How To Grow Tomatoes

Tomatoes are very popular vegetables to grow and they are very nutritious.  Plus, I Love tomatoes.  So how to grow tomatoes?  It isn’t hard at all.

Some things you need to remember about tomatoes is that they need a lot of sun, warmth, plenty of water and they are heavy feeders.

Another thing to think about is that there are two types of tomatoes – determinate and indeterminate.  Determinate varieties stop growing once the reach a certain height.  Indeterminate varieties just keep on growing.  So keep this in mind if you don’t have much space in your garden.

Tomatoes are also susceptible to some fungal diseases, like late blight, so it is important to not let them stay wet through the evening.  Water them only early in the day when moisture on the leaves can evaporate.  Use drip irrigation and don’t overhead water as water splashes on the soil and spashes fungus spores up onto the plant.  It is also important to let them get plenty of air circulation to help them dry their leaves out.

Select varieties you like, but keep in mind the amount of growing time till ripening, especially if you live in a northern climate.  I live in the Pacific Northwest, where we can have cool long summers.  I have had tomatoes not ripen until late August.  Then the growing season is almost over.  Also, try to select varieties which are resistant to fungal diseases.  And do not plant tomatoes in the same place each year, rotate them, especially if you had an outbreak of late blight.

You can plant tomatoes either in the ground or in a pot.  I need to put mine in pots since my garden space is limited and I just used my only raised bed for tomatoes just last year.

Whether you plant tomatoes in the ground in the garden or in a pot, make sure you have good rich soil.  The same goes for the rest of your vegetable garden. For pots use a good potting soil and add some slow release fertilizer to it.  Plant your tomatoes as deeply as you can.  It is a good idea to pinch off the bottom growth of your plant and lay it sideways in the ground with the top out of the ground.  All those little knobby things on the stem become roots, increasing your tomatoes ability to take up water and nutrients.

And watch out that your plants don’t dry out.  I tried one of the upside down planters last year, and one thing you should know is that they dry out quickly.  You need to be persistent in providing tomatoes with water.  Depending on the kind of fertilizer you use, you may also need to refertilize them every few weeks during the summer.

Watch out for aphids and white flies.  You can use insecticidal soaps on these.  Avoid toxic insecticides, because you end up eating that stuff too.

And best of all, when your tomatoes ripen, make lots of good tomato dishes.

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