How to Grow Tomatoes
Growing tomatoes is not hard, but there are some things to learn. Tomatoes are amongst the most popular plants in the garden. To grow the best tomatoes, you need to prepare the soil and provide the proper nutrients and care. When growing tomatoes, you’ve probably come across cracked, brown, or bruised looking tomatoes and other problems. Sometimes these problems are caused by poor soil quality, lack of water, and lack of minerals such as calcium.
Like most plants, tomatoes will thrive with a lot of manure and compost added into the soil. A good time to add manure is at the end of the season. When the season is over, remove the plants and cover the area with 3-4 inches of manure. Over the winter and early spring, this manure will rot and get filled with all sorts of beneficial worms and bacteria. After the last frost date, you can turn in some compost with that manure. It is a good idea to buy some calcium to add to the soil.
Some tomato plants are determinate, and others are indeterminate. Determinate tomato plants will produce their crop all at once, whereas indeterminate tomatoes will produce all during the season; this is very important when determining which types of tomatoes you want. If you’re going to can, your tomatoes determinate tomatoes will be no problem for you.
You will notice shoots growing from in between where the stem and branches meet on your tomato plants. These are called “tomato suckers,” They will waste the plants’ energy as they don’t produce tomatoes, so you will want to pinch those off as soon as possible.
Staking Tomato Plants
It’s important to have a sturdy support cage for your plants. Your tomatoes will grow quickly, so make sure to give them support as soon as you plant them. After you plant them, make a mound of soil at the plant’s base and dig a moat around it to collect the water. This will be a more efficient use of water, and make sure your tomatoes are well watered each time.
When buying tomato plants from nurseries, you may find that your plant is tall and not very sturdy looking. A quick fix to make sure your tomato plant will stand tall and sturdy is to bury the plant just below where the leaves start. The stem will eventually produce roots, and you will have a strong, healthy tomato plant.
How to Grow Tomatoes From Seed
Tomatoes can be started indoors 6 to 8 weeks before the last frost date. Choose a sunny location in your house. Start the seed in pots filled with sterilized potting soil and sow the seed 1 cm or .5 inch deep. Water the soil until it is moist but not soggy and ensure the soil never dries out before the seeds sprout. When the last frost date passes, you can transplant them outside 45 cm to 18″ apart.
Growing Tomatoes in Containers
The larger the container you use for your tomato, the bigger the plant will grow. Tomatoes need a strong root system to support their tomatoes’ growth and production, so it’s best to use the largest container possible. Add rich compost in the soil with calcium. Since you are using a container, you will have to use a slow-release fertilizer to get the best results.
Are you looking for tomato seeds? Residents in Canada can purchase them here: tomato seeds.