem helping your plants grow faster and stronger. (Except ‘Mighty Mato’ grafted Tomatoes, do not plant them below the graft)
- Water regularly all summer, twice a week early in the season and daily during the summer months. Tomatoes that do not get regular water are more likely to develop diseases and are less likely to produce as much fruit. They also develop thicker skin if not watered properly.
- Fertilize weekly with a water soluble fertilizer like Miracle Gro Tomato Food 18-18-21 or monthly with a granular fertilizer like Evegro’s Vegetable and Tomato Food 10-15-19.
- Add Lime to your soil before you plant and every month during the growing season. Lime helps balance the pH and provides Calcium and Magnesium to the plants.
With so many varieties of Tomatoes to choose from here are a few varieties that perform well in our climate:
- Ball Extra Early – a medium sized tomato that produces early
- Beefsteak – one of the largest tomatoes with lots of meaty flesh
- Early Girl – a medium sized early producing variety
- Sungold – a golden cherry tomato
- Sweet 100 – an excellent small cherry tomato
- Sweet Million – a smaller version of the sweet 100 that produces an abundant crop
- Tumbler – a great cherry tomato for hanging baskets that produces all summer until frost
- Tomaccio – a super sweet grape type tomato that is great for making Sun Dried Tomatoes
In addition to these varieties you can choose from a selection of Heirloom Tomato varieties including:
- Bloody Butcher – a medium sized tomato that is great for slicing
- Brandywine Black – a large heirloom tomato
- Latah – an early producing medium sized tomato
- Nyagous – a medium to large early to mid season tomato
- Prudens Purple – a medium tomato great for slicing
Be sure to stake your tomatoes as they grow to give them support as the fruit matures. You can stake them up with a basic bamboo or cedar stake or buy a “Tomato Cage” that provides support for the leaves as well.
Click here to download our information brochure on Tomatoes.
April 22nd, 2013
Grow Your Own Potatoes!
Potatoes are one of the easiest vegetables to grow yourself. All they require is a nice sunny location in rich fertile soil. You can plant them from March to May and harvest them from July to October. You can grow white, red, and/or yellow varieties that are good for cooking, frying, boiling, or baking.
Click here to download our Potato growing brochure.
April 14th, 2013
Grow your own fresh fruit, start your Strawberries for Summer!
If you enjoy the taste of fresh Strawberries in the summer now is the time to plant them. Strawberries are very easy to grow. Strawberries can grow and produce for many years in your garden. They multiply themselves so you can continue to expand your strawberry patch every year. The hardest part about growing them is right after you plant them, you have to force yourself to remove their blooms so that the plant can become established before growing fruit.
For more information about growing Strawberries download our information brochure here.
April 1st, 2013
Buy a Rosemary to Support Kitsilano Neighbourhood House
David Hunter Garden Centers is proud to support “Family Nights” at the Kits Neighbourhood House. If you visit our Vancouver store at 2560 West Broadway in Kitsilano and purchase any size rosemary plant we will make a donation to support the Family Night programs.
Kits House is a registered non-profit, charity organization dedicated to providing important services and programs to all residents on Vancouver’s Westside. Programs include those that support families, youth, newcomers and seniors.
Click here for more information.
February 4th, 2013
Help pollinate your fruit trees with Mason Bees!
If you have had problems with your fruit trees not bearing enough fruit you might need to have some Mason Bees in your yard. These non-stinging bees are a great way to help increase your fruit production. They help pollinate Apples, Blueberries, Cherries, Peaches, Plums, and many more fruit bearing crops. You can buy the dormant bees and a house for them to live in at our stores.
For more information about Mason Bees visit the website of our supplier Bee Diverse (http://beediverse.com/)
Mason Bee House
January 24th, 2013
Choose from a fresh selection of Seeds!
Our seed suppliers have shipped us our new seeds for 2013. These fresh new seeds are ready to grow. Now is a great time to to start many of them in your home to be ready to plant in your garden when the warmer weather arrives in April and May. Most seeds can now be started indoors in a sunny window.
You can choose from the following seed companies:
Click here for our Seed Starting Brochure
Aimers Organic Seeds
Pacific Northwest Seeds
Thompson and Morgan Seeds
West Coast Seeds
January 3rd, 2013
It is time to spray your Roses, Fruit Trees, and other or other deciduous shrubs with a dormant spray!
A dormant spray kit contains Lime Sulphur and Horticultural Oil. The Lime sulphur helps to prevent the spread of fungal spores while the horticultural oil helps to kill the eggs of insects. The sulphur and oil can be combined and sprayed at the same time. You can use any type of sprayer including trigger sprayers, pressure sprayer, or tank sprayers.
Your Fruit Trees, Roses, and other ornamental shrubs can be sprayed on a clear day when the temperatures are above zero celcius for at least 6 hours.
Come in today to pick up your kit and have it ready for the next clear day.
Dormant Spray Kit with Pressure Sprayer