- Planting Vegetables
All About Tomatoes
Delicious Heirloom Tomatoes
One of my favorite Heirloom Tomatoes is the Abraham Lincoln. It produces delicious medium red tomatoes which grow in clusters of up to 9. This tomato has been grown in the United States since 1923. Another really great Heirloom Tomato to grow is the Big Rainbow Tomato. When you slice the Big Rainbow Tomato you'll find streaks of red running through it. But my favorite Heirloom Tomato of all is the Black Krim Tomato. Try it and you'll find a tomato that is oh so delicious and almost acid free.
Remember your tomatoes are going to need to be stacked or have tomato cages placed around them to support them while they grow. Tomatoes must have support while they grow or they will fall over on the ground and produce far fewer tomatoes.
Tomatoes are one of the most popular items grown by home gardeners. Home grown tomatoes taste so much better than store bought tomatoes. And tomatoes come in many varieties. Everything from plum tomatoes to heirloom black tomatoes. If you've only been growing just plain old red tomatoes you have to expand your thinking to include all the new tomato varieties available today.
Many people like to buy their tomatoes already started as young plants while I like to grow mine from seeds. I feel like I have more control growing my own tomatoes from seeds and I get to try many varieties that you can't buy down at your local farm and garden center. Like the delicious Black Krim Tomatoes above in the photo.
You really need only a few tomato plants ( 8-12 ) to produce all the tomatoes you and your family will consume. You will need about one square foot per tomato plant for optimal growth and to allow the tomato plant plenty of room to grow and produce its tomatoes. You can grow tomatoes in a container or containers if you wish.
Tomatoes need loose soil to allow their roots to grow and the soil needs to be free of debris and clumps. And you can if you wish start your tomatoes in containers and transplant them later into your garden.
And here we are going to answer a age old question. Is the tomato a fruit or a vegetable. Now get this it actually is both. But from the culinary standpoint the tomato is a vegetable as that is how it is most often used though you will now find such delicious items as green tomato pie.
And you can take all the varieties of Heirloom Tomatoes and produce some of the most delicious tomato soup you will ever taste.
10 Things You Should Know About Growing Tomatoes
1. Your seeds need plenty of room to grow and develop. Allow at least a square foot of room for each tomato to grow and develop.
2. Your tomatoes need full sun and tomatoes will not do well at all in partial sun or shade. You may get a lot of growth in a shady area but you will get few if any tomatoes.
3. Cover the area where you plan to plant your tomatoes with black plastic This will help you by getting rid of weeds and it will heat up the soil underneath and tomatoes love warm soil. Put the plastic down about a month before you put the tomato plants in the ground. Yes you will need to remove the plastic before you plant your tomatoes.
4. Plant a few marigolds near your tomatoes to keep away bugs and you most likely won't have any bug problems at all.
5. Don't throw away your old coffee grounds and egg shells. Instead mulch around your tomato plants with them. They will help to keep moisture in the soil and they will break down and feed your tomato plants.
6. Plant your tomato plants at least as deep as the pot they came in and you can even plant them deeper than that leaving only a few tomato leaves above ground. Tomatoes will grow roots along any stems you plant underground.
7. Once your tomatoes are about three foot tall remove all the stems and leaves from the bottom 1 foot of the plant. This will help to keep your plants healthy and will help to prevent fungus from developing as fungus usually starts on the bottom leaves.
8. Once your tomatoes are about 3 foot tall you can now put black plastic around the bottom of your plants to keep your tomatoes nice and warm and to prevent any weeds from growing.
9. Pinch and remove any sucker leaves that develop in the crotch joint of two branches. You can also pinch off the top of your tomato plants and they will develop into bushier plants and produce more tomatoes.
10. Be sure that you stake your tomato plants with wooden stakes or tomato cages. Tomatoes will not grow as well if you let them droop over onto the ground. So be sure you know and understand that your tomatoes need support.
© 2010 Thomas Byers