Tomatoes are probably one of the most commonly grown fruit (arguably vegetables). They are of high nutritional value and go well in a variety of dishes.
The first thing you'll need is a place for your tomatoes to grow. Will you be placing them outside in your garden? If you prefer, you can grow them in pots. Either way, you can have flourishing tomatoes in no time.
A good location for growing tomatoes is a spot that gets direct sunlight for the better part of the day (7 hours or more is best). Tomato plants also require a good air flow to help reduce the risk of fungal diseases.
Moderate to high fertility in the soil is best. Though more watering is required during the later part of the season, you can achieve an early crop if you use a sandy loam soil. This type of soil drains well and is quick to warm up. Your tomatoes like this.
The pH of your soil is also important. Try to maintain it around 5.5 to 7.0. There are test kits that you can buy to measure the soil Ph. These tests can also tell you how to improve the soil if needed.
Your tomatoes will grow well in soil that is rich in organic matter. You can use well-rotted manure or a good compost. Either of these should be worked well into the soil before you plant. If you have a large area for growing tomatoes, you can use up to two bushels of manure, or 4 bushels of compost per 100 square ft.
It's not a bad idea to include a few different varieties in your selection. This can help to ensure a steady harvest. Also, when choosing how many plants to grow, take note of how many people eat tomatoes in your household. Give each person two plants as a general rule.
Be sure to plant well after the risk of frost or chill in the season has past. Spacing is important as well, allow 5-6 square ft between seedlings. This will give them lots of room, and allow you to place supports & cages around them. An example would be. . . two feet apart in rows three feet wide. If you're going to use stakes instead of larger supports, then you can plant them closer together.
When transplanting the seedlings into the soil, cover about 75% of the seedling. Don't worry if the stem and some of the lower leaves are covered. This will help with new root production and give a boost to your plants. It's a good idea to use a mulch like straw or black plastic to control weeds and conserve water.
Using a stakes or trellises, with pruning, will allow you to place the tomatoes closer together as well as improve the overall air flow around them. Be aware that this may result in a smaller crop, but larger tomatoes.
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