Tomatoes are one of the most used vegetables around the world. They are used in a myriad of dishes and salads. Many people have found that growing their own tomatoes greatly increases their ease in using tomatoes and confidence that they are getting a quality vegetable. Although, in order to avoid any problems and harvesting too many tomatoes then you know what to do with at one time, some people have enhanced their harvest by staggering when they plant their tomato plants and therefore are able to harvest fresh, ripe tomatoes through out the growing season.
One of the ways to avoid problems associated with growing tomatoes is to stagger a tomato harvest. This greatly depends on the area in which you are planting and the length of the growing season. Tomato growers need to wait until the soil temperature in their area is at least 55 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit. The temperature during the day should also be 70 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. The temperature at night should be between 65 and 68 degrees Fahrenheit. Regardless of whether the tomatoes are planted in early March or early May, the first tomato usually doesn’t ripen until late July. The full production usually begins in early August as long as the tomato plants are planted by early May. They are sun vegetables and need warm climates. A minimum of six hours of full sun is required for their growth and ripening. If you are interested in harvesting your tomatoes in November before the first frost comes along in December, you should plant your tomatoes in June. Tomatoes do not tolerate the frost.
In some warmer climates, tomatoes can be grown almost all year round. Planting tomato plants in April will give you a wonderful summer crop of most tomato varieties. Those who wish to have a fall or winter crop of home grown tomatoes choose to plant tomato seedlings in July or August. In these warmer climates, it is still possible to get at least 6 to 8 hours of sunlight a day.
Another way to avoid problems growing tomatoes is to plant seedlings rather then seeds in your outdoor garden. If you plan to grow your tomato plants from seeds then transplant them later, you should plant your seeds in a flat indoors 5 to 6 weeks before you intend to plant them in the ground. Seedlings should be at least at a six leaf stage to go into the ground in your outdoor garden. Make sure that the soil in your garden has been tilled well. The soil should also be slightly acid with a pH level of 5.5 to 7.8. Although, home grown tomatoes grow in most types of soil, a light, well-drained fertile soil, high in organic matter, is considered best.
Some cold climate tomato growers have even turned to compact, portable greenhouses as a way to avoid problems and to be able to get the most out of their tomato crop. These types of greenhouses allow you to gradually and safely expose your growing crop to the cold outdoors. This is called hardening off without which tender seedlings can die quickly on a cold night.
We all love fresh homegrown tomatoes but, how can you grow a healthier plant and in turn, have a better abundance of tomatoes? There are a few tips that avid tomato grows use on a constant basis to achieve such goals. Follow these extremely easy tips for growing tomato plants and you can see the same kind of results in your next harvest.
Because tomatoes love heat, you can preheat the soil in your garden before you plant your tomato plants. Just cover the area with black or red plastic for a couple of weeks before you intend to plant. With the extra degrees of warmth that the plastic creates, you will receive earlier tomatoes. Another tip to growing a healthier tomato plant is to plant the tomato plant deep into the soil. Seedlings are typically planted after they have developed about six leaves. Plant the seedlings into the soil deep enough so that only the top four leaves are showing. Tomatoes are able to develop roots all along the stems of the plant. This will create a stronger root system for the plant. You can also plant the tomato plant sideways in the ground within a shallow trench. The plant will straighten up and grow towards the sun but extra care needs to be taken when you are inserting the cage or pole so that it does not pierce the root system.
There are several tips to maintaining the plant itself throughout the growing season that some tomato growers do not know. One tip is to keep up on the pruning of the plant particularly the suckers. Tomato growers can remove the suckers that develop in the joint of two branches of the plant. They do not bear fruit and they take energy away from the rest of the plant. You can also prune some of the leaves to allow the sun to reach the ripening fruit. But, a lot of care must be taken to ensure that you are not removing too many leaves. It is the leaves that are photosynthesizing and creating the sugars that give flavor to the tomatoes. You should also ensure that you keep up on the watering of the tomato plants. They should be watered deeply and regularly while the plants are developing; missing a few days of watering and trying to make up for it later on leads to blossom end rot and cracking. Another tip on watering tomato plants is to lessen the watering once the fruit begins to ripen. With the less amount of water, the plant will be coaxed into concentrating its sugars. But, be careful not to withhold too much water because the plant will wilt and become stressed. This will lead to the plant dropping its blossoms and possibly its fruit.
These tips are easy to do and will support the health of the tomato plant. Many tomato plant growers have incorporated these simple tips into their tomato gardening routine and have enjoyed the increase in their crop and flavor of their tomatoes.
Several benefits lie in growing tomato plants upside down. Many tomato lovers have turned to this way of growing tomato plants to increase their crop and ease of growing the countries favorite garden vegetable.
When growing tomatoes upside down, they are grown in a container rather then in an outdoor garden. Those who love to garden but lack the space can still enjoy home grown tomatoes. Also, those who lack an area that will receive the needed 6 to 8 hours of sunlight that tomato plants require, benefit from growing their tomatoes in a container as well. Their tomato plants can be moved from location to location during the day to stay in the sunlight. Another benefit to growing tomatoes upside down is that there is no need for staking. Tomato plants need support as they grow taller. With the plant hanging upside down, the weight falls naturally towards the ground. With growing tomatoes in a container also eliminates the need to weed. Those short on the time it takes to tend to a garden daily benefit greatly from growing tomatoes upside down. Also those with poor soil will not have to go through the effort of getting it just right to grow healthy vibrant tomatoes. And probably the biggest benefit to tomato growers is that growing tomatoes upside down in a container cuts down on dealing with pests. These types of tomato destroying pests find it hard to get to the tomato plant as it hangs off of the ground. Plus, keeping the tomato plants separate reduces the disease that can easily pass from one plant to another when they are grown close together in an outdoor garden.
Growing tomatoes upside down will also benefit the plant directly. For instance, growing tomato plants upside down can help your tomatoes plants to produce better, bigger crop of tomatoes. This is due to a better airflow around the plant and because there is less stress on the branches during growing. The tomatoes will also ripen faster then those grown in the traditional way in an outdoor garden. Plus, since the tomatoes never come into contact with the ground, you will not have to deal with the rotting problem that tomato growers typically have to deal with when their tomatoes come into contact with the soil.
You will find that the smaller plant varieties are better suited to this method of growing but growing tomatoes upside down is not limited to the smaller varieties of tomato. Many garden lovers have changed their minds and found that the best kind of tomatoes are those that are grown upside down rather then those grown in a traditional outside garden. But, with the large, luscious tomatoes that are produced this way, it is clearly easy to see why gardeners have felt this way. Rather then trekking from the garden, kneeling in the dirt and harvesting a few tomatoes for a salad. All one has to do it to reach out on their patio or deck to grasp some of the very same if not more succulent tomatoes.
With the decision to start an outdoor vegetable garden, planting a few tomato plants is a must. Growing your own tomato plants is easy to do and a great way to enjoy fresh, organic tomatoes.
With over 7,500 thousand tomato varieties, there are many different ones to choose from. You might be interested in a smaller size of tomato like cherry tomatoes. Or you might be interested in making your own sauces and salads in which case Early Girl or Beefsteak tomatoes will be the right ones for you. Which ever variety you choose, you can be sure that you will have plenty of tomatoes to go around by the time the harvest comes around because of the ease of growing this plant.
Planting tomato plants in an outdoor garden requires warm weather. Tomato plants can not withstand frost. They prefer to be in temperatures that are between 65 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and no cooler the 60 degrees Fahrenheit at night. In most places, this means that the weather is ideal at the end of May for tomatoes. Tomato plants should not be planted too close together. They have roots that fill out underneath the soil and therefore need the room. Plus, plants that are too close together can easily share disease and pests. They could also inhibit the growth of the fruit by offering too much shade from leaves that are too close together. Tomato plants should be place between 12 and 36 inches apart depending on their varieties. Types of tomato plants that require to be grown on a trellis should be further part then their dwarf variety cousins. Trellises or cages for larger tomato plant varieties offer support for the tomato vine and helps to keep the fruit off the ground. Fruit that lies on the ground becomes rotten and therefore cuts down on the crop you are producing.
Tomato plants love sunlight and should receive at least 6 to 8 hours of it a day. They also need to be watered on a constant basis. They do well in soil that is moist and aerated. Tomato plants can also be pruned to aid a good harvest. Try trimming one non-fruit bearing branch. These are the branches without fruit or blossoms. You can also trim some leaves so that the fruit gains access to more sunlight. But be careful not to trim too many leaves since it is the leaves that will proved the fruit with the sugars to aid in its flavor. Plus, trimming the suckers that grow in the joint of the branches will aid in the health and the growth of the plant as well. Removing the suckers will remove the energy that the plant uses to grow them allowing the plant to gain more energy to grow a nice crop.
Growing tomato plants in an outdoor garden is both rewarding and simple to do. They are a hardy plant that can withstand the efforts of event he most inexperienced vegetable gardener. Once you have tried a tomato from your own home grown garden, it will be hard to ever buy the fruit from the store again.
Growing tomato plants from seeds is not that difficult and it is extremely rewarding. You can find a large variety of tomato plant seed packets ad it is fun to experiment with the different varieties you find.
Start out growing your tomato plants indoors about six to eight weeks which is usually early spring before you intend to plant them in an outside garden. You can also place the tomato plant into a pot that can be placed in the sunlight. Scatter your seeds thinly over potting compost placed in a tray. Tomato seeds like warm conditions so you will want to keep your tray in a warm area or in a windowsill. You can also add cling film over the tray to keep the soil from drying out. Once the seedlings begin to appear, remove the cling film. Tomato plants like moist soil but be careful not too over water seedlings.
Tomato plants also love sunlight. If you are growing your seedlings in a tray on a windowsill, make sure that you turn the tray every day or two. This will ensure that all of the plants gain access to the light and grow evenly. Tomato plants will also grow towards the light so if they are not receiving enough light, they may grow bent. Tomato plants can also grow thin and leggy if they do not receive enough light while indoors.
When seedlings have grown to be about 1 to 2 inches high, it is time to transplant them from the tray to individual pots. Carefully separate each seedling being careful not to damage the roots. You should lift the seedlings by the leaves and not the stem because they can easily get damaged at this young stage. Place the seedlings in a hole in the soil which is big enough for its roots. Back fill the hole with compost and water the seedling immediately. Lightly press the compost around the roots to ensure that the roots have good contact with the soil. The seedlings should continue to be kept within the sunlight and turned if the sunlight is uneven. When the seedlings have grown to be about sic to eight inched tall, you should transplant them again into larger pots. During these last stages, you can harden off the seedlings before placing them into an outdoor garden. Hardening them off simply means to get them used to the outdoor temperature which is obviously harder to control then the inside temperature you were growing your seedlings at. Place seedlings outside in the sun for a few hours each day to harden them off.
When seedlings finally grow at least six leaves and the weather is warm enough for them to be transplanted to an outdoor garden, bury the seedlings within the soil that that only the top four leaves are showing. Since tomato plants can develop roots all along the stem, burying the stems deep into the ground will ensure that your tomato plants grow strong root systems. This will create a stronger plant that can better withstand the weight of the fruit. As the weight of the fruit brings down a weaker plant, the fruit will touch the ground and become rotten. A stronger plant means a better harvest and crop.
It is entirely possible to grow a healthy, fruit producing tomato plant in a container sidestepping the need for an outdoor garden. Tomato plants are an extremely easy plant to grow just as successfully in a garden as it is in a container.
There are several benefits to growing a tomato plant in a container. This method is perfect for those who are short on space for an actual outdoor garden. Pots can be placed anywhere that receives enough light for the plant to sustain its growth including patios, yards and even window sills. Plus, since tomato plants require at least 6 hours of direct sunlight a day, pots can be moved from location to location to ensure that the plant is receiving the right amount of sunlight eliminating the need for one particularly sunny spot. Another advantage to growing tomato plants in pots is that it eliminates the need to weed if you are short on time for proper gardening.
Most varieties of tomatoes can be successfully grown in containers but, some do better then others. You will want to grow tomatoes that do not get too large. Determinate tomatoes are varieties that will grow to a smaller size. They will typically get to be about 1 to 2 ft maximum. Plus, growing tomatoes in pots will cause them to ripen all at once. Choosing the smaller tomato varieties means that you are not stuck with too many tomatoes then you know what to do with. To ensure your success in the endeavor of growing a tomato plant in pot, it is also better to choose a tomato plant variety that has a lower water demand. Tomato plants need about one inch of water a week keeping the soil moist. But, because they are being grown in a pot, keeping the soil moist can be challenging. The key to keeping the soil moist it to pick the right kind of pot for your tomato plant. A standard terra cotta pot that provides enough room for the roots to grow is perfect for your plant. Good drainage is important so make sure that the pot has drainage holes at the bottom. You can also add a layer of rock at the bottom of the pot to ensure good drainage and ward off root rot. To keep the soil in the pot moist you should also use the right kind of soil. Tomato plants grown in a pot do well in a soil-less mix of sphagnum peat, perlite and vermiculite. You should also add a scoop of organic fertilizer to the soil mixture as well to the center of the pot and mix it in well. Tomato plants tend to be heavy feeders so you should add a fertilizer that is slow acting. On top of that, you can add fertilizer about every two to four weeks.
It is wonderful to be able to grow your own tomatoes. You can enjoy fresh organic tomatoes that taste so much better then what you can get from the store. With the ability to grow tomato plants in a container, apartment dwellers and those who are limited on space can enjoy the same benefits as those with access to a full outdoor garden.