Mulch The Secret To Growing The Best Tomatoes

I often advocate the use of mulches for your tomato garden. A good mulch used correctly can be of great benefit. However there are both good and bad mulches and right and wrong ways to apply them. Knowing the differences are vital and getting mulching right will have a dramatic effect on your tomato garden.

The Benefits of Mulching

  • can protect your soil from erosion by heavy rains

  • wards against soil compaction

  • discourages weed growth

  • insulates the soil evening out temperature effects

  • helps regulate water loss, evening out watering requirements somewhat

  • improves soil composition (if organic)

  • helps isolate the soil from the leaves and reduce the likelihood of soil borne diseases spreading

Choosing a Good Mulch

There are various materials that you can make mulch with. The key really is to match the crop to the mulch. Some of the more usual and unusual mulches (with comments listed) are…

  • Compost – has the benefit of adding organic matter to the ground but looks unsightly and if it contains moulds and spores can be more detrimental than beneficial. Not strictly a mulch.

  • Lawn Clippings – can contain grass seeds if it is from a late spring growing and as you want a garden not a second lawn this is not a desirable thing. Also if the lawn has been treated with Herbicide or Weed Killer it will not be a pretty thing. If you want to use grass clippings then let them dry out completely first.

  • Leaves – be wary about using leaves that have not been aged for a considerable period (at least nine months) as the phenols which inhibit growth may still be present.

  • Sawdust – again it is best if it is allowed to decompose for a year before use and you will require additional Nitrogen if using it.

  • Straw – messy and can be hard to apply but is an excellent mulch. Not free you have to buy it. Definitely do not use hay though as it is full of weed seeds.

  • Wood Chips – same as sawdust essentially with the added issue that they should not be dug into the soil, which can be an issue.

  • Newspaper – quite commonly used. Will fly away very easily so usually needs to be watered in and requires a heavier mulch over the top which seems to be self defeating to me.

  • Black Plastic – environmentally unfriendly. Best to put in down before transplanting and then cut holes to lay plants in however if this seems attractive then you should consider…

  • Landscape Fabric – easier to work with than plastic and lets natural water through. Better still though is…

  • Bio-degradable Weed Mats – all the benefits of plastic and fabric and completely eco-friendly.

  • Pea Straw – Adds good organic matter. Decomposes quickly and can be sown in at the end of the season.

  • Barley Straw – Softer than Pea and other straws and absorbs water more readily.

How to Apply Mulch

Mulch is not difficult to apply generally speaking as it is essentially just surrounding the plants with the materials used. However there are some points that definitely need to be followed…

  • The first and most important point is don’t mulch until the plant has established itself. Mulching fresh seedlings is not good. Remember that one of the effects of mulching is to retard new growth, which is how it helps to control weeds. Obviously this is counter productive for fresh seedlings.

  • Weed your garden prior to applying any mulch. For the same reasons as the first point we want to make it hard for weeds to establish themselves.
  • Put a good amount of mulch around each individual plant a two or three inch layer is good.
  • DO NOT place the mulch closer to the plant stem than three inches. Mulch right up against the stem can encourage rot.

Best Mulch for Tomatoes

Barley or Pea Straw would be a top choice or Bio-degradable mats. Landscape fabric is good to lay from scratch if you are setting up your garden and can be easier to manage. Unfortunately none of these are free so your budget will be a consideration in your choice.

Summary

The subject of mulching should be a simple one. If you understand the reasons that you are using mulch and the requirements of your particular vegetable then simply pick one that you like which will fit the bill and go for it.

One last thing… remember that this article is written with tomatoes in mind and the information will not apply to all vegetables. Good growing…

Want to learn more about watering tomato plants [http://www.growingbettertomatoes.com/watering-tomato-plants]? Visit my website at [http://www.growingbettertomatoes.com] helpful tips and information on planting and caring for a thriving tomato garden.

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Grow Tomato Plants Upside Down – Better Tomatoes

How do you grow tomatoes upside down and why even bother to do it?

Actually, it’s pretty smart, and many tomato growers swear by the fact that their tomatoes are bigger and more plentiful as a result. This article will discuss how and why to grow upside down tomatoes.

When tomatoes are growing upside down, the shoots and stems are not fighting gravity. Gravity is actually helping the plants to grow so the stems grow stronger and healthier as a result. There is improved air circulation around the plant which also encourages growth.

Another benefit to growing your tomatoes upside down is that you never have to stake them or support them as they develop. Normally with the tomato plants growing rightside up, the plants must be staked or supported to help them bear the weight of the developing tomatoes and keep them from settling to the ground.

When tomatoes are allowed to settle to the ground they fall prey to pests, diseases and rot. It’s a bad thing which must be avoided – and hanging the plants upside down avoids it more effectively than any other technique.

How Is It Done?

It’s really quite simple. You will be growing your tomato plants out of a bucket. Most growers prefer five gallon paint buckets that can be picked up inexpensively at your local hardware store.

Cut a hole in the bottom of the bucket at least 2 – 2 1/2 inches wide. Set the bucket on the ground. Find some old newspaper or better yet a coffee filter and put it on the bottom of the bucket, over the hole. Fill the bucket with soil and place the cover over the bucket.

Now turn the bucket over so that the hole in the bottom is now on top. Remove the coffee filter and reach in with your hand and grab enough of the soil out of the bucket to make room for the planting of a tomato seedling

Gently plant the seedling in the hole and replace the soil around it, packing it in firmly. Now place more old newspaper or a couple of coffee filters around the young plant to secure it in and prevent soil from dropping out when it is suspended upside down.

Now gently pick up the bucket and set it rightside up so that the plant is suspended upside down. Remove the cover from the top of the bucket and suspend the bucket – plant arrangement on a firm hook, a firm trellis, a plant support or some other similar plant-holding structure.

Water the plant by simply watering the soil at the top of the bucket until you start to see a few drops coming through the 2 inch hole on the bottom.

You’re done! You can now look forward to your upside down tomato plant producing healthy, large, sweet delicious tomatoes all spring and summer.

Samuel Kerr is a tomato growing expert. For more information on growing tomatoes [http://www.tomatogrowingsecretinfo.com/grow-upside-down-tomatoes/], visit [http://www.tomatogrowingsecretinfo.com]

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Growing The Best Tomatoes

If you are trying to produce the tastiest and best growing tomatoes possible, you may have wondered what the difference is between a determinate and indeterminate tomato. Not only does each have distinctive qualities, but, many gardeners agree that there is a definite taste difference between the two.

It is helpful to know how determinant and indeterminate tomatoes differ. The distinctions below can assist in helping you produce the best growing tomatoes you can and enjoy the bounty each plant brings.

Characteristics of the indeterminate tomato plants:

1) have the ability to grow 6 – 10 feet tall

2) are generally sturdier and produce more tomatoes than the determinants

3) fruit is set on nearly every node and continues producing until frost

4) needs room to spread out and will require firm stakes

Characteristics of the determinant tomato plants:

1) also known as “bush tomatoes,” these grow up to 6 feet tall before extending to the side instead of upward

2) tomatoes mature faster – average of 60 days

3) tomatoes generally ripen all at once, and are therefore good for canning, freezing, or drying

4) pruning or staking is not needed

5) fruit is set on only a single node

Because they are less costly and easier to grow on a commercial scale, at least 80% of store bought tomatoes are from determinate plants. It is believed that determinants have less flavor due to all the fruit developing at once, and therefore less sugar and nutrients are available for each fruit.

Some examples of indeterminate tomatoes are:

1) heirloom

2) Big Beef (most of the beefsteak types)

3) Supersonic

4) Early Girl

5) Big Boy

Some examples of determinant tomatoes are:

1) Pik-Red

2) Peacevine

3) Super Bush

4) Celebrity

5) Roma

6) Sprite

Because each variety has its’ own pros and cons, you have to look at you own unique situation to decide which tomato plant is the best for your circumstances. If you have limited space, the determinant may be a better option as these varieties can easily be grown on a patio.

Deb R. is an avid gardener with a special interest in growing tomato plants. Are you trying to grow the best juicy and tasty tomato possible, and avoid disease, pests, and soil problems? Best Growing Tomatoes [http://www.bestgrowingtomatoes.info]. Check out this fantastic guide on how to grow fabulous tomatoes right now! [http://www.bestgrowingtomatoes.info]

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Best Time To Grow Tomatoes

Everything has a perfect timing… even in planting tomatoes. If you wish to have the best out of what you’re doing, you simply have to wait for the best or the right time in your planting especially if you choose to plant tomatoes through seeds. It could be more demanding compared to growing with the help of seedlings but it is still manageable and not very difficult to do.

Growing tomatoes from seeds begins indoors for about six to eight weeks (6-8). They can actually be directly planted outdoors but will result to minimal yield. Winter is actually the best time to plant your seeds. The season will keep your seeds moist at all times. The warmth of your soil should also be at least 15C or about 60F. You begin with a seed starting mix with peat moss. This mixture can actually be bought at the garden stores for a very convenient price. If you are planting in different varieties, it is best that you separate each type using different cans or containers.

In a mixing pan, you simply have to put the mixture and add water to keep it moist. Scatter your seeds and distribute it evenly in the mixture after which you have to cover again. You have to keep your seed moist – covering and checking it after two to three (2-3) days. As it starts to sprout, (which is ten days), that’s when you have to give your seeds an artificial lighting which is twelve to sixteen (12-16) hours.

As a second seed appears, this means you need to start transplanting your seedlings in individual containers or pots. As a tip, the plastic pots are actually better in keeping the soil moist. When you have transplanted your seedlings in individual pots, this means it is ready for hardening. This is simply preparing your plant to its exposure to sunlight. When six leaves already appear, that means your seed which has now grown into a seedling is ready for transplant into the ground, right into your garden.

Ever heard of the principle of the seed? You need to plant a lot of seeds because many of it will not grow. That works with your tomato seeds as well. Literally, many will not grow into seedlings so you need to plant as many as you can.

Actually, there is really no exact timing or perfect time for you to plant your seeds. The key factor to your success is simply giving what your plant requires for it to grow well. Keeping it moist at all times and giving your seeds warmth while you germinate is no less than the best that you could do.

Paul Dale is the author of “Tomato Growing Secrets”. For more great information on growing tomatoes from seeds go to our website. The website contains valuable information on anything related to growing your own tomatoes.

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Save Time Growing Tomatoes Upside Down

One popular way gardeners maximize on limited space is by growing vegetable plants upside down in hanging containers. Thanks to the mad scientist experimental types, we now know that tomatoes can indeed be grown downwards (or upside down) from hanging containers quite easily.

This is excellent news to those of us who love to garden don’t have enough space to do so. Now we apartment gardeners can grow delicious tomatoes at home just like anybody else!

Added Ease and Comfort.Even tomato lovers with outdoor space have turned to this innovative method for growing tomato plants for both the added ease and comfort that it offers.

Just consider – growing tomatoes upside down eliminates the need for staking and trellising. The support that tomato plants normally need as they grow taller is no longer necessary. When growing upside down, the weight of the plant just falls naturally downwards towards the ground. Growing tomatoes in containers also means no more weeding!

Rather then trekking back and forth to the garden, kneeling in the dirt and hacking away at your plant to get a few tomatoes for your salad, just walk over to your hanging container and pick the juicy tomato of your choice!

Maximize Sunlight. Gardeners who lack an area that receives the required 6 – 8 hours of sunlight needed by tomato plants to fruit, will also benefit from using an upside down tomato planter.

Their hanging tomato plants can easily be moved from sunny spot to sunny spot throughout the day to get as much sunlight as possible.

Save Time.Those without the time it takes to tend to a proper garden on a daily basis will benefit from the less time intensive practice of growing tomatoes upside down in pots. With the tomato plant neatly contained in a hanging pot, it require much less time to take care of it.

Those with poor garden soil can also stop worrying about the laborious process of conditioning and preparing the soil to grow vibrant tomatoes. Simply use a packet of high quality potting soil in your hanging tomato pot and forget about it.

Less Pests. And perhaps the greatest benefit to growing tomatoes upside down in a container is that you will have less pests to deal with. Most tomato eating bugs will find it more difficult to get to a hanging tomato plant than when it is on the ground Additionally, tomato plants grown in containers are further apart from each other, reducing the spread of disease from plant to plant.

Healthier Crops.Growing tomatoes upside down is actually also beneficial for the plant itself, helping it to produce larger and healthier tomatoes, thanks to the fact that air flows more easily around the plant and branches have less stress on them as they grow.

Tomatoes grown upside down tend to ripen sooner than tomatoes grown in a traditional garden. Plus, because the tomatoes never actually touch the ground, you will avoid the frustrations that most tomato gardeners face when their tomatoes rot due to too much contact with the soil.

Best Varieties for Upside Down Tomato Growers. Most any tomato variety can be successfully grown upside down, but you will find that the smaller varieties are better suited for it. Cherry tomatoes and “grape” tomatoes make an excellent choice for upside down growing.

Conclusion.If you live in a small apartment or have limited outdoor space – don’t despair! You can have your tomato plant…and eat it too! Growing an upside down tomato garden can be just – if not more – rewarding than a traditional one.

To learn more about Indoor Vegetable Gardening, Growing Tomatoes Upside Down and Small Space Gardening, sign up for the FREE Mini Course “Indoor Gardening Success” at http://www.ContainerGardeningCenter.com.

Becky Sheldon is a container and indoor gardening expert and enthusiast who wants everybody to be able to grow their own delicious food, no matter where they live!

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Growing Tomatoes The Right Way

Green thumb or no green thumb, a practical way to beat inflation is to learn how to grow tomatoes, garlic, squash and other crops right in your backyard. By learning to plant tomatoes and other vegetables, you and your family won’t run the risk of getting hungry again – no matter what economic status your country will succumb to.

One thing to remember and one thing you need to remind yourself time and time again is that to grow tomatoes successfully, it doesn’t happen overnight. Tomatoes also don’t fall from the sky when you wish for them. It takes patience, time and more knowledge about the do’s and don’t of planting tomatoes.

First things first, don’t crowd the seedlings. This is especially important of you want to grow tomatoes from seed. They need room to branch out. If they’re placed closer together, it can inhibit their growth. This means, you need to transplant them when you see their first true leaves coming out. You need to move them in 4-inch pots about 2 weeks afterwards.

Next, tomatoes need lots of light. If you can’t provide them with direct sunlight, you can just give them around 14 to 18 hours of grow light. Just place the young plants a few inches from your fluorescent grow lights. Then, plant the tomatoes outside right in your vegetable plot’s sunniest portion.

Then, Put fans over your seedlings. In order to develop strong stems, these tomato plants require movement and swaying. You can provide a breeze just by turning on the fan for about 5 to 10 minutes 2x a day.

Next, Preheat your garden soil. This is very important since tomatoes love the heat. Make sure you cover the planting areas using red or black plastic. This should be done a few weeks before planting. The extra warmth can give way to earlier tomatoes.

Afterwards, bury the tomato plants deeper than their position in the pot. It is best to bury them until only the top leaves are visible. This is since tomatoes are capable of developing roots from their stems. You can dig a deep hole or even a shallow tunnel just so you can dig the plant sideways. Eventually, it will straighten out and grow towards the sun. Just be careful you don’t drive your cage or pole in the stem.

Mulching is the next important step, especially after the ground has warmed up. This is good for water retention and for preventing soil born diseases. Plastic mulch is highly advisable for tomatoes.

To grow tomatoes, you also need to take out the bottom leaves, particularly when they reach 3 inches tall. You can also spray compost tea to ward off fungus diseases.

Start pinching and pruning. This is a good way to take out the suckers developing in the crotch joints of any two tomato branches. Aside from being unable to bear fruit, they can take away the energy from the plant. Just thin the leaves to let the sun reach into the ripening of the fruit. The leaves are still necessary in creating sugars for tomato flavor.

Regularly water the tomato plants. Unable to do so will result to blossom end rotting and cracking. Also lessen the water when the fruit starts to ripen.

Get the plant to set tomatoes. Depending on the type of tomato, set them to ripen fruit at the same time. You can do this by pinching the tips of the main stems during early summer season.

Visit GrowGuides.Net and HowToPlant.Net for ideal methods on how to grow tomatoes and for useful tips on how to plant tomatoes.

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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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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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