Growing Tomatoes From Seeds Start Now

This is a great way to get the tomatoes which you would like rather than the ones which are available at the garden centres. They don’t regularly have a wide range and with over 7000 to choose from you should be able to find one which you like.

You can buy seeds from many different outlets – on-line, garden centres, some Do it yourself stores and mail order. Often the mail order ones are small plug plants which are more often than not very good quality, although I have to say for me, there is just something about watching that first sprout push its way out of the compost which I find sadly, incredibly fulfilling.

Growing Tomatoes from Seed

If this is your first time at growing tomatoes from seeds it does not have to be a costly venture. Seedlings can be developed in any little pot or vessel which has decent drainage holes. Yoghurt pots are really good and usually readily obtainable. If you want to take this up as a sideline it is worth buying seed trays and a propagator, however, if you are just developing a couple of plants to have in a grow bag on your terrace, balcony or in your hanging basket. Plastic bags with an elastic band round the top of the tub can be just as good as a propagator.

It is always a decent thought to grow a few additional seeds than you are expecting to plant just in case one of those mishaps which befall us all, like knocking plants over, or having some small blighter consume them. If you do have spare plants, you can at all times hand them to friends or neighbours and spread the word.

Plant the seeds inside if achievable for quicker germination and store them in a well lit area, like your conservatory or windowsill so they do not get too leggy searching for the light.

The ideal temperature needs to be 18-21 C (65-70F) and if you are able to use a propagator that will be a plus. This acts as a mini greenhouse for your plants. The bottom of a fizzy drinks bottle of the correct size can be cut and positioned over the pot can give the same effect. Once the seedling appears and has cast off its seed pod, the plants need to have air circulating or the seedling may rot. Therefore, the top wants to be taken off the propagator.

So to summarise:

* The seeds will grow between, eight to twelve days depending on the temperature. It is advisable to water young seedlings in the tray so that they are not knocked over with watering

* If you like trying something from the heritage range of tomatoes, you can link up with “The Heritage Seed Library” here in the UK or “The Seed Savers Exchange” in the US both of which have seed swap registers. If you wish to save seeds from the Heritage tomatoes for the subsequent year or to share you can:

* Carefully scoop out the seeds from your chosen tomato

* Put onto a plate taking care to divide them

* Let them to dry out naturally

* Put in a paper envelope with details of the tomato and any special growing instructions

* Keep in a cool place either in the fridge or the freezer – I put them in the freezer in freezer bags. The zip up ones are good.

Lesley Pirrie

Lesley Pirrie is an expert in growing tomatoes. Check out more information on how to plant tomatoes at http://www.howtoplanttomatoes.com

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Learn To Plant Tomato Seeds Correctly

Tomatoes are one of the most popular ingredients in our recipes. Many people do experience tomato growing problems even though they are one of the common fruit vegetables that families can easily cultivate at home. In order to reap bountiful of luscious fruit crops make sure that you choose the right variety of tomato. The appropriate variety is dependent on where you intend to grow your tomato plants.

The constant mistakes frequently encountered by most people starting to grow tomatoes at home are incorrect choice of variety, when to plant, over planting, planting in the wrong area, growth of pests, and insufficient knowledge on how to successfully grow tomatoes in your own backyard.

All these problems can be avoided if you know how to effectively grow tomato plants at home. Let us discuss on each matter one by one. The first is what type of variety you should choose if you have limited garden space. There are two kinds of varieties, the determinate and indeterminate kind. If you have only a small space you may opt to choose the determinate kind which means they will grow only for about three inches in height. Pots or any containers are suitable for planting tomatoes with small places or having a patio.

However if space is not an issue then you may choose to grow an heirloom tomato plant in your back-garden. Another thing is to avoid too much supply of tomatoes during harvest. Therefore, you may simultaneously plant tomato seedlings to ensure proper timing and constant supply of tomatoes all throughout the season. Planting one or two fruit bearing plants at a time is sufficient enough but is solely dependent on the immensity of consumption needs.

It would be a waste if you plant more than what you can eat because it will only rot. Knowing when to plant gives you the correct time frame and frequency of growing your tomato seedlings, thus you will know how to divide you planting schedule. Always remember that the absolute time for growing tomato plant is 55 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit. The temperature during the day must be 70 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and 65 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit at night.

Tomatoes planted in the months of March to May, the first tomato does not ripe until late July. Full production of tomato fruits usually begins early August when planted early May. Tomato plants cannot tolerate frost so it is advisable that you schedule planting in the month of June in order to harvest in November just in time before the first frost in December. For home growers with cold climates may make their own portable greenhouse to avoid problems growing tomatoes. In this way, allowing the plants to gradually and safely be exposed to the colder temperature of their outdoor garden.

Another way to avoid problems growing tomato plants is to ascertain that the tomato plant gets six to eight hours of sunlight every day. If the sun gets too hot you may use a newspaper to cover them. To add to that make sure that the plants are provided evenly with sunlight therefore constantly turn the plants around or place it where sufficient supply of sunlight is provided. The reason you do this is because homegrown tomatoes tend to grow toward the direction of the sun. Home tomato growers who prefer to plant tomato seedlings must wait five to six weeks before transplanting them outdoors. If the plant has grown at least six leaves then it is ready to be transplanted to your garden. Before doing so, tilt the garden soil well and should be slightly acidic with a 5.5 to 7.8 ph level. Growing tomato plants with well maintained soil that is moist, fertile and high in organic matters as that will help in growing enormous and crisp fruit crops.

With these simple guidelines you should be able to avoid problems growing tomatoes at home. Experience the confidence of enjoying fresh organic home-grown tomato fruit in your own garden.

Lisa Lovelock has been a tomato growing enthusiast for many years and loves showing others how to grow tomatoes successfully too. If you wish to read more useful and unique tips on how to avoid tomato problems growing [http://www.growtomatoesguide.com/tomato-problems-growing/] or to get her Free ‘Growing Tomatoes Successfully’ mini-course then visit her site http://www.growtomatoesguide.com

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Perfect Timing For Growing Tomatoes

Sometimes, the most difficult part of growing tomatoes is harvesting them. Some people just hate to pluck them from their natural spot. Others simply aren’t sure when the “perfect” time to pluck them from the vine is.

Their fear isn’t without foundation. After all, fruit that is fully vine-ripened provides you with a fuller flavor than fruit picked early and allowed to ripen in your house somewhere.

On the other hand, if you pick some tomatoes, especially the cherry variety, too late, they’re prone to cracking.

So what’s a novice farmer to do? For one thing, know that once temperatures in the day dip below 60 degrees, your fruit will refuse to ripen on the vine. If bad comes to worse, the temperature is your perfect signal that it’s time to bring all the mature fruits inside.

So how can you tell when a tomato is ready to leave the vine during other times throughout the growing season?

If you’re selecting only one or two for your family’s meals on a daily basis, you obviously want to pluck the ripest tomatoes you can find and allow the rest to stay behind to ripen more.

It’s fairly easy to tell a ripe tomato: first look at the color of it. When it turns from the unripe green to its true color (usually red, but there are the other colors too!), that’s your first indication that your fruit is ready.

The next test is to feel it. Tomatoes that aren’t quite ripe are rather firm and the skin is tight. A ripe tomato, while firm, will have a little “give” when you gently squeeze it.

Still in doubt? Look at your vines. Pick a tomato you think might be ripe. Taste it. It’s not like anyone is going to charge you for this. How does it taste? If it’s not mature yet, you’ll know it right away because it lacks that explosion of flavor homegrown tomatoes have.

Maybe you picked one that’s overripe. How would you know that? These taste starchy.

Ultimately, flavor is the name of the game. So your goal is to attempt to leave the tomato on the vine for as long as you possibly can. While a tomato can change its color after you pick it, this really doesn’t affect its flavor, believe it or not.

Joan Adams is a tomato growing expert. For more tomato growing tips [http://www.growjuicytomatoes.com/tomato-growing-tips/], visit www.growjuicytomatoes.com [http://www.growjuicytomatoes.com/].

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Tomato What Realy Is It Fruit Or Veggie?

Tomato is a savory, bright red and edible fruit scientifically known as Lycopersicon esculentum. It is native to South America and is now cultivated all over the world with many varieties often grown in green houses in cool climates. The fruit is consumed in a wide variety of ways like eaten raw, in many delicacies as well as in drinks. Botanically it is considered as a fruit but it is a vegetable in general terms used for culinary purposes. The fruit is rich in lycopene which has many efficient health effects. Tomato is a member of the nightshade family attaining a height of 1-3 m with a weak stem that sprawls over ground or sometimes twines over other plants. Although it is a perennial plant but also grown as annual plant in the temperate climates.

The plant is grown all over the world with thousands of known cultivars adapted to different climatic conditions. Commonly cultivated varieties include tomberries, beefsteak tomato, cherry tomato and plum tomato. They are one of the most important garden plants in United States. China is the largest producer of tomatoes followed by United States and Turkey. About 130 million tonnes of tomatoes were produced in 2008 in the whole world. California accounts for 90% production of the plum tomatoes which comprises 35% of the total world production of tomatoes. They may be classified as determinate and indeterminate. Determinate type bears all fruits at once after attaining a certain height. They are generally used for commercial production and are canned. Indeterminate types grow in the form of tender vines that produce fruits continuously unless and until destroyed by frost. An intermediate form between the two is also known that produces a second crop even after the production of the initial crop.

Tomatoes grow well with a sunlight of 7 hours a day. The NPK fertilizers are required in the proportion of 5-10-10 although manure and compost are also required. Cultivated varieties differ in their degree of resistance to diseases. They are susceptible to the attack of fungi, nematodes, stink bugs, cutworms, tomato hornworms and tobacco hornworms, aphids, cabbage loopers, whiteflies, tomato fruitworms, flea beetles, red spider mite, slugs and Colorado potato beetles. When insects attack tomato plant, the plant produces plant peptide hormone, systemin which releases protease inhibitors responsible for slowing down the growth of insects. The stamens remain closed inside the corolla. The wild varieties require cross pollination. The varieties cultivated in green houses are self pollinated. Generally unripe tomatoes are picked up from the farms and then sprayed with ethylene gas to become ripe. Unripe tomatoes are firm. After ripening they attain bright red colour and are somewhat soft in touch. Ethylene is a hydrocarbon produced by plants which acts as a cue to support ripening process. Genetically modified varieties are also marketed with the trade name Flavr Savr.

Tomato contains a compound known as lycopene which is potent antioxidant helpful in preventing the risk of prostate cancer. It also protects the skin from the effect of harmful UV rays. Tomato is also a rich source of vitamin A and C. when unripe they can be stored at room temperature and uncovered until they ripen. When ripe they can be kept in refrigerator. Like other members of the nightshade family the leaves and stems of these plants contain atropine and other tropane alkaloids which can be toxic if ingested. Fruit lacks these compounds. Leaves, stems and unripe fruit contain another potent compound tomatine which is poisonous. The plant may be toxic to dogs if they consume it in large amounts. The plants are dicots with compound leaves often called as regular leaf (RL) plants. Leaves are 10-25 cm long, odd pinnate with 5-9 leaflets on petioles with a serrated margin. Both leaves and stem are hairy. The flowers appear at the apical meristem. The anthers have fused edges forming a column around the pistil’s style. The flowers are 1-2 centimetres across, yellow, with five pointed lobes on the corolla; they are borne in a cyme of 3-12 together. Seeds come out from the fruit and can be dried or fermented before germination.

Navodita Maurice

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Fruit Or Tomato – Truth About What It Is

Tomato – A fruit or vegetable?

In the United States of America, in 1883, was tried a high pressure legal case whose center of conflict was ‘A Tomato’. Who would have thought that the subject matter of the conflict would be as trivial as ‘Is the tomato a fruit or vegetable’? But yes, it was so. Scientifically, tomatoes fall into the fruit category and while cooking, tomatoes are treated as vegetables. The court verdict was unexpectedly biased which was that tomato was a vegetable owing to its presence in the main course and not in the dessert.

Tomatoes are very popular around the world for their nutritious content and antioxidant properties. The tomato bears a lot of resemblance to eggplants and bell peppers that have small seeds embedded inside the flesh. Though it has a setup as that of vegetables, it tastes more like citric fruits like orange and lime. Hence, it is this blend of fruit and vegetable properties that give the tomato its uniqueness. Over a period of ages, this fruit has evolved more as a vegetable and has been adopted by various cultures in their own method of sacred food preparation.

Tomato Production

Tomatoes are propagated through seeds present inside the fruit. Caring for tomato seedlings can be a daunting task. Nowadays, the organic method of production is what is preferred to the chemical treatments. Initial requirements include that the land be between mean sea level and 1500m altitude. A not-so-wet sandy loam soil is preferable. Selecting high yielding and pest resisting seeds is the most important task in producing organic tomatoes. Chemical treatment of seeds is a strict no-no. Separate tomato beds are prepared (around 15 in 1 acre land) and the seeds are planted. The saplings sprout around 14-18 days after planting and are transplanted again for reasons like pest control, soil-moisture control and temperature control.

Yellow tomato leaves

There are several reasons for the tomato leaves to get yellow. Lets consider case by case examples. When yellow leaves on tomatoes are noticed, its most common reason might be that the leaves were not getting enough sunlight and soil moisture. After we have ensured that that is not the reason then we must check for lack of nitrogen content in the land. This can be rectified by adding organic manure to the soil. Occasionally yellow tomato leaves imply pests or weeds problem. Also these plants are prone to bacterial and fungal infections which are the cause for tomato plant leaves turning yellow.

Conclusion

As per the verdict of the US Supreme court, most of us would agree to categorize tomato as a vegetable that is prepared into various forms of food before consumption. Often the preparation of the tomato depends on the culture of the people and the land where it is cultivated. The different types of tomatoes are red tomatoes, green tomatoes and cherry tomatoes. Here ends the great debate if the juicy tomato is a fruit or a vegetable with the scales tilting towards the title of vegetable.

Brandon is a writer and writes informative articles on plenty of topics that he’s well versed in. Take a look at some of his articles on Hub Pages and you’ll notice that they’re worth sharing. Go check out some of his articles http://lobobrandon.hubpages.com/

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The Tomato Is A Vegetable

The controversy as to whether the tomato is a fruit or a vegetable has been around for some time now. But did you ever hear the story as to why there was so much conflict as to how to classify it? Well, in order to get the real story you have to back back a few years. Actually you have to go back over a hundred years for the answers to this story.

Back in 1893 the United States Supreme Court made a ruling that tomatoes were to be classified as vegetables and that is the way that it’s been for over 100 years. But you might ask yourself, why was the very highest court in the United States asked to make a ruling on this controversial issue? The answer comes from an issue surrounding what else but taxes. In the 1890’s there were three fruit importers named George, John and Frank Nix who were in the business of importing and they just so happened to have a shipment of tomatoes arriving from the West Indies. It was this shipment of tomatoes that would create a huge controversy that to this day is still something that people argue about. During this time period in the 1890’s there were no taxes placed upon the imports of fruits but all vegetables had taxes levied against them. These fruit importers, in an effort to avoid the taxes on the tomatoes, wanted them classified as fruits so that’s how we got to the point of engaging the highest court in the land.

In the court’s decision it did in fact acknowledge that tomatoes were technically a fruit but in what the court called the “common language of the people” they should be classified as vegetables. In addition to tomatoes the court also ruled that peas, squash, cucumbers and beans should also be classified as vegetables because they are grown in the common kitchen garden and because, for the most part, they were normally served as part of a meal rather than as a dessert. It’s at this point where history wrote the book on tomatoes being classified as a vegetable.

So there you have the real story. Whether you personally want to classify the tomato as a fruit or vegetable is really up to you. However, according to the law of the land they are and will remain vegetables and all because of an issue over taxes.

Marc Davis is an author and writer for numerous popular websites. Come visit his latest articles at http://www.DisneylandHotelDeals.net and learn where you can find the best Disneyland Hotel Deals.

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Tomato A Fruit Or A Vegetable – The Verdict

Tomato – a fruit or vegetable? is the question of the decade! Biologically the tomato is a fruit; but, why do people even worry? Well, this debate goes on and on and will probably never end. On the other end of the spectrum is the opinion, why is any type of classification required for a tomato that is so tasty and so healthy? Tomato is the best source of anti-oxidants that keeps us young, eliminating the signs of aging. So let us just stick to the basics and enjoy our delicious tomato!

Nurturing Tomato plants

Going green is the way of life today and tomatoes are no exceptions at being organic. Tomato is an herb-like sprawling plant that is sensitive to the temperature of the environment. These plants are very prone to yellow leaves for numerous reasons. The reason may either be insects, fungi, pests, plant diseases or nutrient deficiencies. In the initial stages, caring for tomato seedlings separately is the first step. For organic tomato production, it is essential to carefully pre-select disease-free and healthy tomatoes after which the seeds are isolated. Also tomato is ideal for growing in-house for our own kitchen, which produces the most pesticide-free tomatoes.

Problems that produce yellow leaves in tomato plants

Tomato plant leaves turning yellow is one of the problems while growing this fruit. This fruit is so versatile in its usage all over the world that these problems definitely need to be addressed eventually. Whenever yellow leaves are found on the tomato plant it calls for immediate attention. The following checks are mandatory before determining the cause:

• Check the color of the tomato leaves, the color of their veins, the zigzag stem and branching pattern. Most of the discrepancies are found in this examination.

• Check the underneath of the leaves for insects and the lower most layer of leaves for lack of sunlight and water.

• Check the stem, vascular system and roots for discoloration of insect infestation.

Some of the other problems that occur are:

Tomato leaves when infected with curly top virus often turn into yellow tomato leaves and subsequently stop growing. The flea beetle causes small holes in these leaves that force it to turn yellow. The yellow leaves on tomato plants also have a tendency to develop white or grey centered spots with black or brown margins, called the septoria leaf spots. Most often than not, the root reason for tomato plants turning yellow is due to nutrient deficiency, like lack of phosphorous or nitrogen. This deficit is compensated by adding special fertilizer salts and also maintaining a temperature controlled environment for the precious tomato plants to grow.

Whether a tomato is a fruit or vegetable isn’t the problem. There are many other problems that need to be addressed today!

Brandon is a writer and writes informative articles on plenty of topics that he’s well versed in. Take a look at some of his articles on Hub Pages and you’ll notice that they’re worth sharing. Go check out some of his articles http://lobobrandon.hubpages.com/

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How To Grow The Best Tomato Plants

Many people throughout the world love to grow vegetable gardens. In some places these gardens feed the family throughout the year, but in other places they are grown more for pleasure than for food. Sure, the people that grow in these areas will enjoy the produce as well, but for the most part it is something that is done for pleasure. One thing that all people with vegetable gardens are interested in, however, is growing great vegetables.

If you want to grow some of the best vegetable plants that you can grow you are going to need to plan carefully and give them plenty of care throughout the growing season. Some of the most typical variety of garden vegetables will have various results, simply according to the amount of time that is spent on them throughout the year. For example, most people with vegetable gardens grow tomatoes. They are a hardy plant that will grow without much attention from the gardener. In fact, most people simply grow them in a cage and pick their fruit when they become ripe. You could do the same thing, but why not grow a better tomato plant?

Tomato plants will put off shoots that come up in between the stalk and branches. They are typically called suckers because they do not give your tomato plant anything, they simply take away from it’s strength. If you pinch these suckers off when they first appear you will give your tomato plants a chance to grow strong and produce well throughout the season. If you are consistent with this process you can expect to have some strong plants that produce extra large fruit and most people love having large tomatoes.

You will also need to keep your tomato plants upright. Some people use cages to keep their plants off of the ground but if you have been pulling your suckers like we discussed earlier then you will need something more. I always use tall wooden stakes to keep my tomatoes upright. These stakes are sometimes 6 feet in length and get driven into the ground a couple of feet. I put one by each plant and then keep the tomato tied to it by use of old nylons.

The first year that I used this method I ended up having to get taller stakes, simply because they were growing so tall. They also produced some of the largest, best tasting tomatoes that I ever grew. So if you want to grow great tomatoes, try giving them the care they deserve. If you take care of them, believe me, they will take care of you.

New to gardening? Get lots more gardening tips at: http://www.garden-plants.org

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Grow Tomato Plants With No Garden

There’s a gardener in all of us and growing our own tomatoes is one of the easiest ways to begin. Growing hanging tomato plants is simple to do and can fit around even the busiest of lifestyles. If limited space is a problem, then growing your plants upside down in a hanging planter is the perfect answer.

Having little or no space to grow tomatoes

Not everyone has access to a large garden to grow their own tomatoes and this can put many “beginner gardeners “off before they even start. We’ve all seen these wonderful pictures of big green tomato plants with succulent looking tomatoes on them, growing in what seems to be at least half an acre of garden. But what if we don’t have that sort of area to play with? What if we live in a flat or an apartment and we don’t have any garden at all?

Fitting tomato growing in around a busy lifestyle

The traditional or standard way to grow tomato plants is to spend quite a lot of time turning over and specially preparing the soil. Having nurtured your plants from tiny seeds, transplanted them up to larger pots and then planted them in your garden you have then got to begin contending with pests and diseases. Regular weeding and then staking or caging your plants is also a very time consuming process.

A perfect solution to having a small amount of space is to grow hanging tomato plants. Just like the varieties that you grow outside in a garden they will still need access to plenty of sunlight. But growing them in a hanging planter also eliminates many inherent problems that you would normally face with planting in a garden.

1 – You won’t need to weed them. Forget having to bend over constantly and getting a bad back!

2 – Depending on where you hang them it would be virtually impossible for pests such as horn worm to reach them.

3 – Staking is not necessary as they will grow upside down.

4 – Hanging the planters also avoids blossom end rot because the stems don’t bend and therefore the fruits never touch the ground.

5 – You can easily re-position them to gain optimum sunlight exposure.

Setting up your Hanging Planter

Although there are proper hanging planters you can buy, it really isn’t necessary to spend money on them. You can use many different things to grow your tomatoes in including items such as buckets and old water barrels. Make sure whatever you choose to use that it has a sturdy handle or something that is strong enough to hang it up with.

Preparing your container

You will need to cut a hole in the bottom of your container big enough to feed your new tomato plant through. A neat little trick you can use to stop any soil falling down onto you when watering your plants is to use some sphagnum moss packed down tightly in the bottom of the container. Once you have made these basic preparations you can then insert your plant. It is very important to take care not to damage the fragile roots at this stage. Once in place you need to fill your planter with your soil. This needs to be a good compost soil made up of perlite, vermiculite and moss peat. To avoid any air pockets you need to lightly tap the soil down. You final stage is to water the soil just enough to keep it moist.

Once all of these steps have been completed it’s now time to hang your tomato plants. Wherever you decide to locate your tomatoes, either inside or outside, make sure they will have access to at least 6 to 8 hours of sunlight each day. If space is a bit tight, you may find that where you are placing your plants looses sunlight during certain times of day. This is no problem because your plants are not stuck in the ground so it’s easy to move the containers around!

Just because lack of space is a problem, it shouldn’t stop you from growing your own delicious tomatoes. Growing hanging tomato plants is a great solution that can avoid some of the more time consuming elements of tomato gardening. Choosing the right variety of tomato to grow is also something you need to be aware of. You should probably look at the smaller types such as cherry or roma.

Stephen Martinson has been growing tomatoes for over 10 years. His aim is to show everyone how easy it is to grow their own beautiful succulent great tasting tomatoes. For more great tips on growing hanging tomato plants, visit http://www.easytomatogrowingtips.com.

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Begginers Guide To Growing Hanging Tomato Plants

The problem many people face when wanting to grow their own tomatoes is lack of garden space. A simple solution to this is to use a container for growing hanging tomato plants. As long as you take the time to correctly set up your seedlings in the right container you will find several advantages over traditional tomato gardening.

Choosing the best variety of tomato to grow should be your first step. There are over 700 different types to choose from but let’s look at three of the easiest and most popular ones to grow.

1 – Cherry. This is quite a small variety of tomato and relatively easy to grow. Being smaller than some of their cousins that are grown outdoors they don’t take up too much space and are therefore a good choice for growing in a hanging container. They vary in size from about your thumbnail right up to a golf ball size.

2 – Roma. If you like to make your own tomato pastes and sauces, the Roma is rated as one of the most ideally suited to this. It’s easily recognisable by its elongated oval shape and is preferred for making sauces due to it having a more dense flesh and less seeds than many other tomato varieties. You need to bear in mind that the Roma is also a determinate plant. This means that the fruits basically ripen all at once instead of spreading out over the season.

3 – Grape. Another great tomato that it well suited to growing in a hanging planter is the Grape Tomato. This little beauty has a much more meaty flavour than the cherry but tends to produce a smaller crop. So if you have a family that likes their grape tomato you may want to look at hanging some extra planters up for growing more.

Correct choice and preparation of your container before hanging it up is extremely important. You can use virtually any type of container for this, but something like an old 5 gallon bucket or old plastic paint container is probably a good place to start. This is what I used in the beginning and just painted the outside of them to make them a little more presentable. If finance allows, you can purchase some proper containers from your local garden centre.

Getting your container ready. You need to cut a two inch hole in the bottom of the container to feed your seedlings leaves through. Place your container right side up and put some of your potting soil mixture in around the edge of the hole. Gently pull the main stem and leaves of your seedling through the hole from the bottom so that about half of the plant is showing.

I find a good way to do this is to get two chairs and place the planter on top of them leaving easy access to the bottom of it.

Next you should gently pack the soil around the stem and once it is nicely in place, pour more soil over the root ball so that it covers it by about five inches. Water the soil slowly until it starts to drip a little through the hole and then top up the container with the rest of your potting soil leaving about two inches to spare at the top. Water this thoroughly and hang your container up in a location that gives your tomatoes at least eight hours of sun per day. If this is not possible you will need to move them around throughout the day for them gain an even amount of exposure.

You need to regularly check that the soil is moist and you should also fertilize when needed. One of the advantages over traditional tomato growing in the ground you have with growing hanging tomato plants is that they are portable. Any problems that you may face outdoors such as sudden high winds or rain storms that could potentially harm your plants will be no trouble. If you are hanging your containers on a porch you can simply take them indoors. Garden pests such as hornworm have virtually no chance of getting to your tomatoes as they are away from the ground. And if any plants show signs of disease you can easily move the infected ones away from the healthy plants.

Growing hanging tomato plants is an easy alternative to the traditional tomato garden and the fact that they are grown upside down means that staking is unnecessary. Be sure not to hang them too high as you will need access to water them. Stick with the three varieties I have suggested if you are just starting out and you can look forward to your own trouble free, fresh and succulent tasting tomatoes very soon.

Stephen Martinson has been a tomato growing enthusiast for more than 10 years. His aim is to help everyone grow their own beautiful delicious tomatoes the easy way. For more great in depth information on tomato gardening including growing hanging tomato plants, visit http://www.easytomatogrowingtips.com.

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