How to Grow Terrific Tomatoes

Connie McKinneyStarred Page By Connie McKinney, 9th Jul 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/33gnwruz/
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Gardening>Planting & Growing

Tomatoes are the crown jewel of any backyard garden. Here's how you can grow terrific tomatoes and enjoy them this summer.

Sunny Spots


Fresh tomatoes make savory sauces, satisfying salads and a simple, tasty snack. The good news is tomatoes are easy to grow. Here are some tips on how to grow terrific tomatoes.
Tomatoes are true sun worshipers. Look for the sunniest spot possible to plant them. The more sunlight they get, the better they do.
Soil can be an important factor in growing any type of plant. However, tomatoes don't seem to care much about the soil they grow in. Sun, not soil, is the most important factor.
Tomatoes also do well in pots. If you don't have the room to plant them in your backyard, just let them grow in pots. Again, make sure they get plenty of sun.
Remember the basic mantra for growing any plant: weed and water. Keep the weeds away and the water flowing, and you should get a good crop of tomatoes.

Pruning the Plants


If you are not careful, your tomato plants can turn into a thick jungle. Then, the plants may get too heavy and fall over. That's why it's important to prune suckers - basically the side shoots which grow between the stem and the branch.
The best time to do this is when the blossoms appear. Simply snap the sucker off with your fingers. Or you can use scissors or a knife to cut away the suckers. Just be careful not to take off too much of the plant.

Staking Tomatoes


Even if you've snapped off the suckers, you may see your tomato plants began to droop from its weight. That's why you need to stake your tomato plants and keep their branches from touching the ground.
You can use tomato stakes bought from your local hardware or garden store. Or you can use any scrap lumber you already have. Any type of stick or stake will do as long as it's sturdy enough to withstand high winds or heavy rains.
Some people use twine, string or wire to tie the plant to the stake. But, be careful. Using these items can backfire and cause you to accidentally snap your plant in half. Tomato plants tend to be delicate and can break easily if you're not cautious.
A better choice is to tie the plant with something soft such as an old pair of stockings, a neck tie or strips of cloth cut from an old sheet or pillowcase. Any of these options are much gentler and easier on the plant than string, twine or wire.

Caging Your Tomatoes


Some people use tomato cages instead of stakes. Cages help keep the plant standing upright as it grows higher. The plants actually lean on the cages as they grow.
Cages can be made of metal - similar to a bird cage. Or they can be made of plastic or wood. Any of these options should work.
Many people use both cages and stakes. Some branches grow out of the cage and need to be staked separately.

Watching Them Grow


Growing tomatoes is fun. There's a sense of excitement when you spot the first tomato blossom - usually within a week or two of planting them. Next, you wait anxiously for the first tiny green tomato to appear. Then, you watch the tiny tomato grow bigger. Finally, the tomato gradually turns color from light green to gold to orange and then to red. At last, you can chop it up into your salad, stick it on a sandwich, or just take a bite. Delicious!

Tags

Garden, Garden Plot, Gardener, Gardening, Tomato, Tomato Care, Tomato Plant Care And Feeding, Tomato Plants, Tomato Plants Care, Tomatoes

Meet the author

author avatar Connie McKinney
I enjoy exercising, pets, and volunteering as well as writing about these topics and others.

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Comments

author avatar Johnny Knox
9th Jul 2013 (#)

Great advice about growing tomatoes, Connie. It is a highly rewarding activity when you taste a real, organic tomato.

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author avatar philpalm
9th Jul 2013 (#)

Many people wonder why their tomato is not great. The more advanced tomato grower selects better plants for their flavor and taste. A lot of heirloom tomatoes are vastly superior to just the ordinary stock tomato.

One omission to the article: constantly patrol for leaves that are eaten. When tomato worms start to grow, it is best to take them out early.

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author avatar Connie McKinney
9th Jul 2013 (#)

Thanks for the advice, philpalm. I've been growing tomatoes for several years but have never seen a tomato worm. Maybe I've just been lucky. I will be on the lookout for them but hopefully I won't see them.

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author avatar cnwriter..carolina
9th Jul 2013 (#)

this is great information Connie..I have just one baby on my heirloom plant and talk to it daily to grow some more...thank you so much

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author avatar Phyl Campbell
10th Jul 2013 (#)

You and your green thumbs. I am envious. You are planting and cultivating. I am trimming and burning. It is as nature goes, I suppose. ;)

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
10th Jul 2013 (#)

Useful share and so well written, Connie. I am constrained by space living in an apartment in a crowded city - siva

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author avatar philpalm
11th Jul 2013 (#)

The hanging tomato plant is one way to grow tomatoes in an apartment. You only need a shady spot and water religiously.

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author avatar Randhir Bechoo
10th Jul 2013 (#)

Good article.

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author avatar Penny W-T
11th Jul 2013 (#)

Thank you Connie this is sensible advice. We have what i call a patio allotment, an assortment of planters for different things. We have grown tomatoes in this way for several years and it is always very satisfying to watch them grow.

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author avatar Connie McKinney
11th Jul 2013 (#)

Penny, tomatoes are amazingly resilient. They can grow almost anywhere and do well in pots. Enjoy them.

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author avatar Delicia Powers
11th Jul 2013 (#)

super, many thanks Connie!...:0)

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