The most popular plant that is grown in the home garden is the tomato. Most gardeners take more pride in growing tomatoes than any other crop. There is nothing like a ripe, juicy, fresh grown tomato.
There is a large variety of tomatoes that can be grown by the home gardener and they all have there own unique characteristics or qualities. That can be for there size, color, shape or taste. There are tomatoes that hybrids, heirlooms and plants that are indeterminate or determinate. The selections that you can choose from seem to be endless.
Tomatoes are easy to grow and will produce a large amount of fruit if properly cared for. There are a few basic tips that you should know that will help your tomato plants thrive and produce a high yielding crop.
Tomatoes like a good healthy soil that is full of organic matter and nutrients along with a good soil structure that provides good aeration, drainage and retains moisture well.
Never start your plants to early. Tomatoes like warm soil temperatures. If needed warm the soil two weeks before planting by covering with black plastic.
Direct sunlight is very important in growing a strong healthy tomato plant. Tomatoes should be planted in an area that will receive a minimum of eight hours of direct sunlight.
Preparation of the planting location is also very important. Bury your tomato plants deep, burying the stem a minimum of half it's total height. It takes a little more time to plant this way but the growth and productivity of the plant will be rewarding. When planting tomato plants deep it gives them the ability to form roots that will branch off of the stem. This will give the plant a big advantage of forming a large healthy root system which benefits it's nutrient intake greatly.
Give your plants enough room to grow. Plant tomatoes a minimum of two to three feet apart depending on the variety. This will allow for the proper air circulation and direct sunlight needed for the plants to thrive.
Watering of tomatoes is very critical. Tomatoes need a steady moisture content in the soil. Over watering or letting the soil dry out will stress the plant and cause the fruit to produce poorly.
Applying a good organic mulch like compost will greatly benefit the plants growth by retaining the moisture content in the soil while adding nutrients to the soil at the same time.
Tomatoes love a regular supply of nutrients. having a good healthy nutrient rich soil full of organic matter is the type of soil that tomatoes will thrive in. Watering your plants every two weeks with a nutrient rich compost tea will greatly boost the productivity of the fruit the plant will produce.
With a little care you can have the best home grown tomatoes in your own back yard.