Trying to talk about tomatoes can start a fight. First, there’s the pronunciation argument, and then there’s the, “Is it a fruit? Is it a vegetable?” one.
Growing tomatoes, on the other hand, is probably a lot easier than you think.
You need to decide if you’re growing them in the ground or in a container. If you think you’re too limited for space even for containers, you may be tempted to try one of the upsides down tomato kits, but we don’t recommend those.
They usually don’t live up to the advertising hype. Try to be creative and utilize space that might not have occurred to you before. I’ve seen plants thriving on fire escapes and in front yards, so you may have more room than you think.
There are advantages to both methods. A container garden is portable and you can put it anywhere that receives a minimum of seven hours of full sun per day. Regardless of what you do with your plants, that seven or more hours of sun is more crucial to growing tomatoes than anything else, except watering.
Watering Your Growing Tomatoes
In the ground, the tomatoes can spread out, and I’ve found we have larger plants and grow more tomatoes if we give them some room. I also have an easier time keeping them watered well because while it’s easier to see when you’ve soaked a container (the water runs through the drainage holes underneath), I’ve found that containers also dry out quickly.
If you live in a hot place, or they’re in the sun most of the day, you will need to water more than the average grower. In order to ensure your tomatoes are watered correctly and the water is reaching the roots instead of being wasted on the leaves, there are a few methods of drip irrigation that aren’t even slightly complex and don’t require you to have a hose all over the place.
In our garden, we use stakes that are attached to a 2-liter soda bottle with the bottom cut off. Push the stakes down as far as they’ll go, then fill up the soda bottle with water. These are pretty easy to find at a gardening center. If your eye is drawn by ones that are pretty glass globes, save those for your flowers. Tomatoes are too thirsty to care much for beauty!
If you’re handy with a drill, you can use a PVC pipe that is 1″ wide and about two feet tall. Drill holes 1/8″ along the length of the pipe and leave about two inches at the top undrilled. Nestle this in among your tomato’s roots and fill the pipe with water. This method is definitely cheaper than the soda bottle method, but they’re both practical ways of taking care of thirsty tomatoes, so just pick whichever you like best.
Next to watering, the most important things are space, support, and fertilizer. Always leave at least two feet of space between tomatoes. Plants can become very large and they need room to breathe and enough room to establish a good root system.
Everyone has seen a tomato cage before, even if you’ve never touched a garden. The most common ones are made of wire and cone-shaped. They usually have three or four wires wrapping around the cone. While your tomatoes are getting established, take care to do a little weaving so the plants stay in or near their own cage and don’t start visiting their friends.
Read also: Is a Tomato Fruit or Vegetable? (Yes or No)
Best Soil for Tomatoes
The soil for growing tomatoes is crucial for producing healthy crops. It has a major impact on the quality of produce. Improving the soil for a good crop may be a good idea.
At times, it is best to amend the soil and have it ready for a specific crop. Tomatoes are among the prized vegetables. In fact, they are part of the top three important vegetables among commercial growers.
The fruit is nutritious and delicious. No wonder, many attempts to plant them in their yards.
The best soil for tomatoes is that which is rich in organic matter. Tomatoes require loose and rich soil so they can grow their roots quickly.
- Tomatoes are heavy feeders; they can soak up nutrients quite easily and quickly as well.
- They grow best in rich and organic soil, which will enable tomato plants to grow healthy root systems. This factor is very important because the plant needs an enormous amount of water during fruit production.
- Also, during this stage, tomato plants are easily stressed out. Hence, without enough water, the fruits produced will be small and of poor quality.
But providing sufficient water is not enough; it needs to have well-developed roots to absorb the nutrients in the water.
Mixing organic matter into the garden soil is the key. Using a good amount of compost or bagged manure will amend the soil quality and enrich it with nutrients.
Compost is abundant in phosphorous, nitrogen, and potassium. Having them fill up a good portion of the garden for planting does the trick. The garden is dug out of the soil for two to three feet deep and filled it up with compost or manure.
To have the best soil for tomatoes, some tasks need to be done. For example, employing the assistance of organic matter or compost will turn out great.
Using composted manure or humus to amend the soil should be done in the springtime. If compost or manure is not available, the best alternative is blood and fish meal.
For growing tomatoes in sandy soil, adding peat moss will enhance the moisture-retention ability of the soil. Soils that are heavy clay will benefit from organic matter and sand during soil preparation. A slow-released organic fertilizer can also be added into the mixture.
Acidity is another characteristic that must be maintained in order to have the best soil for tomatoes. The pH level of the soil determines how efficient tomatoes can absorb the nutrients.
Tomato plants thrive best in slightly acid soil because they absorb the nutrients best. Soil having the acidity or pH level between 6.5 and 7.0 is the ideal. To know the pH level of soil and the necessary changes to be made, a soil test kit is required.
Fertilizing Your Growing Tomatoes
Tomatoes generally prefer a balanced fertilizer, and ideally you should use one specifically for tomatoes with an NPK ratio such as 8-32-16 or 6-24-24. If you can’t find a tomato fertilizer, use a general gardening fertilizer and do not let lawn fertilizer anywhere near your garden. The fertilizer should have instructions on how much it should be used on the bag or container, and you should follow them.
If you compost or have access to compost, I highly recommend working it lightly into the soil around your growing tomatoes every three weeks or so as a top dressing. It’s better for the environment because there is no fertilizer runoff when it rains or you’re watering, it will improve the soil structure of your garden and it’s free if you are interested in doing your own composting, or fairly cheap if you buy it from someone else.
There are all sorts of other things to discuss ideal growing conditions, but as long as you give your growing tomatoes sun, water, and some fertilizer, they’ll produce beautifully for you, and next year you can get more complicated!
Real Tasty Winter Tomatoes
You´ll long for the real thing once you´ve tasted hard, pale and tasteless tomatoes in winter. There are tomatoes here, there and everywhere, but if you´re finicky about flavor and freshness (and you should be) you´ll want real, juicy, and tasty tomatoes, especially in winter.
By all means, you can grow winter tomatoes and get the best of the savory succulence of tomato fruits even when the world out there is freezing. One great thing about growing winter tomatoes is that it´s easy. You wouldn´t need a greenhouse or even a green thumb.
All you need are 6-inch pots filled with good potting soil along with the right tomato seeds, a suitable seed starter mix, the right fertilizer, and plant stakes. You can then grow window sill tomatoes and fresh tomatoes for your salad and meals are always comin´ upright when you need them.
Know About Tomato Problems Growing
As a tomato grower, you have to know how to do your trade well. That is, you ought to know the proper way of growing tomatoes. What’s most important in growing tomatoes is that you have to provide the needs and growth requirements of your plants.
Only then will your crop grow and flourish as you want it to be. Then again, don’t forget another must in growing tomatoes, and that is to properly deal with the common tomato problems growing.
You have to find ways to remedy or get rid of tomato problems growing to enjoy a healthy hefty harvest. Some of the most common problems of growing tomatoes are viral and fungal diseases.
Common Tomato Problems Growing
Here are some information to guide you in identifying common tomato problems growing. Your knowledge will help you determine what solutions you can use.
Cucumber mosaic virus
This viral disease can make the plants become yellow, bushy, and they will not grow. The leaves may have spots.
In most cases, the virus is found in the tomato seeds. What’s worse about the cucumber mosaic virus is that there are no chemical controls. The most effective way to get rid of the virus is to remove and destroy the plants.
This is one of the common tomato problems growing. This tomato plant disease usually occurs during the early part of the growing season when the soil is cool. Phosphorus is an abundant nutrient in the soil.
If the soil becomes too cold, Phosphorus will become unavailable to your tomato plants. It is not advisable to plant tomatoes when it is too early in the season. When the temperature rises, tomato plants can then absorb Phosphorus.
Pests And Fungus Tomato Problems Growing
Fusarium wilt and Fusarium crown rot
These problems in tomato growing usually start with the older leaves turn to yellow. This disease is caused by Fusarium oxysporum, a common tomato fungus that exists in the tomato vascular system.
If your plants are affected by Fusarium crown rot, they will manifest black or dark brown leaves, and sooner or later they will wilt. If your plants are affected by Fusarium wilt, the leaves turn yellow, go down and hang down. You can check the plant to observe if any of these pests or fungus are present.
You have to inspect the vascular tissue by cutting the main stem fo the plant. If you found the vascular tissue is having brown discoloration, then it indicates the existent of Fusarium wilt. If you observe canker or rotting at the base of the stem and look like root rot, it indicates Fusarium crown.
Whiteflies and aphids
These pests can cause yellowing of the leaves. The affected plants have shiny leaves and a sticky excrement characteristic, which is known as honeydew. You can use insecticidal soap if aphids are infesting your plants.
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