By Mark Saidnawey, WBZ Garden Expert, Owner - Pemberton Garden Services

BOSTON (CBS) – One of my favorite parts of the spring is when the calendar hits the middle of May.

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For me, that’s the sign that it’s tomato time!

Now that we are safely past any frost in greater Boston it’s officially time to plant this years crop of tender veggies.

Tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, eggplant, zucchini and all your favorites are now ready to be planted.

But before you do, you need to make sure you have your garden prepped, ready and and supplies in hand.

Here are some helpful tips in preparing for another season of planting the perfect vegetable garden.

First off you need to make sure to spend time and turn the soil and add some fresh compost or manure to your beds.

Adding compost will add microorganisms and nutrients to your garden along with earth worms and good bacteria. All good things in any garden!

Once your beds are ready plan the layout of your veggies. Be sure to give the plants as much space as possible. Remember, in an ideal situation, most veggies would like space to grow so spread them out as best you can, three feet between tomatoes is best.

Once in the ground you will need to have good sturdy stakes or cages for support. I like 1″ x 1″ hardwood stakes that are at at least 6 feet tall. Make sure you have soft ties to use as they grow up along the way.

After that all you need is a nice fertilizer for your veggies. Espoma makes a great organic fertilizers like Plant Tone, Garden Tone and even Tomato Tone.  All are easy to apply and they are very effective.


You don’t have any garden space?

How about using a container?  Big plastic buckets, wood barrels or large pots work almost as well.   Just make sure they are at least 14″ across the top and 14″ deep.

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If you want to splurge try an EarthBox?

Looking for the Best Tasting Tomato?

Cherry tomatoes are the most popular type at our garden center and leading the pack is one that we have a hard time keeping enough of –  Sun Gold!

These wonderful little tomatoes are prolific producers that add splashes of colorful and an unmatched taste into your salad.

This delicious cultivar produces bright orange cherry tomatoes that taste sugary sweet!

You are in for a real treat from the tall, vigorous growing plants that bear fruity clusters.

Planting Tips:

* Sun Gold tomato plants require at least 6 hours of direct sunlight.

* The plants can be grown in hanging baskets to drape down several feet or more.


Indeterminates like Sun Gold tomatoes continue growing and setting fruit all season, usually requiring a cage or stake. This variety produces fruit that is usually about 1 inch in diameter.

These small fruited plants are vigorous, tall, viney growers producing abundant crops.


Sun Gold cherry tomatoes are ready for harvesting in 57 days.

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For more information feel free to contact me at or follow me on Twitter @MarksGardening.