Thursday, September 2, 2010

Growing Tomatoes - A Guide For First Time Tomato Growers

The Heirloom Tomato: From Garden to Table: Recipes, Portraits, and History of the World's Most Beautiful FruitBy: Philip Turner

Growing tomatoes has to be one of the most rewarding of all vegetable growing activities. Seeing those large red globes appear, as if from nowhere, is awe-inspiring.

There are hundreds of tomato varieties you can grow so try growing two or three different ones. Once you find a favorite you can then grow that one every year, and a few others, just in case you find an even better one.

Most tomatoes grow better in a greenhouse, but most gardeners do not have a greenhouse and must grow their tomatoes outdoors. A conservatory makes a good alternative to a greenhouse, better in some ways because it is larger and better ventilated.

You can start now by experimenting by buying different varieties of tomatoes at the supermarket. Try the yellow varieties because their taste is unbelievable. They are expensive, but if you like them then next year you can grow your own.

Order your seeds from specialist seed catalogs if you want the maximum choice. Garden centers only stock a few of the most popular varieties of seeds.

You need to decide between bush type tomatoes and the traditional type that require staking. If you grow bush tomatoes they are best grown in large containers to keep the fruits off the ground. You might have seen photos of bush tomatoes growing in hanging baskets - Forget it. There is not enough compost to support the roots of a tomato plant in any hanging basket.

You can grow tomatoes in containers, in special grow-bags of compost or in the ground. Most gardeners start by growing tomatoes in grow-bags. If that is your choice then only plant a single tomato plant in each bag of compost. That way you will get more tomatoes and black spot will be less of a problem because the plants are further apart so there is more air circulation.

If you decide to grow your tomatoes in the ground then start planning and preparations now. You will need the ground empty in May, so you can plant the young tomato plants. You will need to have lots of compost incorporated in the soil to retain moisture and you will need to apply mulch between the plants to prevent weeds. Add Slow-release organic fertilizer like bonemeal to the soil.

You could plant your tomatoes to follow on from broad beans or early cabbages. Plant your tomatoes three feet apart. This allows you to walk between them and provides plenty of ventilation, reducing the risk of disease. The tomato plants are not bushy, so they will not keep weed growth down. The best way to control weeds is to lay sheets of newspaper between the plants. Use a whole newspaper for optimum weed control. Cover the newspaper with mulch, ideally your own, but any undyed bark mulch will do the job.

Buy six foot long canes to stake your tomatoes with. They will grow to about four feet, so that gives you plenty of cane in the ground for support.
Growing Tomatoes: How To Grow Tomatoes That Are Big, Colorful, Juicy, And Tasty!
Sow your tomato seeds in March and transplant to individual pots once the first true leaves appear. Keep them inside on a window sill until all risk of frost has passed, then transplant them into their final positions.

Keep fertilizing all summer long for a bumper crop.

Article Source: http://www.articlesnatch.com

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