How To Grow Tomatoes - Selection, Growing, Feeding And Harvesting Tips
Growing tomatoes can be a tricky task. Here's some pointers to help you choose the best kind, get the best results and grow some tasty, juicy tomatoes. We're going to look at how to grow tomatoes in pots or in the ground and how best to care for them.
Choosing your tomatoes
It's important that you plant multiple varieties of tomatoes that are suitable for your area. A few to try are cherry, beefsteak, slicers and even one that's a bit out there, like green zebras.
It's also a good idea to get early, late and mid-season varieties. You can tell by looking on the label. Look for DTM or days to maturity. This way you'll make sure that at least one variety fruit, depending on the weather.
When selecting the type of tomato, I'd recommend the sweater the better. The sugar content is defined by the genetic makeup of the tomato and some are way sweeter than others. Some of the sweetest are cherry kinds. But black varieties and also purples varieties have a naturally sweet taste. Any tomato that is growing in full sun (look to give them 8 hours a day) will be pretty sweet. So keep those tomatoes out of the shade!
Another type of tomato to consider is heirlooms. They often taste better than other varieties. Of course, different kinds will taste better to different people, but heirloom tomatoes offer a great range of flavor. So you can please everybody all of the time.
Other varieties such as Roma, sprite, and celebrity might be a good option as they fruit over a short period, making them great for freezing. after flowing starts they tend to grow little and they are much more compact. This makes them better for small pots if your garden is short on space.
Other varieties such as sweet Carneros fruit over a much longer period and they will grow much larger until the cold inhibits their growth. These need room, so be sure you have it before planting them.
In short - all are easy to grow if they are right for your region. Shorten season varieties are more resilient so might be a better choice. But try a few different varieties to make sure that you maximize your chances of success.
Choosing the location and planting your tomatoes
Where to plant tomatoes
If possible don't plant your tomatoes in the same spot each year. This is because the disease can build up in the soil ruin your plants. Try and switch these every 3 years is possible. You can grow tomatoes in pots or containers and I find that this is the best way. You have the freedom to move them if needed. Remember we're looking for a spot that gets 's at least 6-8 hours of sunlight a day.
Once you've found your spot then make sure to dig a hole about 15 inches deep. In mild climates, you're probably going to want to plant a handful of seeds each week over a 4 week period. Thi is so that you can extend your harvest and maximize the chances of getting your tomatoes. If your climate is a lot cooler then try placing your pots near a wall to reflect heat onto your plants.
Make sure that you water every day for the first week or two. Once you see that your plants are starting to grow water less often but make sure that the pot is dripping when you do. Make sure your pot has adequate drainage if you are using one. You can retain moisture by covering the soil around with hay.
How long do tomatoes take to grow?
Irrigate deeply every 3 or 4 days for the first few weeks. Once plants start growing, water deeply and less often. Use soaker hoses, or try this tip: Poke small holes in the bottom of an empty coffee can, then set the can in a hole in the soil beside the plant. At the watering time, fill the can; water will slowly seep into the soil.
Feeding and staking tomatoes
Cages make a great solution for larget varieties. Bend a cylinder out of the mesh and place it around the plant. You can secure it to the ground as well to make sure that it doesn't fall over. Otherwise, you can use a stake to support the plant as it grows.
If you are using fertilizer then make sure you don't use too much. It will mean that your plant will produce huge leaves and not many tomatoes. Use a balanced organic fertilizer if possible. Apply this when fertilizing and then again when the flowers appear.
Harvesting tomatoes and picking tomatoes
If your plant has dropped all follows and therefore you see no tomatoes, this is probably due to high heat. Your tomatoes will be best if you pick them once they have turned color but just before they have softened. They can be best enjoyed in the garden, right next to where they were grown. Good luck!