How To Grow Tomatoes
Learning how to grow tomatoes is well worth the effort for the end result. There is no comparison to the taste and quality of all vegetables grown at home to those purchased in a grocery market. But in my mind, home grown tomatoes have it hands down in the improved taste department. Like the old saying goes “Only two things that money can’t buy and that’s true love and home grown tomatoes”.
Tomatoes are a warm season plant and have a long growing season. They require well drained soil and lots of sun. The soil needs to be light and should contain humus and be slightly acidic. Tomatoes will not thrive in clay soils. It’s a good idea to test your soils composition and find out it’s saturation point. If it is low you might want to grow tomatoes in a raised bed.
Giving your Tomatoes Support
Plant the seedlings deeply so that they send out side roots from the stem. Tie the main stem to the stake with yarn or strips of cloth, loosely, underneath a lead node on the plant.
Caging tomato plants gives improves yield, makes them easier to harvest and also prevents some forms of diseases. Take about six feet of hog wire, or a similar wire, and form a cylinder. Place the wire cage over your young tomato plant and it will grow up and wire using it to support it’s heavy branches.
Water Your Tomatoes
Keep in mind when you grow tomatoes that they are 95 percent water and need 1-2 inches of water a week. Water your plants deeply, a couple times a week, to encourage deep root systems. Keep the water off the foliage. Tomatoes should be mulched once the soil has warmed to keep the soil moist.
Fertilize your Tomatoes
Fertilize your plants with compost when the fruit is about one third of their mature size. Work the compost in to the top one inch of soil. Apply another round of compost after your first harvest.
Pruning Your Tomatoes
Keeping your tomatoes pruned will allow energy to go to the fruit rather than the foliage. Pruning the lower branches will help prevent these lower stems from collecting water and coming in contact with the ground. Both the water and the soil are potential disease producing elements.
Depending on the size and variety you choose to grow, tomatoes mature between 45 days for cherry tomatoes to 80 days plus days for larger beefsteak varieties. And tomatoes not only taste good, they are good for you. Tomatoes are packed with vitamin C, potassium, fiber and vitamin A in the form of beta-carotene.
Now you know that it isn’t difficult to learn how to grow tomatoes and the rewards are delicious!