It’s that time of the year and all good gardeners want to know how to grow the perfect tomato. There are many books and gardener blogs available today for us to study on the subject. The trick is for a person to find the sources that are reliable and the people you can trust, that their information is reliable.
I have found that it is best to find someone that has a history of gardening, someone who has done it for a few years. It is also a good idea to find someone who has a history of gardening in your area because we all know, there is a difference to gardening in New England or say some places like Texas.
There are many ways to grow perfect tomatoes. You can grow tomatoes on vines, in a planter and how about growing upside down tomatoes? This is some of what I wanted to talk about in my short article/blog here.
Where to Buy Your Plants
One important thing to good tomatoes is where you buy your plants. We all know about Wal-Mart, Home Depot, and Lowes, but what about your local nursery? Many people think these large stores, that handle many types of products are not the ideal place to buy fresh plants. In some ways, this is true, because they have the habit of only getting large shipments at the beginning of the growing season.
Also, they buy from different growers each year. Most of these growers are located in California and some are now importing their plants from Mexico. When Wal-Mart or Home Depot get ready, each year, to purchase their tomatoes, they send their representatives out to all the farms that grow tomatoes. The purpose of these buyers is to get the best, but also to get the cheapest. We all know that the cheapest of is not always the best.
These buyers, also buy for stores all over the United States, which can be more difficult than say someone who is buying for a particular area or state. That is why I choose to buy from a local nursery. When they send out their buyers, they are buying for the state they are doing business in. Local nurseries are more aware of the customers they have and they know how the growing seasons are in their state.
There are also many growers online, that you can order from during the tomato season and sometimes year round. A lot of them are in places where they can grow in nurseries or the climate is such that they can grow year round. This is a good way to get plants of all types as long as you do your research.
You want to insure they are dependable, that their plants will be shipped to you on time, and be in great condition when they arrive. I guess a good rule of thumb would be if you have ordered from them before and have gotten good service, order from them again! If you were not satisfied the first time, check around and find someone else next year!
Different Types of Tomatoes
Did you know all the different types of tomatoes there are? I know there are a lot. I am not going to go into all the different tomatoes there are, but I just wanted to talk about a few that are good for home gardens and easy to take care of.
Burpee’s Big Boy Hybrid – Meaty flesh is of good flavor. Preferred F-1 hybrid will weight up to 1 1/2 lbs. each, 4″ across and 2 1/4″ deep. Brilliant red fruits are semi-globe shaped and firm. Ideal for home gardens.
Sweetie Seedless – Positively no sacrifice on taste, 7oz. Oval tomato is extra sweet and juicy together with an orange-red color.
Climbing Tomatoes – Big crimson tomato will grow as big as 6″ across. Meaty centers with sturdy divisions. By far the most successful tomato, often making 2 bushels from one plant. When developed on a trellis the vines will soar 12′ to 18′ and often times 25′!
Amish Paste Tomato – A big meaty perfectly tasting paste tomato. Lengthy pear shaped paste variety generates 10oz red fruits on a healthy plant. One of the few paste tomatoes that always tastes very good fresh Fantastic for use in canning.
Early Girl Hybrid – Definitely one of the most popular, mainly because they are sturdy and feature large leaves which offer outstanding sun protection. Very good container plant.
Roma VF – Thick tomato has a handful of seeds. Paste tomatoes are best for making sauces, pastes and also ketchup.
Celebrity Hybrid – Hardy disease repellent, significant yield, and exceedingly flavorful fruit. Develops in a broad range of environments. Resilient to many viruses and generates large flavorful fruit virtually all season long.
Early Salad or Cherry Tomatoes – Sweet, juicy and firm only measure 1 1/2″ to 1 1/4″ Produces 250-300 fruits till frost.
As I said this is just a few. Worldwide there are over 3,000 varieties of heirloom or heritage tomatoes, but the average Gardner just wants the one that will grow best in their garden. The ones I mentioned above grow good in the United States. I have added some more about the different types of tomatoes and some other information you might fine USEFUL!
Fertilizing and Soil Preparation Is Critical
The soil is important for developing good wholesome tomatoes, as it is anytime developing any flower, fruit, and vegetable. Several types of tomato plants available for a home garden have a short harvest period, as well as specific plating needs. The soil is the main factor in planting nearly all types of tomatoes. Here are some tips for preparing the soil for healthy tomatoes:
- Select a soil for growing that is very well drained, deep and loamy (high with sand, silt and clay-based)
- Determine the soil’s acidity. Tomatoes benefit from a more acidic soil using a pH if 6.2 to 6.8. Utilize a pH soil testing kit, obtainable at any sort of home development or garden shop.
- Select an area in which the soil acquires at least 6 hours of strong sunlight
- Move the soil to prepare it for sowing. Using a trowel or spade, transfer the soil while it is dry. If pH circumstances aren’t ideal for planting your tomatoes, incorporate fertilizer to organize your soil for growing.
- Supplement to the soil. Utilize peat moss, compost or manure to the soil to enhance its excellence. Mix in small levels of any or each of these compounds as you excavate and combine in your soil prior to planting. The more full-bodied the soil the better.
- Select an area in which the soil is deep. Tomato plants require staying set deep in the soil, up to their very first leaves.
- Buy a fertilizer with a 5-10-5 allotment of nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium
Arrange the fertilizer. Dissolve 2 tbsp. (30 ml) of fertilizer within 1 gallon (3.8 liters) of water. Combine 1 cup (240 ml) of the solution to the lower part of every tomato plant.
Make certain to combine all this perfectly and till the soil to a fine grain. Sow the tomatoes in easy rows. Plant about 8-10 plants in sum for a little, manageable garden. Allow for about 2 feet (0.6 m) in between every seedling and the rows 2 feet (0.6 m) away. This will help the fruit and earth to stay cool. Place 2 seeds in each hole. Wean down the weaker one at about 4 inches (10.2 cm) of development.
You should not over prepare the soil. The seedlings tend to be very delicate to unique conditions. Use grass trimmings. Distribute them about your garden, the more the better, to about 2-3 inches (5.1 to 7.6 cm) distance off the ground. It will help take the weeds down and helps keep the soil moist. It also supplies more organic product for the following growing period.
Water around once a week at daybreak only. Definitely do not water at night, as this produces damaging conditions for your plants being insects enjoy wet dark surroundings. Rot and other diseases such as mold, verticillium rot, etc. are easily prevented by watering over the morning.
Additionally, watering at midday is not a great idea, mainly because of the heat of the day, the water will dissipate prior to the plants are able to soak it up.
Maintain the tomatoes at your personal height. This standard really exists for two purposes. First, it is hard enough to preserve the tomatoes, so there is no explanation to go reaching as well. One can make them smaller, make sure to end them when they achieve the desired growth. Second, tomatoes don’t worry about fruiting a lot. Many breeds like to just develop and grow. Causing the plant to vine out will highlight most of the nutrients on greenery rather than fruit manufacturing. So keep them small and you will have higher yields and much quicker growth.
Overall the perfect way to tell if a tomato is ripe is a squeeze experiment. An unripe tomato will feel hard, and they have no give. Ripe tomatoes are firm but have a bit of giving when you squeeze them. Leave your tomatoes on the vine as long as possible, but pick them when they are bright red and have a bit of give.
Tomatoes are the only fruit that can be picked before they are ripe. You can allow them to ripen by punching holes in a plastic bag and setting a ripe banana in the bag, with the tomato and wait. Do not put tomatoes on a window sill or where they have a lot of exposure to sunlight as they will rot without you knowing it. A good video below with a step by step guide to growing tomatoes from seed.
Growing tomatoes and creating a garden can be enjoyable and be gratifying at the same time. Not only is it great at constructing a very good partnership with your spouse buy it is very good exercise, not only physically but mentally too.
A couple other things I didn’t mention is tomatoes are also good container plants if you are lacking space. A pair of plants in a couple containers will give two people plenty of tomatoes for a very long time.
So, it’s that time of year, get out there and create that garden so you can enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables for the summer. Once you get your tomatoes going there is very little work required and they are much better tasting than those purchased at the store.
Like to hear your comments and insights, so I can grow better tomatoes this year. Your Comments are Always Welcome.