Here are ten tomato growing tips for growing great tomatoes:
- It’s all in the preparation as they say – a good tip is to turn your soil over during January and February. You will be surprised how many pest eggs have been hiding in your soil over the winter and if you expose them to the frosts you hopefully will have less pests during the year.
- Preparation of your soil is important you can go the whole nine yards and test your soil for PH and add chemicals or supplements appropriately or you can add some well rotten compost which usually is just as effective at balancing the soil out
- Mulching your soil is the best way of reducing the weeds around your plants in addition to adding nutrients, keeping the soil warm and retaining moisture
- If you are growing your tomatoes from seed it is a good idea to choose a selection so you have late and an early crop. In addition you can have cherry and plum ones, these are ideal for making sauces which will give you a wonderful crop which will see you through the season
- Seedlings require sunshine and warmth to develop into healthy plants. Leggy seedlings can be planted deeply when planted up as this will enable them to grow stronger stems
- Do not fertilise your plants either too early or too much as you can cause a build up of chemicals in the plants leading to problems with leaves and fruit production. Only begin to add fertiliser after the plant begins to flower and then only one a week
- Diseases can easily affect your plants if they are kept too humid or become infested, know the enemy and be prepared. Companion planting will prevent some pests and is environmentally friendly
- Supporting your tomatoes as they grow is important as tomatoes which are not tend to become damaged leaving fruits trailing on the ground. Using either cages or stakes and strong but gentle ties will prevent damage and ensure a well supported and productive plant
- Watering correctly is always a problem too much can lead to fruiting problems too little can lead to fruiting problems. Try no to let the plants dry out if they are in either pots or grown bags as when you do water them it will just run off
- When thinking of the best tomato growing tips the most practical is probably the storing of your wonderful stock of tomatoes. This is a worthwhile as well as cost effective project. You can easily make sun dried tomatoes and thick rich sauces which you can freeze and use throughout the winter months reminding you of summer and tasting so much better than those bought at your local supermarket
Bonus! Did You know…
- The humble tomato is from the nightshade family and once was thought to be poisonous
- The scientific name is Solanum Lycopersicum, which means “wolf-peach”
- The principal constituents of tomato fruit are red colouring substance which is called lycopene it is an antioxidant that researchers state has anti-carcinogenic properties
- Children love tomato ketchup this is a great way to get vitamins into them – if you let them put it all over other veggies – they may not appreciate all the effort you have made in their food preparation but at least they will be eating their vegetables!
- Good news Ladies its official the Royal Horticultural Society has confirmed that chatting away to your plants does indeed help them to grow! So boys you are going to have to get a female friend to make a recording to play to your tomatoes if you want to beat the girls.
- One of the major countries for producing tomatoes is China
- There are approximately 7000 varieties of tomatoes – so you should be able to find one you like
- According to Wikipedia – The heaviest tomato ever was one of 3.51 kg (7 lb 12 oz), of the cultivar ‘Delicious’, grown by Gordon Graham of Edmond, Oklahoma in 1986.
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