Sunday, May 22, 2011
Gardening 101: Planting Tomatoes
Tomatoes are by far the most "planted" vegetables by home gardeners. They are easy to grow and produce great results - No tomato tastes better than one grown in your own garden!. So here are some tricks I have picked up throughout the years while planting tomatoes.
First of all you need to pick up the right place in your vegetable bed. Tomatoes grow tall and they need support. You can support them with a trellis (click here to see how to make one), a cage or a simple strong pole (I do not recommend this one).
I like to place my tomatoes towards my wall so they do not shade the rest of my vegetables. Tomatoes do not like the cold, so please make sure that you plant them outside when there are no chances of frost in the future!
I am planting 3 different types of tomatoes this year - Cherry, Brandywine and Early Girl. I grew the last 2 plants from seeds from last year's tomatoes. The Brandywines were a gift from my neighbour. If you are buying plants from your nursery, make sure that your tomato plants are long - You will see why later!
Your tomatoes will grow stronger if they have a big root ball. They are real good at growing roots, so it is best to plant them as follows so they get more roots: instead of opening a hole in the soil, open a long deep canal. Take your tomato plant and place it sideways in the canal, bending it a little.
Cover with soil and make sure that you are planting all the way up to the first set of leaves.
You can plant 1 tomato plant per square foot as they grow big.
This year I decided to mulch the plants to keep the soil moist for longer. Let's see if it works!
If you want to use a tomato cage for your tomatoes, plant your tomato plants the same way as explained above and them place the cage firmly on top of the newly planted tomato plant (Plant in the center of the cage). Make sure you will not break the roots with the cage, so try to place the cage legs away from where the roots where. As the plant grows it will be supported by the cage.
Water and wait until they grow!!