Wednesday, June 27, 2012
One of the benefits of living in the South is that we can extend our growing period through at least three seasons just by timing our planting, and four seasons if we put a little work into it. For example, right now is a good time to plant for your fall harvest.
One of the most highly desired foods when summer ends is tomatoes; and if you plant now, you can have a good fall crop. However, tomatoes come with a bit of a caveat. Because of Mississippi's hot, moist conditions, tomatoes frequently begin to fail in deep summer. Fruit doesn't form above 94 degrees and high humidity discourages pollination. During prolonged periods of drought or high temperatures, tomato plants will just shut down.
A few varieties of tomatoes will do well in southern climes, including:
- Homestead24 (certified organic; for hot, humid weather; from Florida)
- Neptune (certified organic; for hot, humid weather; from Florida)
- Arkansas Traveler (heirloom; for hot, humid weather)
- Cherokee Purple (heirloom; hot weather tolerant; from Tennessee)
If you can't find seeds locally for these varieties, contact TomatoFest (Box 628, Little River, Calif. 95456, store.tomatofest.com) for these and other types of heirloom and organic tomato seeds.
Protect Your Skin
If you are going to be outdoors a lot, remember to wear sunscreen. Ultraviolet radiation may promote skin cancer.
Consumer Reports tested 18 sunscreen products, but rated none "excellent" for all conditions. In its tests, All Terrain Aqua Sport lotion rated best, scoring 88 of 100 possible points. Thirteen products scored 70 or higher. It gave "best buy" kudos to No-Ad with Aloe & Vitamin E SPF 45 and Walgreens Continuous Spray Sport SPF 50. For more information, visit consumerreports.org/cro/sunscreens/buying-guide.