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How to Grow Great Tomatoes

Updated on April 20, 2011

tomatoes

The tomato is one of the most commonly grown plants for home gardeners. They are reasonable easy to care for, once you get them started which I do indoors from seed about six weeks before I put them out.

It can get quite cool here until around the end of the first week in June, even after that I usually put the plants out for a few hours each day for the first week and make sure they are inside at night.

I always have an old sheet handy by the door at the beginning and ending of the growing season and pay particular attention to frost warning. If one is sounded then the tomatoes will get covered for that night, making sure to lift the cover in the morning when the sun is up.

It is important that you are aware of the e three general types of growth habit; determinate, indeterminate and semi-determinate.

Determinate: varieties are often referred to as bush tomatoes. This is because the terminal (top and end) buds end in a flower cluster that produces fruit. The plant will stop growing when the terminal flowers develop. The fruit then develops and ripens over a short period of time, depending upon the weather. Tomatoes like heat so in cooler summers this process will slow down. The determinate varieties usually mature early and will produce small plants with generally smaller fruit. The small size means they do not need to be pruned or staked and can be great for a balcony or patio, especially if space is limited.

Indeterminate: these varieties are very popular with home gardeners. The indeterminate varieties will they often produce high-quality, flavourful, desirable fruit; they do mature later in the season than the determinate varieties do. Indeterminate refers to the continual growth habit of the plant which will continue to grow and flower until a killing frost. These are tall plants and will require staking for best results. Pruning is also vital if you want to enhance quality. Both flowering and fruiting occur over a longer time period.

Semi-Indeterminate: the name says it all they have characteristics that are intermediate between determinate and indeterminate. Basically indeterminate in nature, they will need staking and pruning in order to improve quality, but this is not essential. The indeterminate varieties are also very popular with home gardeners as they can provide a fairly early and good-quality yield.

I generally grow Camp Joy Heritage Cherry Tomatoes. They have performed well for me over the years and I first grew them in containers on my balcony. I could sit on my chair watch the Lake and pick a tomato for a quick snack. Add some fresh beans and a bit of lettuce and an instant balcony salad was created.

I have also grown Camp Joy indoors with less success but one plant did continue to produce fruit for nearly eight months, mind you for the last few weeks it was one tomato at a time but when you consider that was in winter that was a gift.

getting used to the weather

1st day outside
1st day outside

growing great tomatoes

heirloom tomatoes

pruning

hybrid tomatoes

Comments

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  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    10 years ago from New Brunswick

    I think of the Camp Joy cherry tomato that I ahve grown often as Nature's candy, thanks for the visit and good gardening.

  • profile image

    dafla 

    10 years ago

    Since our growing season is from September thru May, I've just started my tomato seedlings for this year. I do have two Sweet 100 cherry tomatoes that are doing well in pots. Those are the only ones that will bear in the summer here. I think of cherry and grape tomatoes as garden candy.

  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    10 years ago from New Brunswick

    nothing beats the homegrown tomato for taste, nothing tomtato that is

  • cgull8m profile image

    cgull8m 

    10 years ago from North Carolina

    I have to try this next spring. Would love to have great tomatoes.

  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    10 years ago from New Brunswick

    I know that feeling.

  • mathan1234 profile image

    mathan1234 

    10 years ago from Oklahoma City, OK

    Around September I usually have too many tomatoes and I'm happy to share them with friends, but right now it's January and I'm dying for a home-grown tomato! :)

  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    10 years ago from New Brunswick

    thanks, you don't necessarily need many plants to get great yields as you saw.

  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    10 years ago from New Brunswick

    thanks, you don't necessarily need many plants to get great yields as you saw.

  • Zsuzsy Bee profile image

    Zsuzsy Bee 

    10 years ago from Ontario/Canada

    My hands are getting itchy for the garden. A few more weeks then we can start our seeds...Last year for the first time I bought a 'four' tray of grape tomatos. After planting them I went away for a few days leaving my nephew in charge of watering well....only one survived. That plant grew to be five and a half feet tall and just as wide it took over all the room it's three buddys would have had. I took the first little 'grape' off July long weekend from then on we had them in every salad everyday. At the end of October I took off and pickled 3 quarts jars worth of green ones. All from one mamooth sized plant. I hope I'll find the same plants this coming season.

    great HUB regards Zsuzsy

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