Katie was bitten by the gardening bug when a family friend gave her some pepper and tomato plants that she had started from seed. After picking the first vine-ripened pepper still warm from the sun, she was hooked on growing her own veggies. Now she grows several varieties of peppers, tomatoes and herbs from seed each spring and likes to spread the love by gifting plant babies to anyone who will take them. Working at Garden Gate has upped her plant lady status and her love for plants by learning about countless perennials, shrubs and annuals outside of just veggies!
I don’t have a fancy light setup to start tomato seeds. I start mine in flats in the brightest window I have. When the tomatoes get leggy, I transplant them into plastic cups. Since they can be planted deeply, the legginess doesn’t matter. My latest discovery is using clear cups. You can see the roots and know when it’s time to transplant.
A pop-up trash can is a great garden tool. On a reader’s advice, I bought one and use it when I have a bunch of weeds to pull. It cleans out easily and is so simple to store.
Heirloom tomatoes are real showstoppers on a caprese platter. Growing up, I never liked tomatoes but now that I grow my own, I totally get it. You just can’t beat the taste of a fresh, warm tomato. ‘Cherokee Purple’ is one of my favorites.