Tomatoes are red gems of fruit packed with vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin C, potassium, folate and vitamin K. They fight against serious diseases, from cardiovascular disease to cognitive dysfunction. Even they are the source of dietary lycopene- a powerful cancer- fighting antioxidant.
Tomato planting season is upon us. This article is for the person who wants to learn how to properly grow them. The main thing about growing tomatoes or any other plant, is that you have to plant them with lots of love. If you want healthy and strong plants, you should show them how kind are you to them. You will learn how to do that properly in the following steps.
Before we start learning how to grow 5- 8 Foot plants, we should explain some tomato terminology. Tomatoes grow best in warm seasons. There are two types of tomatoes:
Bush and dwarf
Bush tomato varieties grow from 2 to 4 feet tall. Dwarf varieties grow to about 2 feet tall. So, they clearly require the least amount of space. To grow they need 4- 6 weeks period.
Vining tomatoes can grow more than 6 feet tall. Because they grow tall, they usually need tomato cages or bamboo supports.
Tomato classification based on their fruit size and shape, there are, from the smallest: currant, cherry, plum, heart- shaped, oblong, round, and the largest- beefsteak.
Tomatoes can also be classified by their color: red, pink, orange, yellow, green, white and many more.
It may look hard in the begging, but planting tomatoes it’s not that complicated.
Starting tomato seeds indoors
Tomatoes are commonly started indoors in a greenhouse, indoor space with grow lights or in a warm, well- lit sunroom like kitchen. If you’re planting indoors you should start late February to mid March.
Transplanting tomato seedling to the garden
Once they grow about a foot tall, you will need to transplant them outside. Firstly, make sure you will give them enough space. When they are not so close to each other, they tend to grow bigger and produce more fruit. Choose a sunny spot and set the tomato transplant into the garden deeper than it was growing in its pot. You should add about 2- 3 cups of sea soil or compost and infuse with glacial rock dust. Remove the lower leaves and bury up to two thirds of the stem, so new roots will grow.
Water and feed regularly
Make sure your tomato plants never get too dry, as they require a good supply of water. Little and often is the best way to go. It’s recommended to add a layer of mulch to the soil to protect the soil from erosion, encourage healthy bacteria and to prevent the soil from drying out too much. In the summer time, you should water every day if you don’t have mulch.
Give your plants friends
You should add tomato cages to support each tomato plant. Also, interplanting is a useful way to help protect plants against insects and pests. Best companion plants to tomatoes are basil, mint, chives, marigolds, nasturtium, carrots and lettuce.