Finding decent tomato growing tips that are actually usable can be difficult. There’s lots of information available out there but it tends to be stuffed with technical jargon that can put the beginner off before they even start! Sure the ph of the soil and balance of nutrients is important, but let’s not get bogged down with all of that too soon. Here’s some simple, easy to follow advice to get you going.
Growing you own tomatoes is great fun and having spent weeks tenderly cultivating and caring for your plants you can enjoy eating those wonderful fruits of your labour. Until you’ve actually eaten one of your own home grown tomatoes you will not know just how tasteless store bought tomatoes really are! But let’s get a little realistic here. Although growing your own isn’t particularly difficult, you will need to follow a few simple but important rules if you are going to have a chance of growing anything that will end up being edible!
The first thing you need to decide is where you are going to grow your plants. Planting outside in natural sunlight, with fresh warm breezes and carefully mixed soil is probably the ideal place. But you should be aware that with an outside garden, pests and diseases have easy access to your cherished tomatoes. Proper care must also be taken when preparing the soil before you even think about planting anything. To get the soil right you need to mix some good quality manure in with it a couple of weeks before planting to get all the nutrients released into it. There are more things you can add to the soil that can help the growth of your plants but for now let’s keep it simple.
Growing tomatoes successfully requires access to adequate sunlight. Wherever you choose to plant your seedlings you need to make sure they receive at least 8 hours of sunlight everyday. Sunlight is absolutely essential for creating healthy plants that produce lots of juicy tomatoes. Your plants need the sun in order to photosynthesize. You don’t need to have an in depth explanation about this, but just know that this process simply helps the tomatoes have a stronger sweeter taste.
Spacing your tomato plants out correctly is very important. When you plant your seedlings they should be spaced at least 2 feet apart. It may seem like they are too far away from each other and might look a little lonely – but remember they will grow pretty fast and bush out quite a lot. Keeping them well spaced apart will give them each more access to sunlight and also help to reduce the spread of any diseases.
Staking your tomatoes is recommended to provide support to the tomato plant branches. If any of the branches are allowed to sag and hang onto the ground, any tomatoes touching the ground will soon start to rot. Staking should be done quite early on. If you begin to see any of the branches hanging down you should use a stake or a cage to help keep the plant sturdy. Many tomato plant diseases occur on wet leaves. By properly supporting your tomato plant you can make sure it gets correct exposure to the sun which in turn will help to keep its leaves dry.
These simple tomato growing tips should give you a basic idea of some of the things you will need to consider before you enter into the world of tomato gardening. Once you’ve gone through the full process of seed to seedling – to full grown tomato plant to harvesting your own fruits you will then understand what I takes to grow successfully. When you first start, keep it simple. And as you continue in your quest for “the perfect tomato”, (and if you get hooked like I did you will), you will discover all the little exciting tips and tricks along the way. It’s really quite simple – once you know how!
Article Source: http://princegardening.com
Your tomato garden will require 1 to 2 inches of water every week. Closer to 2 inches for sandy well drained soil, and closer to 1 inch for clay soils which do not drain as well. If rainfall does not supply this amount you must supplement with sprinkling or soaker hoses. One or two deep soakings per week is more effective than many light sprinklings.
Should your garden soil be healthy and rich with organic matter, no additional fertilizer would be necessary at time of planting. However, to ensure sweet, succulent tomatoes, side-dress with 2 tablespoonfuls of 10-10-10 slow release granular fertilizer two weeks after transplanting. Again after the first yellow flowers, when the fruits reach the size of ping-pong balls, and after the first ripe tomato.Tomato Plant Stakes
While tomatoes in windy regions do better when kept close to the ground, most tomato plants do better if kept off the soil surface. When supported tomatoes receive more direct sunlight, allows for easier maintenance and harvesting, and saves space in the garden. Staking and pruning plants by removing “suckers” and foliage can result in an earlier harvest of higher quality fruit and can reduce some disease and pest problems such as blight, rotting and slug damage. In addition to these advantages staked plants produce larger fruit than a plant which is not pruned.
The most popular methods for supporting tomatoes are staking, caging and trellising. Most tomatoes that are supported are also pruned, but not all. Determinate tomato plants should not be pruned, but pruning goes hand in hand with staking large indeterminates. You should remove “suckers”- shoots that sprout where the leafy branches meet the main stem. This encourages the growth of the central stem and increases fruit production. It also helps to prevent disease by improving air circulation. When your plants grow large enough you may choose to cage them rather than stake them. There is less work involved with caging, but staking typically produces larger fruit. With caging you simply place a cage over/around the plant. The only thing you have to monitor is to make sure the branches are above their closest cage wire rather than under it. This ensures support for that branch when it does produce tomatoes.
Be sure that whatever support system you choose is sturdy enough to support the plants you’re growing, and get it set up when the plants are still young to avoid damaging their roots.
Tomato Plant Stakes