10 Tips on Growing Tomatoes
There are more and more people growing tomatoes today, either for industrial or personal purposes. In fact, tomatoes are the most popular homegrown vegetable. It is due to two reasons: tomatoes are delicious, and growing tomatoes is easy. There are so many books written on growing tomatoes, but you do not have to read them all. Their basics are quite… well, basic. This article will help you growing tomatoes, the simplest way ever.
1. Best Type, Best Fruits
Some tomato are determinate varieties. It means they will stop growing after reaching three feet high. The others are indeterminate. It means they will keep growing as high as you allow them. If your space for growing tomatoes is limited, choose determinate ones as Celebrity, Sunbeam or Mountain Spring.
You may as well choose growing tomatoes from such varieties as Oregon Spring, Early Girl or Stupice since they are bred to develop fruits early.
2. Never Plant Too Close
Tomato plants need at least 1.5 feet between each other, preferably 2 feet, and that is for plants growing upright on stakes or cages. If there is no support, they will need twice as much space.
Growing tomatoes too closely to each other will cause them produce few fruits and more vulnerable to diseases.
3. Plant as Many as Needed
Do not be greedy when it comes to growing tomatoes. Your harvest will not stay fresh for long, so plant as many as you need.
4. Plant under Direct Sunlight
Tomatoes need at least seven hours of full sun. If there is less sunlight, you will have very fantastic foliage but very few fruits.
5. Feed Enough, Not Too Much
Tomatoes enjoy a balanced fertiliser, with similar amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. Avoid using chemicals. It is best if you are growing tomatoes organically. Instead of using manufactured fertilisers, throw a shovel full of compost around the plants every week.
6. Pruning or Not Pruning? Your Call
Growing tomatoes without pruning is fine. If you prune them, they will produce fewer yet larger fruits. On contrary, if you do not prune them, you will most likely get more yet smaller fruits.
7. Water Well
When the soil around tomatoes dries out, calcium needed by all plants to grow is absorbed by the plant’s roots. Limited water means scarce calcium. The result is brown, dry, leathery spots found on the bottom of fruits.
Do not be fooled by any chemicals promising to magically resolve this problem. It is best that you water your tomatoes regularly and make sure the soil never dries out.
8. No Removing Leaves or Branches from Mature Fruity Plants
Yes, pruning helps your tomatoes produce larger fruits. However, pruning the mature ones may lead to a yellowing of the side of the fruits exposed to the sun.
9. Identify Pest Problems
When growing tomatoes, learn to identify common tomato pests that appropriate actions can be taken. Avoid chemicals, use organic pest control instead.
10. Never Fridge the Fruits
Okay, you are growing tomatoes up to the last stage. Harvest time! For best flavour, allow them to reach their full colour on the plants before you pick them. And afterwards, do not put the fruits in the fridge! Leave your tomatoes at room temperature, away from direct sunlight.