Thursday, April 28, 2016

Grow Perfect Tomatoes!

    
  You say Tomayto, I say Tomato!

      Don't you just love the fresh taste of tomatoes that just makes you want to grow them yourself?  Whether you start  tomatoes from seed or purchase them as transplants , either way you decide is easy and so very rewarding! 


Now is the best time to start growing your tomatoes if you choose to start them indoors.  Starting them at this time rather then earlier will prevent them from becoming too leggy.  Tomatoes are notorious for legginess because they grow so fast and will stretch to where they find light. Leggy tomatoes will result in toppling over and possibly breaking, so holding off on planting them too soon is best practice. I can honestly say that tomatoes are my most favorite vegetables to grow. Actually, I have a long list of veggies I enjoy growing, and the more you learn, the easier and more fun it becomes. 

      There are so many different types of tomatoes when choosing which one to grow.  It really just depends on what you would want or need them for. If you choose the bigger types, which are otherwise known as beefsteak varieties, medium types, plum varieties for salsas or cherry/grape types for fresh eating or salads...we gotcha covered! You can check out the latest list for new and old favorites as well as helpful instructions on how to grow them by checking out our detailed growing guide.

        Beefsteak                                                                                                               

                                                    Cherry     


                                    








       You may have heard tomatoes referenced as indeterminate or determinate while either looking through the seed catalogue or the Vesey's website. What that basically determines when referring to tomatoes, is how we describe the form in which the individual tomato varieties grow. You will find the differences explained below. I too was a bit foggy about the difference between the two types when I first started gardening.




   Determinate plants have a shorter form and do not require staking, although they can benefit from some support or cages. These types have a much more concentrated harvest and are ideal for commercial growers or for home gardeners who want a lot of tomatoes at one time for preserving.  







  

    Indeterminate plants are tall,will require staking and produce tomatoes over a longer period of time. Instead of producing a large harvest at once, they bear their fruit over a period of months. These are perfect for home gardeners who want their harvest spread out, or greenhouse growers that want tall plants to best use their space. Click our Vesey's Seeds You Tube Channel for additional staking and pruning techniques information as well as other tips helpful for growing tomatoes.

    If you do decide to start your tomatoes indoors, you will want to keep them under grow lights for a period of time with a height of 2-3 inches above the plants. This will ensure that they don't grow to tall resulting in a nicer, more healthy plant.  Once the seedlings emerge and there is at least 1-2 sets of true leaves, you can start applying a water soluble fertilizer once every week to 10 days until they are transplanted outdoors.  It is a good idea to introduce them slowly to the outdoors which we refer to as "hardening off". They gradually acclimatize to the cooler temperatures which will slow their growth in a healthy way until planted in the ground. Once they are in their final growing place you will be amazed at how quickly they will grow.

     For additional information on how to grow tomatoes as well as other vegetables or flowers, please feel free to contact us or check out our online growing guide.
Until the next time, get out there and enjoy these nice days...happy gardening!  

                                           
 

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