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Growing Perfect Tomatoes

Gene DeFazzio
 


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Growing the Tomato

Planting and gardening in the proper moon phase is only a part of the formula to growing great tomato plants. To grow perfect tomatoes remember that the tomato plant is only ready and willing to deliver if you give it the full range of conditions that it requires.

Moon phase gardening is only a part of this cycle of growth. Once you have followed the lunar planting cycle, the continued hardiness of each tomato plant will be determined by the basic requirements outlined below.

Soil: The most important factor in the growth of tomato plants. Roots breathe the way you do. Deprived of air, roots, or portions of roots die of suffocation. Make sure soil is loose and friable, permitting good drainage for your tomato plants.

Water: Neither too much, nor too little. Too much water can drown tomato plant roots, especially if soil is heavy. Too little water can stop tomato production.

Nutrients: The daily requirements of tomato plants for nutrients is small, but that amount should be available when the plant needs it. Always follow package or bottle directions of the fertilizer that you use for best results as you grow your tomato plants.

Maintenance of the Tomato Garden

To produce a bumper crop of tomatoes you will need to monitor their progress throughout the growing cycle. The following points are critical to growing the perfect tomato.

Sunlight: To a plant, light is life. Sunlight is used by the leaves to convert raw materials into useable plant food, and provides the energy required for photosynthesis. The tomato should have 8 hours of continuous sunlight, but can get along with less. However the less sun that the plants receive the more it will negatively affect their rate of growth and production.

Temperature: Most tomatoes need night temperatures between 55° and 75° to set fruit. But there are varieties that will set fruit at lower and higher temperatures. Read the planting and growing tips found on your seed pack or plant tray.

Protection of leaves and roots: Leaves and roots need protection from temperature extremes, strong winds, birds and beasts, weed competition, and pests and diseases. But if you've satisfied the first five requirements, the plant is in a good position to protect itself from any damager, and will require much less protection from the gardener.

Growing the best tomatoes

You don't have to be a horticulturist to grow tomatoes or to put the basic rules of plant growth together. It seems to us that what trips up many a grower of tomatoes is a lack of concern with one or another of the needs of the plant. Actually, these fundamentals are one fundamental; all must act in unison.

You can go into the garden, look at a tomato plant, and decide that it needs more fertilizer. Fine-but you should bear in mind that fertilizing, the nature of the soil in which the tomato vine is planted, and your watering habits are all interdependent. If you plant a six-pack of the tomato variety recommended by your garden store, and all plants grow and produce well, you can count yourself lucky. But if your experience hasn't been all that successful, the preceding advice may be helpful.

moonGROW.com (http://www.moonGROW.com ) is a website delving into Moon Phase and Zodiac Sign Organic gardening. By Gene DeFazzio, this site provides the basics of both astrological and organic growing for the home gardener.

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