It was a fun experiment, but the truth is that tomatoes grow so fast outdoors that I think they would have germinated just as well outdoors in late March as they do indoors in February. Plant also to give your plants room to grow by planting the seedlings 30 to 48 inches apart, with rows spaced 48 inches apart. This will allow light to enter the undersides of mature plants, improve airflow and help prevent disease. Dedicate a prime, sunny spot to growing tomatoes.
Buy a roll of concrete reinforcing wire, about $50-70, with 4-6 inch squares. Dig holes bigger than you think you'll need, at least two feet apart, and place the plants so that the lowest set of leaves are at ground level. I made a lot of rookie mistakes in my first year of growing tomatoes and I share them all in my complete guide from seed to harvest.
What's the best way to grow tomatoes?
As a former organic market farmer, I've had a lot of experience growing thousands of tomato plants over the years. Caging allows the plant to grow naturally, but keeps the fruit and leaves off the ground. Water stressed plants remove calcium from the fruit and send it to the shoots to keep the plant growing. So I've put together a list of 12 tomato growing secrets you can use in your home garden for healthier plants, higher yields and less work.
More sun equals more fruit Choose the sunniest spot in your garden, because tomatoes absorb sun like water. You can lift the plastic before planting, but some research claims that red plastic mulch has the added benefit of increasing the yield of your tomatoes. When temperatures remain warm, both day and night, you can add a layer of mulch to retain moisture.
How do I care for my tomato plants?
Indeterminate tomato vines can grow to over six feet tall, but let them climb to the top and drop down if that doesn't bother you. Tomatoes come in a wide range of flavors, as well as colors and sizes, from tiny grape-sized types to giant beefsteaks. Pinching the tips of the main stems in early summer will encourage indeterminate tomatoes (those with continuously available fruit) to start putting their energy into flowering. Fertilize plants every 4 to 6 weeks during the growing season to keep them constantly fed and able to produce juicy tomatoes all summer long.
Speed up the growth and ripening of your tomatoes by covering the soil area with black plastic and turning the soil frequently. This old-fashioned beefsteak has large, sweet fruits that are less acidic and quite fleshy, making them perfect for.
How long does it take to grow a tomato?
Check with master gardeners or the cooperative extension nearest where you live to see if any tomato growers have saved seeds and can pass them on to you. Also, you'll probably want to check out the full article on the production time of tomato plants. From the time of transplanting, it can take 50 to 80 days or more for tomatoes to reach maturity and yield their first crop. In as little as 45 days from transplanting seedlings in the garden, you'll see clusters of fresh, ripe tomatoes that are slightly larger than cherry tomatoes.
A good practice when planting starter tomatoes is to dig a hole about the size of a two-gallon bucket and put a layer of well-decomposed compost or manure with a handful of bone meal and a teaspoon of Epsom salts (helps the plant absorb calcium) in the bottom of the hole. This will continue the ripening of the fruits inside, avoiding the risk of missing the last stage of the ripening phase and letting the tomatoes fall to the ground.