Planting tomatoes

It was like Christmas Day. The weather has mellowed out, there’s no chance of cold spells and Sea Island Savory Herbs has their selection of tomato plants out for sale. I think we went a little nuts. Four brandywine vines (which, by the way, can grow in excess of 8 feet tall and branch out like crazy), two early girls, four better boys, two Carolina Golds ( a large fruited native heirloom with golden yellow skin ), three Viva Italias (plum tomatoes) and three Super Sweet 100s (cherry tomatoes). We also got several bell peppers and cayenne peppers from the same spot, since we use both types quite a lot for cooking.

The really fun part was planting them … I take it back, I’m being a little facetious. We had fun, but Kevin had found an old family recipe for planting tomatoes and was bound and determined to use it this year to see how well it worked.

I have had a problem with fish since I lived for a brief while in Pennsylvania and ate one or two meals involving very bad fish. Ever since, I have been trying to overcome my distaste for it. Either way, part of the recipe involves planting fish heads, and I did not enjoy that trip to the fishmonger, even though they had a great selection of fish. Crosby’s Seafood, located both in downtown Charleston and right before you arrive on Folly Beach, has bags of fish heads (about four or five to a pack) for $2.50.

The recipe goes as follows:

1) Dig a hole about two feet deep.

2) Toss in a handful of bone meal, a handful of organic beneficial fungus with fertilizer, a fish head, two aspirin, and an egg shell or two for each plant.

3) Plant your tomato plant as deep as possible. Our plants were about a foot tall each, and we covered them until only the very tops were poking above the soil. This provides for stability and plant health.

This recipe comes from Love Apple Farms, and many a tomato enthusiast has sworn by Cynthia Sandberg’s recipe. If you want to know more about her preferences in planting, visit their tomato site here

. We planted all the tomatoes today, so we’ll see how they turn out!



  1. matt said

    This blog’s great!! Thanks :).

  2. Patti Romano said

    I am thoroughly enjoying your blog and will continue to follow you. Kristin, I just did a neat Planet Bonehead “Quiclip” on Sea Island Savory Herbs on Johns Island that I thought you might enjoy.

    Hope to see you soon around the islands.

    • kevinhackler said

      I love it! What a great way of showing people all of the wonderful green businesses and services around Charleston. Please let me know if there’s ever anything we can do to help!

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