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Thursday, May 17, 2012

Bring on the Heat!

It is no secret that this year’s weather has shown uncharacteristically high temperatures. The good news for gardeners is that it means a longer planting season! Without the threat of frost, tomatoes can thrive in this weather – making now the ideal time to get started on your edible garden.

While it may be closer to the end of seed harvesting time, Mighty‘Mato tomato plants have already been started. They come in a specially designed container, ready to be transplanted into your home garden or a pot.

Aside from current optimal weather for tomato-planting, Mighty ‘Mato tomato plants have a greater tolerance to stresses of extreme temperature or poor soil. This resistance creates a much larger harvest window for Mighty ‘Mato plants, so the yield over the season is abundant – they produce three to four times the number of tomatoes.

The current weather trend has presented an incredible opportunity for gardens across America; more time to plant tomatoes means better harvests and fresher meals.

There couldn’t be a better time to plant your Mighty ‘Mato tomato plants. You’ll have plenty of delicious tomatoes by summer to add to your favorite dishes. Check out our recipes for some ideas on how to incorporate Mighty ‘Matos into your home cooking!

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How to Get the Most Value out of Tomato Plants

Value is a huge deal nowadays. Everyone wants more bang for their buck, and who can blame them? With escalating prices on life's necessities, most Americans are trying to find ways to save and still provide quality products to their families. Many families are even starting their own backyard gardens so they can save by growing their own foods and controlling the quality of the foods they consume.

When growing your own food, you can limit the amount of pesticides and harmful chemicals used, and even go completely organic. Growing plants like tomatoes takes a small investment and can deliver huge results. Find a place in your backyard that has lots of direct sunlight, purchase some organic fertilizer and follow our 12 tips for growing tomato plants.

If you're a first time gardener, it's best to go with quality products that are easiest to grow. I would recommend purchasing my Combo Pack. For just $19.95, you get three varieties of my grafted tomato plants: Brandywine, Big Beef and Sweet Million. Brandywine produces beautiful, large heirloom tomatoes-perfect for fresh Caprese Towers or Tomato Bread. Big Beef produces juicy, meaty beefsteak tomatoes that make great toppers for sandwiches and a nice, hearty base for Baked Stuffed Tomatoes. Sweet Million produces sweet cherry tomatoes that are perfect for snacking or using in fresh summer salads.

Thanks to our unique grafting process, Mighty 'Mato tomato plants are easier to grow and deliver a higher yield of fruit than a standard tomato plant. The fruit your plants will produce will be bigger, better, stronger and tastier. You'll be saving tons on your summer grocery bills with minimal additional effort. What are you waiting for? You can purchase your Mighty 'Mato Combo Pack by clicking here.

Happy Gardening!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Use Tomatoes to Improve Your Health!

What do high cholesterol, sunburns and hunger have in common? They can all be minimized with tomatoes!

Tomatoes are considered somewhat of a super food – and for a good reason! They have many benefits that make them a staple in any home garden.

I love eating tomatoes as a snack or meal. The meaty texture fills me up and is absolutely delicious at the same time. Tomatoes are satisfying because they reduce levels of ghrelin – a hormone that our stomachs produce to tell the brain that our stomachs need to be fed. Ah, music to the dieter’s ear! Tomatoes fill you up and make you feel full longer, thus helping you stay slim.

Tomatoes also have the ability to reduce the risk of many cancer types and lower LDL, or bad cholesterol. They are packed with lycopene, a pigment that acts as an antioxidant to protect cells against damage. Lycopene also gives tomatoes their vibrant red color.

Another outstanding benefit of tomatoes is that they aid in skin health. They improve the skin’s ability to protect against UV rays, which are very harmful and can cause skin cancer. Those who are sunburn-prone or looking for skin rejuvenation will find the answer in tomatoes.

Tomatoes can help people lose weight, keep the heart healthy and aid with skin health. When you plant your garden, don’t forget to include tomatoes! Growing your own tomatoes will ensure the benefits of pesticide-free and vitamin-packed fruits.

Plant tomatoes in your home garden and take advantage of this super food to improve your health, starting now! Mighty ‘Mato tomato plants grow bigger, tastier and more tomatoes due to the grafting process, which means more bang for your buck!

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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Recipe: Garden-Fresh Pico de Gallo & Guacamole

Nothing tastes better than garden tomatoes picked fresh off the vine. Sweet, juicy and full of flavor, home grown Mighty 'Mato tomatoes are far superior than tomatoes sold in grocery stores (and a lot cheaper in the long run). I absolutely love fresh tomatoes, and love to eat as many as possible during the summer when they're at their peak of freshness.

Thanks to a little site called Pinterest, I've been gathering several recipes to prepare me (and our followers) for a bountiful summer harvest of Mighty 'Mato tomatoes. I'm thrilled to add some of these recipes to my arsenal of tried-and-trues like marinated tomatoes and fresh tomato bruschetta topped with goat cheese.

In addition to the new recipes, I'll for sure be making my Fresh Pico de Gallo and Guacamole this summer. This is my go-to recipe and a staple for summer parties and snacking. I like to serve it with blue corn or pita chips, or if I'm feeling really healthy, fresh carrots and crisp, sliced cucumbers. All the measurements are approximate. Feel free to add more or less of any ingredient to your liking!

Garden-Fresh Pico de Gallo
  • 3 Mighty 'Mato Big Beef or Brandywine Tomatoes
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro
  • 1 white onion
  • 3 cloves fresh garlic
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Garlic salt and cracked pepper, to taste
If preferred, remove seeds and pulp of tomatoes. Chop tomatoes to a fine dice. Dice cilantro and onion. Crush and chop garlic cloves. Toss all ingredients in a bowl and mix. Top with lime juice, garlic salt and black pepper and mix. Set in refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

  • 3 ripe avocados
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Sea salt and cracked pepper
  • 3 large spoonfuls of pico de gallo
Mash the avocados into a bowl and mix with lime juice, salt and pepper.  Fold the pic de gallo into the avocado mixture until incorporated. Serve immediately.

Monday, May 14, 2012

12 Tips on Growing Better Tomato Plants

So you purchased your Mighty 'Mato plants. You've scoped out the perfect, sunny area to plant them in, purchased some organic fertilizer and found some nutrient-rich soil. Now what? While Mighty 'Mato plants' grafted properties help make the plants easier to grow, there are some best practices to ensure the highest yield of tomatoes per plant. Here are 12 tips to keep your Mighty 'Mato tomato plants healthy and happy:

  1. Preheat Your Soil. Tomato plants thrive in warm environments. 2 weeks before planting, cover the area in which you wish to plant with black or red plastic. 
  2. Plant Your Tomato Plant on their Sides. Tomatoes are able to develop roots all along their stem, and will naturally start to grow upwards towards the sunlight. 
  3. Plant Below the Graft Line. Your Mighty 'Mato plant will have a noticeable graft line. Be sure to plant below the line in order for your plants to grow and thrive.
  4. Avoid Laying Down Mulch. While mulch can be beneficial to many plants, it can also cool the soil. Avoid putting mulch near growing tomatoes to keep the soil warm.
  5. Remove the Lower Leaves of Your Tomato Plants. When your tomato plants are about 3 feet tall, remove the lower leaves since these can be the first to develop fugus issues. Once these leaves are removed, your tomato plants can put more energy into growing stronger.
  6. Water Often Yet Properly. Make sure to water only the base of the plant and not the leaves. This way, you can avoid airborne spores that can attach to wet plants and cause infections.
  7. Pinch Out and Prune Suckers. The suckers that grow between two points should be pinched out or pruned. They won't bear or grow any fruit and will take up energy that can be used by the rest of the plant.
  8. Create a Cutworm Barrier. Cutworms are a common pest involved with growing tomatoes. Place a ring of cardboard (you can even use an empty toilet tissue paper toll) around the new plant to prevent cutworms from chewing on the leaves and stems.
  9. Cage Your Tomato Plants. With the proper care, Mighty 'Mato plants will grow tremendously.  Be sure to place a large cage around young tomato plants–the larger, the better!
  10. Use a Good Organic Fertilizer. Be sure to use a good organic vegetable fertilizer every 3-4 weeks, such as E.B. Stone Tomato & Vegetable Food.
  11. Send Snails Packing. Do you have a problem with snails snacking on your tomato plants? Lay 100% organic coffee grounds or egg shells on the soil. This will prevent snails from getting to your plants.
  12. Get the Most Out of Your Tomatoes. Tomatoes are so versatile. You can use them for breakfast, lunch dinner, snacks–even desserts! Follow our Pinterest boards for recipes, how-tos and gardening tips.
    Do you have any more tips? Comment below so we can share them with our tomato-loving community! Also, don't forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more tips and tricks!

      Saturday, May 12, 2012

      Saturday Morning Tomato Progress

      I've checked out my Mighty 'Mato plants this morning, and I can almost see them grow.  With the weather getting warmer and more sunshine (although it's overcast again this morning) in San Diego, CA, both plants seem to be thriving.

      I have two plants (got a combo pack but gave one plant to a friend).  One I planted in the ground in a good sunny location, the other I put in a very large pot on the deck in another sunny location.  I probably focused on the soil more with the one in the pot, since I had to start from the beginning there.  Then to my dismay this morning, I discovered I wasn't being fair because I had put a large cage with 4 tiers around the potted plant, and only a 3 tier cage around the one in the ground.  Fortunately, they're still young enough I could change that, so I did.  Now I can be more unbiased about the size, and the one in the ground is definitely still larger. These plants like room to grow.

      From all I know of 'Mighty Mato plants, the larger cages are important, because they grow so large.  I'm hoping now that my 4-tier cages will be enough, because the plants are growing like crazy.  On the "grounded" one, I had picked off some early blooms, but now I'm seeing some in the "potted" plant.  I think I'll leave those, as the plant seems to be strong and growing well.

      In Southern California we're having a late spring, so everything is a bit behind where it would normally be for May 12.  But these mighty little guys are surpassing the rest of the garden!

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      Thursday, May 10, 2012

      Mom Deserves the Best!

      Few things make me happier than seeing my mom walk out from her garden with a bowl-full of cherry tomatoes and a smile from ear to ear. Holding a delightful red one proudly for all to see, she’ll talk about each tomato as if it has a special place in her heart. I’ll attest to the fact that her tomato garden is successful because she gives the plants ‘love’ to grow on, which is exactly how she raised me.

      When Mother’s Day rolls around, I cannot wait to show this wonderful woman how lucky I feel to have been hers. In terms of gifts, I always choose a plant because she loves to garden. She loves to water, pick, prune and showcase my ‘gifts.’

      For the past few years, I’ve given her tomato plants. Mother’s Day is the perfect time of year to plant small tomato plants in the ground and watch them evolve into a beautiful full grown tomato plant.

      My mom loves tomatoes in her salads and entrees – part of what makes her home cooking so delicious! No matter how many times she’s used the tomatoes that come from the plants I have given her, she never fails to mention that they are from her ‘favorite’ Mother’s Day gift.

      Mighty ‘Mato tomato plants are easy to order, plant and care for, which makes them the perfect gift. Even when I’m on the opposite side of the state, I can have them sent straight to my mom. Now is the perfect time to order, they’ll get to her just in time. Place your order now by following this link.

      Mighty ‘Mato tomato plants start small so a mother can do what she does best, nurture and help them grow. Your mom will love her Mother’s Day gift and be proud as she watches the little plant grow from the ground… up. 

      Connect with us!
      Visit Just a Pinch to see our tried and true recipes, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, pin with us on Pinterest and subscribe to our YouTube channel for interesting videos!

      Wednesday, May 9, 2012

      What Are Grafted Tomato Plants?

      You may have heard the term "grafted plants" once or twice. But what exactly does that mean, and why is it so special? Recently, I went to the Mighty 'Mato growing grounds and was able to see the grafting process first hand. Essentially, grafting works by fusing the stems of two plants together. A superior rootstock is picked for its ability to resist infection and its unique ability to increase vigor and fruit yield. The upper part of the plant is selected for its variety and quality characteristics. The scion (fuse) is held together by a special clip that will slip off as the plant grows.

      Using a special blade, the two plants are carefully sliced and placed together with the clip. The fused plants then sit in a greenhouse until they're matured enough for your garden. Once planted, the grafted plants will grow larger, juicier fruit with more yield per plant, truly making it a Mighty 'Mato plant!

      When you receive your Mighty 'Mato plants, the grafting clip may still be on the plants. If so, carefully remove the clip or let it slip off naturally as the plant grows. Here are some more quick tips to get you started:
      • Use a good organic fertilizer
      • Be sure to plant below the graft (or fuse) line
      • Trim away any initial flowers so plant can put all its energy into growing strong and producing better fruit
      • Use a large tomato cage-These plants will get BIG!
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      Tuesday, May 8, 2012

      Welcome to Mighty 'Mato! We're so excited to start this blog and share our passion for home grown tomatoes. Look forward to unique tomato recipes, helpful gardening tips and innovative products to help you grow your best tomatoes yet! Have a question? Comment on our blog and we'll get back to you! Meanwhile, learn more about us and our products at Happy gardening!