JANUARY FEBRUARY MARCH APRIL MAY JUNE JULY AUGUST
SEPTEMBER OCTOBER NOVEMBER DECEMBER
HOME Site Map















Planting Tomatoes

Find out how to make dilly green tomatoes HERE

Learn about growing upside down tomatoes HERE

Tomatoes are incredibly easy to grow, and if you're a tomato lover, the reward of fresh tomatoes straight from the garden, will be one that you will certainly appreciate.

In cooler climates, or just to make sure that you'll get a head start on the season, and have a constant supply, start your plants indoors, under lights, with a minimum temperature of 60 degrees for germination.


About 8 weeks before the last frost, plant seeds in three or four inch pots, with two or three seeds per pot, and remove all but the strongest, when they are about 4-6 inches tall.

Allow the little guys to continue growing, one in each pot, until all danger of frost has passed, and then harden them off by placing them outside for a few hours each day for a week or so, and then transplant them to the garden.

You'll want each plant to have a 1 1/2 or 2 foot area all of it's own, so that they don't crowd each other, and you'll want to plant them up to the first set of true leaves, so as to encourage root growth.

Avoid over watering at all costs, especially once fruit begins to appear, as it will cause the fruit to split. Erratic watering will cause the same problem, so be sure you are consistant.

Over fertilizing will cause excessive leaf growth, at the cost of less friut, as well as loss of flavor. Excess nitrogen fertilizer can result in plants with extremely vigorous vine growth but little fruit production.

If heavy rains are expected, be prepared to protect tomato plants so that they don't end up getting too much water, or having the flowers blown off by heavy winds.

You'll also want to remove any side shoots that appear, leaving only the main shoot. When the plant reaches the top of it's support, topping it will cause it to start bushing out, and creating new branches

As fruit begins to develop, the plant will benefit from the removal of any leaves that hide or shade the fruit, and some of the lower branches that aren't producing fruit can be removed to increase airflow around the plant.

Be sure to do your watering in the early morning, so that the leaves will dry quickly, so as to help prevent mold and fungus from developing.

You can also lay a bed of straw or grass clippings around the base of the plants so that the fruits won't lay on the ground and rot.

When grown as staked plants, tomatoes require a relatively small amount of space, yet are capable of producing 8 to 10 pounds or more of fruit per plant. Tomatoes are low in calories and a good source of vitamin C.

There are probably more tomato cultivars available to the home gardener than any other garden vegetable.

Tomatoes are usually categorized as early, mid-season or late.

Another consideration is whether the tomato cultivar you choose is determinate or indeterminate in growth habit.

Determinate (D) tomato plants grow to a certain height and then stop. They also flower and set all their fruit within a relatively short period of time. This is an advantage if the tomatoes are being grown primarily for canning purposes.

Indeterminate tomato plants grow, flower, and set fruit over the entire growing season.

Another characteristic to look for when choosing tomato cultivars is disease resistance. Many cultivar names are followed by one or more letters indicating resistance to Verticillium wilt (V), Fusarium wilt (F), or nematodes (N). Disease resistance can be an important consideration, especially if you have experienced these problems with tomatoes in the past.

Due to their long growing season and temperature requirements, tomatoes should be set out as transplants.

When purchasing tomato transplants, choose those with straight, sturdy stems about the thickness of a pencil. They should have 4 to 6 young true leaves, no blossoms or fruit, and be free of insect pests and diseases.

Plants in individual containers or cell packs experience little or no transplant shock and become established quickly. Tomato plants will develop roots along the stem and may be set deeply at transplanting with the first set of leaves near the soil surface.



Healthy Nutrition


Growing Herbs


Recipes

Winter gardening

Seeds

Artichokes


Asparagus


Beans


Beets


Broccoli


Brussels Sprouts


Cabbage


Cantaloupe


Carrots


Cauliflower


Celery


Corn


Cucumbers


Eggplant


Garlic


Kale


Kohlrabi


Leeks


Lettuce


Melons


Okra


Onions


Peas


Peppers


Potatoes


Pumpkins


Squash


Sunflowers


Tomatoes


Watermelons

Google
: Pacific Northwest Gardening : Herbal Beers : Herbs and Natural Remedies : Eat Well To Be Well
: Refelting Your Pool Table : Audio Bar and Grill : My Internet Business Strategy :
: Healthy Recipe of the Week : My Web Gal :