Celebrating 40 years of growing strong!

 Sabo's Woodside Nursery  

& Garden Center, Inc.

Monday - Saturday:  9 - 5:30

Sunday: Closed

Call 440-466-9523

7800 North Ridge Road E, Madison OH 44057
phone: 440-466-9523   

This my Veggie Garden - a whopping 6' by 14' but boy does it yield crops!
This is a Tomato Hornworm, If you suddenly see your tomato leaves disappear leaving only the stem where there was once a lush leaf, this is probably the culprit. 
But before you squish it, keep in mind that it is also the larval stage of the Hummingbird Moth.
I compromise by caging a couple with some leaves so I can watch them change. 

Plant tomato plants a couple inches deeper than they are growing in the pots when you buy them. They will root all along the buried stem making it stronger and better anchored. We do this when we transplant the seedlings to their individual pots. Bending them carefully so we don't snap the stem, allowing for the sturdiest root and stems we can offer. 

Barb likes to say "Lay their heads on the pillow," meaning the first leaves should rest at soil level. Obviously it works, we grow great plants.

Adding some lime to the soil also improves the calcium content and will help prevent blossom end rot.

Peppers should also be planted deeper than they are growing in their original pot for the same reason.

I use Jack's Bloom Booster on my veggies as well as my flowers - the more blooms on your tomatoes, the more fruits you will pick - I average 50 large tomatoes per Big Beef plant in my little garden. It's easy to see why I only need four plants. And yes, all these pictures are from my little garden!

This is the quickest, easiest, and tastiest way to preserve your harvest!
Convenient to do in small batches.
  • Dip tomatoes into boiling water for a few seconds, then into cold water. 
  • Strip off skins. 
  • Cut out stem ends and cores. 
  • Pack whole, if being frozen raw. 
  • Cut into halves or quarters for either the raw or the cooked pack. 
  • For precooked tomatoes, cook quartered tomatoes, covered, over medium heat just until soft. 
  • Then cool rapidly and pack.

Tips for Freezing Tomatoes

  • Scalding or blanching time for preparing tomatoes for freezing, is a few seconds only,just enough  to loosen skins for peeling.
  • When packing, allow 1 inch head space. 
  • Pack raw tomatoes down firmly to eliminate air pockets. 
  • One bushel or 55 pounds of tomatoes yields 30 to 40 pints. But this method is so easy; I just do a few bags whenever I have a surplus. 
Freezing Whole Tomatoes
  • For whole tomatoes, cut out stems and wrap whole in plastic wrap or small freezer bags. 
  • Freeze raw. 
  • For use after freezing, hold under hot water for a few seconds to loosen skin. 
  • Peel and add to cooked dishes.
Freezing Stewed Tomatoes
  • For stewed tomatoes, blanch for 30 seconds to 1 minute to loosen skins; peel and core. 
  • Cut into chunks and simmer 10 to 20 minutes. Cook just until heated through.

Freezer Storage Life: Ten months to a year is a reasonable time period during which you can expect quality to remain high, so long as the freezer temperature remains low. Some freezers are equipped with special quick-freezing sections or extra cold surfaces, if your freezer has one of these, be certain to use it.

Have you seen this Baby Hummingbird Moth on your tomatoes?  Also known at the Tomato Hornworm, it does have a veracious appetite, but once grown, it will become one of the most anticipated garden visitors.
 It is very approachable in flight and is often mistaken for a young hummingbird, hence the common name - Hummingbird moth. 

PLEASE research your caterpillars before you choose to destroy them. 

THIS is why I grow Big Beef tomatoes!
I also recommend 'Diva' cucumbers. They are our favorite muncher in the garden.  
Grow tip for CUKES: 
Train them up a fence or trellis and you'll have beautiful straight harvests like these.
Support your plants
Place your stakes or cages when you plant to avoid root damage. I like heavy duty cages like the ones above. They are made in America, fold flat for storage and will last for years. We carry three sizes. They are also good for peony plants. 
There are two basic growth habits of tomatoes. Determinate like the patio or bush types that grow to a limited size and indeterminate which can include both cherry and slicers. These could grow 10 feet tall if you let them. 
I do not. 
Once they reach about 6 feet I top them to speed up the fruit set lower on the plant. I really don't need more than 50 tomatoes per plant. 
The first red pepper from my garden - picked (and eaten) August 14. YUM! Red Baron, definitely growing this and Golden Summer again!
Coming soon: 
Tomato Basil Pie recipe
With layers of cheese.