There are many aspects of how to plant tomatoes that have not been explained to the first-timer tomato grower. This is something that the expert tomato grower, either forgets to tell you or has forgotten! But all gardeners have made mistakes with tomatoes and have learned with each crop they grow, so don’t worry you are not alone. Planting Tomatoes sounds easy but when I started out I didn’t realize that if you start off with a leggy young seedling and planted that then you would end up with a leggy droopy and weak plant. I hope to be able to give you a couple of pointers of what to do to get it right the first time.
Growing Tomatoes In Garden
If you want to find out about growing tomatoes from seed then please consult the other links as I have written about those too. When the young seedlings have been grown on and are about 6 inches / 15cm high they will need to be planted either into the garden or their large pots or grow bags. If your young plant is looking still on the leggy side at this stage you can still remedy the situation. When you choose how to plant tomatoes it depends on your environment your tomatoes will need a warm place to grow and that may mean planting in pots rather than in the garden plot. It may be sunnier and more protected in a certain area in which case choosing a grow bag or large pot may be more appropriate. If you have chosen to plant them in the garden then they will need to be grown approximately a foot and a half apart. You will need this area to allow for growth and to discourage diseases.
When planting in the garden make sure you dig a deep enough hole to be able to bury the whole length of the stem so you only have two inches above the ground showing from the first leaves. Planting this deeply means that your tomato plant will be able to more readily access moisture trapped in the soil. All along the now buried stem, the tomato plant will form more roots and it will be able to grow strongly on a sturdier stem. If you want to plant your tomatoes in a grow bag you can lie the plant down on its side to ensure that the majority of the stalk is buried. Now that might sound very odd but don’t worry about putting it on its side, they will grow upright and again with a much sturdier stem. If you are using large pots which will have to be about 30cm /10-12’’across place the young plant as low down in the pot as you can so that again only two inches above the compost layer are showing below the first leaves.
Growing Tomatoes Indoors
When I was asked how to grow indoor tomatoes I thought immediately that they were referring to “under glass” greenhouse tomato growing which I thought I could easily write about. Alternatively growing tomatoes indoors could mean on the windowsill but in fact they were referring to is what I would call the more commercial venture or exceptionally keen tomato growing enthusiasts.
This was something I hadn’t really looked into before now but decided that it would be helpful for people to know exactly what is involved.
- The main considerations to take into account are first whether the amount of extra work and effort involved in the production of indoor tomatoes is worth your time.
- Secondly, does the cost of setting up the indoor garden outweigh the savings made from growing your own tomatoes?
- The amount of electricity that will be used plus the cost of the extra equipment the space taken up with in the home or garage and the safety aspects of water and electricity in close proximity, or indeed where to put the car!
- If you choose a bush tomato variety it will need plenty of space in which to grow and will need to be kept under a florescent cool white lighting system for seedlings as well as high-pressure sodium light to help force the plant to flower and fruit. These lights remain on for extended periods at a time and need to be positioned at a specific height to maximize the growth potential for the plants.
- The temperature and humidity for the tomatoes require regulating as you neither want it too hot or too humid or too cold for the plants.
- The lighting system can raise the temperature in the room for those plants and therefore you may require a fan to gently move the air around this will also help with the pollination of the tomato plants.
Usually, people that decide to grow indoor tomatoes will often decide to use a hydroponics system. These systems can also be quite expensive to set up but the growth rate of the plants and the fruit production is the real bonus. The amount of chemistry involved in the maintenance of the nutrient solution for your plants is quite in-depth, balancing the Ph of your reservoir has a direct effect on the number of nutrients added to the water. My personal conclusion is that you do need to be a very attentive gardener with an interest in the technology of growing indoor tomatoes to embark on this venture.
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