Tips for Growing Tomatoes

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, tomatoes are the most popular home-grown vegetable in the country. Here are some tips that will help you grow nice and juicy tomatoes.

1.) Room to Grow

While sowing the seeds make sure that they have enough room to grow. Congested conditions will affect their growth. Transplant when you see the first true leaves coming out and put them into 4″ pots about 2 weeks after that.

2.) Sufficient Light

For growing the seedlings into healthy fruit, you require either strong, direct sunlight or 14-18 hours of artificial lights. Choose a location that gets the most sunlight and if you are using grow lights then place the young plants only two inches away from the lights.

3.) Make them Sway

The steams of tomato plants become stronger when they move and sway. Use a fan to create the condition, leave it on for 5-10 minutes twice a day.

4.) Put them in Deep

Tomato plants can be buried all the way up to a few top leaves. The plant can grow roots all along its stems.

5.) Mulch at the Right Time

Mulching helps in conserveing water and preventing the soil and diseases associated with the soil from appearing on the plants, but if its done too early it will cool the soil by shading it. Using mulch made from plastic is a good idea because it conserves the heat which the tomatoes love.

6.) Remove Leaves from the Bottom

Take off the leaves from the bottom inch of the stem once your plant is 3 inches tall. Removing them is important because these leaves are usually the first to develop fungus problems. The use of compost tea to spray the plants also seems to be an effective way of preventing the occurrence of fungus diseases.

7.) Pinch and Prune

Suckers that develop in the crotch joint of two branches can be pruned because there are no tomatoes will grow there. But be careful in pruning the rest of the plant.

8.) Regularly Water the Plants

The plants should be watered regularly and deeply during their development. Plants can drop their blossoms and also their fruit if not properly watered.

Tomatoes are a brilliant source of Vitamin A and C as well many other nutrients. The fruit of determinate type tomatoes usually ripens at the same time. By pinching off the tips of the main stems in early summer you can get intermediate type tomatoes to give fruit early.

{ 2 comments… add one }

  • Mike the Gardener August 31, 2009, 02:18

    Great advice! I especially like #7. A lot of people do not realize the resources that can be drained from a tomato plant when "suckers" are allowed to grow.


  • Lyd Holland January 3, 2010, 16:16

    Good informative site, will you be expanding it now that more & more people are growing their own food.

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