Tomato Growing Tips
How To Grow Tomatoes From Seeds
Cultivating tomatoes is very easy to do by starting your own seeds.
Greenhouse starts are quite limited in variety, so in order to taken advantage of
variations in tomatoes, this will be necessary. You can find seeds
for yellow, green, black, red or pink tomatoes. Expect to see different
types, as well as dwarf plants. Both full size, as well as smaller
globes are standard, as well as salad tomatoes, such as cherry or grape
To start tomato seeds, a seed-starting potting mix is your best option.
Moisten the soil mixture and pat into your planting container firmly.
With a standard
pencil, drill two holes about ¼ inch deep. Place one tomato seed in each hole and cover with soil. Keep the soil moist and you
to see germination within 5-7 days.
Tomato seeds prefer a warm soil temperature of about 70°- 80°F (20 - 25°C).
At higher or lower temperatures, germination
may slow or seeds may rot before a seedling even emerges. Tomato seeds
should be planted approximately six weeks before your last date of
expected frost. If you have room, you can start them in a warm and bright place in the house.
Seedling Stage: Once you see all your tomato starts poke out of the dirt, your tiny
plants will need some supplemental lighting. If you are lucky enough to
have a large,
south-facing window, this may do the trick. Otherwise, grow lamps or
fluorescent lights will need to be, resulting in spindly seedlings.
Feeding Tomato Plants
At this point, your growing tomatoes are still relying on their own
stored nutrition from the seed casing. If you feel like adding a bit of
some fish emulsion and add it in a weak solution when you are watering
tomato plants. No other fertilizer should be needed until your tomato
ready to be planted outside. At this time, a specialized tomato fertilizer, high in potash, should be applied according to the direction on the package.
Transplanting And Planting Tomatoes Out
Once your plants have grown their second sets of leaves you should transplant them into individual pots. Gently lift the small plants out of the seeds tray and pull them apart carefully. Fill a small container with organic potting soil and punch a hole into the center. Insert your tomato plant and a bit of the stem into the hole and fill with soil.
You can plant tomato plants a bit deeper because they will start growing roots along the stem. Firm a little bit with your fingers and water them in well.
Place them into a sunny spot on a window sill or a glasshouse. They will have to stay in until the weather has warmed up. Give them a little support like a bamboo cane as they grow to keep them nice a straight.
Once you have been growing your tomato plants for around six weeks, you
will need to begin thinking about planting them outside. Many people
mistake of introducing the adolescent plants to the outdoor environment
suddenly and failure can be the result.
Give yourself a week to adjust your
plants, or harden them. Leave them outside for about an hour on the
first day and gradually increase the time until they have spent a full
their outside environment. Don't forget to pay closer attention to
watering tomato plants, as they will dry out quicker. Once properly
they can planted in your garden.
Buying Tomato Plants
If you only want to grow a few plants or are just starting off with gardening it might be easiest for you to buy plants that are already started. You can buy them from your nearest garden center or from a good online supplier.
Once you receive your plants pot them on into a larger container or into their final position. Don't forget to stake your plants and tie them as they grow. A tomato cage is very helpful for this. You can find tomato cages here.
Indeterminate tomato varieties (the not bushy ones) will need side shoots and suckers removed.
More Tomato Growing Tips for Containers
Tomatoes are ideal for growing in pots and will completely mature
indoors, without any supplementary pollination. If you do want to
growing tomatoes in a pot, favour dwarf varieties, or determinate cherry
or grape tomatoes.
It will be unnecessary to harden the plants before
transplanting to your pots. Also, while tomato plants may live a long
time in a pot, they may tire after 8 months or so of growth. Nutrients
can become depleted, so add the appropriate tomato fertilizer while
watering tomato plants on a regular basis.
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