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How to Grow Delicious and Healthy Tomatoes

Tomatoes are the most popular vegetable grown in home gardens. No other vegetable can match its popularity. Tomatoes, in its various forms, have become staple ingredients in almost every kind of cooking. Tomato plants belong to a perennial family of plants. They are quite easily grown from seeds and produce an abundance of fruits. These Central American natives grow well in warm climates and come in a hundred varieties. A tomato picked right off a tomato plant surpasses the quality of anything available in the market. Here are a few tips on how to grow great tasting tomatoes.

Required Materials

  • tomato seeds or seedlings
  • garden gloves
  • potting soil
  • garden trowels
  • garden hoses
  • shovel
  • fertilizer
  • compost makers

Steps to Grow Tomatoes

  1. Preparing the Site
    • Choose a site in your garden that gets plenty of sunshine. Tomatoes thrive in areas where they get the full benefit of sunshine.
    • Prepare the soil a good 2 to 3 weeks before sowing or transplanting. Plow the ground and add to it as much compost and organic matter as you can. Enriching the soil this way helps it to retain more water, which is needed by the tomato plants.
  2. Planting Directly in the Ground
    • Sow tomato seeds in late March or early April. Tomato seeds will not germinate in cold soil. Make sure that the soil temperature remains above 60′ Fahrenheit before sowing the seeds. You may use a cold frame or a cloche to help warm the soil and help protect the plants from the cold.
    • Prepare the site as instructed above. Dig shallow holes of approximately 1 inch deep with a trowel. Put 2 seeds in every hole and fill it up with soil. Water very well if the soil does not appear to be very moist. The seedlings should start to sprout out from the ground in about 10 days.
  3. Planting by Sowing Indoors
    • Starting seeds indoors gets tomatoes off to the best start. Plant the seeds in containers that are approximately 3 inches deep. Cover the seeds with moist compost. Then place the containers in a warm, dry area that is free of draft. The seedlings should appear in about 7 to 10 days.
    • Move the containers to a location where the plants can receive light but not direct sunlight. Putting the plants under direct sunlight can burn the leaves. Thin out the weakest plant if more than one seed has been planted in the container.
    • Transfer the plants in larger pots of about 5 inches in size after 4 weeks of planting. These plants should be ready to be transferred outside after 7 weeks.
    • The tomato plants should be ready for transplant once they have reached 6 to 7 inches in height. Dig a hole of about the depth of the pot currently being used by the plants. Water the soil some more if it looks dry.
    • Make sure not to disturb the roots of the plant when transplanting. Put it in the hole and fill the spaces with soil. Add more soil on top to raise the soil level.
    • Tie the plant’s stem to a support stake with a soft twine. Make sure to provide a little slack for growth.
  4. Caring of Tomato Plants
    • Use starter fertilizer when transplanting tomato plants. Retard the growth of weeds by shallow hoeing or light cultivation. Delay the application of organic materials until early summer.
    • Water thoroughly and regularly during dry periods. Dry tomatoes run the risk of fruit cracking and splitting. However, take care not to water-log the tomato plants.
    • You may train your tomato plants to trellises, stakes, or cages. Take note, however, not all tomato varieties are suitable for training and pruning.
  5. Harvesting
    • Pick the tomatoes as soon as they have ripened into a good size and color. Picking encourages more fruits to grow.
    • Harvest all the tomatoes if frost is starting to appear. Leave the tomatoes ti ripen by a windowsill.

For more information on growing tomatoes, read How to Grow Tomatoes and How to Grow Tomatoes.

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