Tomato Season and Tips for Growing Tomatoes
Tomatoes are probably one o the more popular fruits to grow in a home garden. They are fairly easy to grow, and they taste great in different meals and dishes.
When growing tomatoes, you'll want to keep in mind the following basic tips:
- Give seedlings plenty of space between each one so that they have room to grow. If you're starting from seeds, it's actually a good idea to plant them individually in small pots before planting them in the ground.
- Plant the seeds or seedlings in an area that will receive at least 12 hours of daylight.
- If you're planting your tomatoes in a greenhouse or in an area that doesn't really get a breeze, provide a fan so that the stems will grow strong. There are thoughts that tomatoes need to be able to sway in the wind in order to grow strong limbs to hold up the tomatoes, so if needed, you'll want to use a fan on low a few hours a day.
- When you plant your seedlings, bury them all the way up to the top limbs, as tomato stems are able to root along the side, which allow for a stronger plant.
- As your tomato plants start to grow and develop stickers and leaves in-between the stem and limbs, remove them, as they won't grow any fruits and just take away energy from the plant. Do not prune too many of the regular leaves though, as the leaves are needed to create the sugars that provide flavor to your fruit.
- Water the plants regularly, as if the plants are not well-watered, you will start to notice blossom end rot and cracking, but, when the plants start producing blossoms and fruits, you want to withhold a little water so that the plant will concentrate the sugars into the fruit as it ripens.
Growing tomatoes really isn't a complicated procedure, but if you don't watch the basics- light, wind, and water- you may not have as many fruits as you were hoping to have by the end of the tomato season.
Tomato Species - Tomato Seeds
There are probably about 7500 species of tomatoes across the maps, and depending on where you live and what you like best, you can probably grow a large handful of those tomato varieties in your backyard.
In general, tomatoes are grouped in categories ranging from slicing tomatoes, beefsteak tomatoes, Oxheart tomatoes, plum tomatoes, pear tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, grape tomatoes, and campari tomatoes.
Below, you'll find 10 different tomato varieties, these vary in size, color, and overall taste.
Tips for Growing Tomatoes
Because not all tomatoes are the same, and each tomato variety is a little different, you'll want to verify the requirements for the species that you're growing. Once, you've determined what your plants are going to need, you'll want to go from there.
If you're going to be growing your tomato plants from seeds, consider the following tips and suggestions.
- Start your seeds about 7-10 weeks before your last day of frost.
- Use a seed starting mix instead of plain dirt.
- Water the soil-less seed starting mix before adding any seeds. You want to pour water into the mix until the mix floats; then mash it down to evenly soak the mixture.
- Put two seeds about 1/4" into the substrate and cover the container with plastic foil.
- It will take anywhere from 3 to 30 days for the seeds to germinate.
- Once the tomato seedlings have their first real leaves, repot them in an 8 ounce pot with a slit in the bottom for water drainage.
- Fertilize the transplanted seedling after about 5 days.
- After about 10 weeks, your seedlings will be about 8-12 inches tall and ready to be planted in the ground.
If you do not want to purchase the commercial seed starter, you can make your own soil-less seed mixture, using dry peat moss and vermiculite. *The reason you don't want to use soil for your seeds is because there are sometimes bacteria that can harm seedlings and seed growth.