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What are the Best Methods for Tomato Gardening?

Article Details
  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 26 August 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
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Tomato gardening is an enjoyable pastime that just about anyone can enjoy. Even people who live in the city can grow tomatoes on patios and decks, using pots and a few basic tips. Whether you are planting a large garden or simply want a couple of tomato plants to keep you supplied during the growing season, here are some things to keep in mind.

The selection of seeds or young plants is very important, if your tomato gardening efforts are to be successful. Different varieties require direct sunlight, while others will thrive in a location that primarily receives indirect sunlight during the day. Assess the lighting in the area where you plan on growing the plants, and choose a variety that is likely to do well in your situation.

Also pay close attention to the type of soil you have available. For in-ground planting, have the soil tested before purchasing seeds or young plants. This will help you to choose tomato plants that will grow into healthy vines, as well as aid in the selection in the right fertilizer blends. If you plan on using pots for your plants, make sure the soil and fertilizer you purchase is right for the variety of tomatoes you will grow.

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Space your seeds or young plants is also an essential of proper tomato gardening. While requirements vary from one variety to another, a good rule of thumb is to never place the plants any closer than the length of an average adult foot. This will ensure the vines have room to grow properly and increase the chances of developing plenty of fruit.

Knowing how to water the vines before and while they are producing is an essential with effective tomato gardening. For most varieties, the soil should be kept moist, but without allowing water to stand around the plants. Some gardening enthusiasts find that misting the vines with seaweed extract can also help stimulate growth and cause the vines to increase their yield. Pay close attention to the coloring of the vines; if they begin to yellow, there is a good chance the plants are getting too much water. At the same time, look for the development of brown spots and dead sections, as this indicates the plants are not getting the moisture they need.

An important factor in tomato gardening is to make sure the vines are adequately supported with the use of stakes and cages. These devices help to add stability to the relatively fragile vines, making it possible to support the weight of the tomatoes as they develop. Most garden shops as well as many hardware stores will have cages and stakes in a variety of sizes, making it easy to get what you need for any variety of tomato vine.

Fresh tomatoes are wonderful in many baked dishes, as well as for use in salsas and other applications. Rather than relying on the selections at the local supermarket, take the time to grow a few vines on your own. By following these basic tomato gardening tips, even novices can grow plump and tasty tomatoes that will be welcome on any dinner table.

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