Here at kudos house, we know the importance of being self-sufficient, and the fantastic feeling that you get from growing your fruit and vegetables. That’s why we have made a guide about how to grow tomato plants.
How to Grow Tomato Plants
The tomato plant is a popular vegetable with home gardeners because it is so easy to grow. With little effort and space, tomato plants can produce a bountiful harvest. The tomato plant originated in the Americas and was brought to Europe in the 1500s. Tomatoes were considered to be poisonous for a long time because they were closely related to the deadly nightshade plant. Tomatoes were not widely grown in the United States until after 1820.
When purchasing tomato plants, there are several essential items to keep in mind. Tomatoes are classified as either determinate or indeterminate. Determinate is a bush type that produces its fruit at the tip of its stems and requires little staking. Indeterminate is a vine type, which requires staking and pruning, with fruits growing along the stem. You will need at least two plants per person, more if you are planning to do some canning.
Sowing Tomato Seeds
If starting seeds yourself, sow eight weeks before the first frost-free date. Use a seed-starting mix and place four or five seeds in each pot. Tomato seeds need temperatures around 75 degrees to germinate. Keep them moist and fertilize regularly. Tomato plants are ready to set out when they have five to seven leaves. Do not wait too long. If your plants have already produced flowers or fruits, they will have a more difficult adjustment to being transplanted.
A wide variety of tomato plants will be available at your local nursery. For best results, space tomatoes a couple of feet apart, with three to four feet between each row. Tomatoes do well in a sunny spot. Take the time to add some extra organic matter, such as compost or manure, to the soil.
You should place the tomato plant in a hole one foot wide. Fresh banana peels can also provide a natural fertilizer in the planting hole, releasing potassium and some other trace elements. When you fill the hole, set the plant deep in the soil, up to the first set of healthy leaves. Additional roots will form along the underground part of the stem.
It is vital to give your plants enough support. You can install stakes about four inches from the plant or use steel cages to support the vines. Loosely tie plant stems to supports with soft twine or strips of cloth. That will keep your plants from falling over and keep the stems from splitting open.
Tips For Healthy Plants
Here are a few things to remember about maintaining healthy plants. Use a fertilizer low in nitrogen; too much nitrogen promotes foliage growth and makes watery, bland fruit. After the soil is warm, mulch plants with hay or straw, which conserves moisture and reduces weeds.
Prune your plants by removing the suckers between the main stems and branches, so more energy can go to the fruit. For the best flavor, pick tomatoes when they are nearly ripe with even color. Always keep them at room temperature; refrigeration halts the ripening process. Before the first hard frost, pick all the fruits and let them ripen indoors in indirect sunlight. Tomato plants are an easy and fruitful addition to any garden.
If you would like more information about gardens, please see our garden section on the homepage. We also have a section dedicated to gardens and the outdoor living areas of your home.