Posted by Gardener Marc | Posted in Basic Gardening Tips, Vegetable Gardening | Posted on 13-04-2012
Tomatoes a are great choice for your vegetable garden: They’re easy to grow from seed, you have a large variety of plant types to choose from and they’re simply delicious!
I’ll compile some useful tips and background info in the following article.
You should choose a warm, sunny spot for your tomatoes. For colder climates, greenhouses are best; you don’t necessarily need a fully closed greenhouse – an easy do-it-yourself structure might suffice (to protect the plants from heavy, cold rain), for example a cover of glass panels or a tent made of transparent sheeting (have a look at http://dandelionking.net/do-
You could start right now (in mid-spring) by sowing seeds in bio-degradable pots filled with compost – put them on a windowsill and water them regularly. The seeds should take about two weeks to germinate. Tomatoes grow quite fast, and they may need to be replanted (into seperate pots) after about six weeks. Be careful not to harm the plants while doing so. It’s handy to put them into growing bags – you can put the bags directly into your garden soil later. Remember to put a cane next to the plant for increased stability and to tie the plants to it.
Try to keep the soil around the plants modestly wet and to avoid extreme moisture. A critical factor for good tomatoes is pruning: Tomatoes tend towards forming multiple stems, but single-stemmed plants are best as they will be larger and yield a lot of fruits (as the plants energy is thus directed towards growing fruits). If left unpruned, tomato plants would also fall to the side (forced by the weight of their fruits), and then form new (vertical) branches. This takes a lot of space, exposes the fruits to mildew and decreases the amount of sunlight each leave is able to absorb.
To prohibit the growth of bushy plants, cut of thick branches that start to form ramifications as early as possible. A nice side-effect of pruning is that the fruits are formed earlier and grow larger than if left natural form.The level of pruning depends on how much space you want to dedicate to a single plant – when tomatoes are planted tightly, they should be pruned more radically to increase the amount of sunlight per plant.