plants are almost guaranteed to play a major part of your new
Ripe succulent red tomatoes are
the treasure of the garden for most great gardeners and they're
not that hard to grow, even from seeds. Once you've tasted a
fresh garden tomato, you'll be hard pressed to ever go back to
the store-bought tomatoes you have been buying in the past.
Growing tomatoes from seed can become a science and have
plenty of bragging rights for the connoisseur gardener. This
article is meant for the newbie who wants tomatoes without
becoming a scientist or spending more money on the garden than
the products would be worth from an organic grocery store.
is the difference between determinate and indeterminate tomatoes
and why would I care to know?
varieties of tomato seeds will produce juicy tomatoes all season
long; right up until the frost arrives. They are preferred by
most home gardeners because eating fresh tomatoes daily, spread
out over the whole season is their goal.
varieties of tomato seeds grow to a certain size; usually 4 to 5
feet, then the tomatoes start to ripen all at once. Usually over
a short period of about 2 weeks, then they pretty much done
after that. This is not what most home gardeners want as it's a
feast or famine way to grow tomatoes, however people that like
to make massive amounts of tomato sauce at once would prefer
this variety for obvious reasons.
For the most productive tomato growing season, start your tomato
seeds indoors 5 to 8 weeks before you intend to transplant them
into your garden.
If it's close to growing season you can also start the seeds in
a shed and bring them out in the warm sun and breeze during the
day then put them away in safe surroundings at night or during
adverse weather conditions. This will allow a good safe start
for the seedlings while at the same time allowing the soil in
your garden to warm up and reduce any chance of spring frost.
While it's tempting to crowd as many tomato plants into your
garden as possible, you'll actually have better productivity by
planting your seedlings or small plants about 1.5 to 2 feet
apart. Tomato plants love basking in the sun and breeze so
planting them too close to each other can be counterproductive
as they grow bigger and start to shade each other out.
When starting your tomato plants from seed you'll want to take
the leaves from the bottom 1 foot of the stem once the tomato
plants reach approximately 3 feet tall. Allow 2 to 4 suckers
near the base of the plant to grow and become stronger while
pinching off the suckers that develop in the crotch of two
branches higher up on the plant as it matures. The reason being
that you don't want the plant devoting too much energy to
growing more and more stems when it could be better spending
it's energy producing more tomatoes.
pruning the plant so it grows tomatoes on 2 to 4 main stems
allows for plenty of larger tomatoes and keeps the plant from
becoming overgrown to the point where none of the tomatoes
benefit. Once your plant is larger, you can help it to produce
tomatoes a little earlier by pinching off the main stems in the
early summertime. As the plant gets to be approximately 3 feet
tall, remove most of the leaves that get very little sunlight
from the bottom one foot of the main stems.
In order for
your tomatoes to be their juiciest and taste their best, you'll
want to leave them to mature on the plant to become their
natural rich color before removing them for eating.
the growing season is over and a heavy frost is called for,
you'll need to remove all the tomatoes left on the plants – even
the green ones. The green tomatoes will eventually ripen indoors
- or you can cook up your favorite green tomato recipes!