It is the time of year you body craves the sun and your mouth begins watering for freshly grown vegetables.  It is also the time to plant and grow your own marijuana if you choose!

Nothing is better than a fresh tomato sandwich, pasta sauce, or even cherry tomatoes popped into your mouth!  Marigolds can liven up a yard, a table or a romantic bedside table. And marijuana can bring a smile, a laugh and even a little fun next to the bedside marigolds.

While tomatoes do not grow exactly like cannabis, for planting purposes, they are almost identical. Mid-May is the planting season for all three and here are some tips.

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Tomatoes, marijuana and marigolds need full sun; at least 6 hours or more of direct sunlight daily is best, and they require consistent moisture, so access to a water supply will make growing easier on you. They also require good drainage, air circulation and consistent soil moisture will help prevent disease. For tomatoes, if you are planting in the ground, protection for bunnies and other critters that finding them equally appealing.

Find the right seedling or plant, use a reliable source and make sure everything looks healthy.

Like Real Housewives, tomatoes and cannabis will compete – for the sun and spotlight, so do not place then near each other.  Additionally, fallen tomatoes can be acidic (like some Real Housewives) and that is not good for the soil around marijuana or marigolds. Give them all room to grow.

When you’re ready to plant, begin by soaking the plant – if a seedling ( in a 4” pot – in a solution of liquid seaweed or root stimulator. Then dig the planting hole, sprinkle a balanced in a fertilizer and fill with good soil. (Alternatively, you can sprinkle fertilizer around the plant in a ring after planting). Some people swear by fish fertilizer, it is iffy but can do the job.

Next, prune a few lower leaves off the plant and plant it deep, so that the bottom of the stem is under the soil. Additional roots will grow from the stem. Finally, water the plant thoroughly, watering around the base and try keeping water off the leaves.

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Next, let them grow and mature.  For tomatoes it is 50-80 days, cannabis 57-84 days and marigolds about 55 days. Water in the morning and keep tools clean to avoid pests and fungal diseases. Drip irrigation works well to keep water off the leaves.

In the heat of summer, you may need to water twice a day, especially for tomatoes grown in containers. Remember to after the first fruits have started to develop and reapply every two weeks thereafter.

Monitor your plants daily for any appearance of pests or diseases and always use organic sprays or soapy water. Some gardeners believe that “companion planting” – planting certain herbs or flowers in an edible garden – can control pests, but this technique can only work when the companion plants are heavily planted in a mass.

When they have matured, pick and enjoy, knowing you have created this little piece of joy yourself!

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