For me, how to grow tomatoes is imperative in our home vegetable garden. They are full of cancer fighters, anti oxidants and vitamins. They are also part of almost every meal I make.
The taste of a home grown tomato fresh off the vine will convince you to grow your own forever. Also the fact that tomatoes are apparently sprayed over 50 times in their lifespan. At home you can grow your own with no artificial fertilizers or pest sprays by companion planting and wise management.
Tomatoes are a warm season crop and will not tolerate any frost. Your first sowing can be done in spring, but if you want early crops you can sow seed in trays in late winter and then transplant in spring. Tomatoes can handle transplanting a few times over, slightly deeper each time, and this in fact increases the strength of the plant and gives a higher yield eventually.
The last thing to remember when learning how to grow tomatoes is that you need to trim off any side shoots in mid to late summer as you stake your tomatoes central stem to a support. This puts the plants energy into growing fruit, not stems.
Long term careHarvesting Tomatoes
When your fruits are full and red, twist them off the plant. Do not leave them for too long on the plant as they will become overripe and attract pests.
Tomatoes are susceptible to a large variety of pests. Worms and bugs love the fruit as much as we do! Some tips for disease free tomatoes are:
1. Space your plants so that airflow prevents fungal growth.
2. Choose strong seedlings to transplant.
3. Practice crop rotation i.e. do not plant tomatoes in the same place season after season.
4. Practice companion planting
When to plant: Sow seeds in spring or sow seed in trays late winter and transplant in spring.
How many plants: 10 seedlings of each cherry and large will produce plenty of leaves for the home kitchen.
How long to harvest: 9 – 13 weeks from transplanting
Successive planting: Every 4 weeks until winter.
We never had a glut of tomatoes and we were able to use all our tomatoes fresh off the vine. However if you have a whole lot coming due at the same time you can make this quick and easy pasta sauce. Fry some finely chopped onion (1 onion for 10 tomatoes) and 10 cloves of garlic in some olive oil. Chop your tomatoes and add to the pot. Finely chop some basil and add. Add some black pepper and salt.This is a basic recipe to which you can add salami, ham, mushrooms or bacon. If you let the sauce reduce, you can use it as a base for pizza.
Upside Down Tomatoes
This coming season we are going to learn how to grow tomatoes upside down to make use of the vertical space in our garden. As we have not tried it yet, I will leave it to this expert to show you how.