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by John Kersey
I am 70 years of age and I have been raising tomatoes for 9 - 10 years. I start most of my plants from seeds but I do buy a few plants. I live in middle TN where there is a lot of clay in the soil.
Although I usually put out 4 - 5 varieties each year, none of them compare to the Bradley tomatoes. I have never failed to get at least 100 tomatoes off of every Bradley that I plant. It is not uncommon for me to stake a few of my plants with 10-foot stakes. All of the rest I stake with 8-foot stakes in addition to putting a 5-foot cage around each plant, which I make out of concrete reinforcement wire.
I have learned the secret to raising tomatoes. Start by digging a hole the size of a dinner plate 2 feet deep. Remove all of the dirt and discard the top layer that contains grass. Then, mix the dirt with Canadian peat moss 50/50. Refill the hole loosely.
I only fertilize with Miracle Gro for tomatoes. Sometimes I have to pick tomatoes using a step ladder. In 2015 I kept up with the number of tomatoes that I picked from each plant. I had 22 plants and I picked over 3,200 tomatoes. Many friends call me the "Tomato Man."
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