10-Steps to Growing Those Tasty Tomatoes

10-Steps to Growing Those Tasty Tomatoes

by Amy Lignor


The Guinness Book of World Records shows the largest, plumpest tomato weighing in at 8.61 pounds, grown in Walla Walla, Washington. (Now that guy knows how to grow tomatoes!) The tomato is also rated as the most popular fruit in the world. (Even if you wish to argue the point that, to you, it’s a vegetable.) But no matter how you wish to categorize it, you can grow incredibly plump, juicy tomatoes that would make any meal look and taste even better. The process is simple. In order to harvest the most delicious tomatoes, you can simply follow these 10 tried-and-true steps that will literally transform you from a beginner to a master gardener.

First, and most importantly, you need to choose the perfect spot so that the tomato plants have the right ‘home’ to thrive in. What this means is choosing a bright, airy spot. There must be room between plants for air to circulate in order to get the right amount of healthy flow for the plants to grow. In addition, choose a spot where at least ten hours of light shines per day. Tomatoes are one plant that needs that ultimate sunshine to become the best of the best.


Secondly, you must make sure to rotate the crop. The key to producing and keeping a rich vegetable patch is to alternate your tomato bed between a few perfect spots in the garden; this will diminish the risk of any soil-borne diseases that can occur.


*It is important to note another fact here. There are, on record, thousands of tomato varieties in active cultivation worldwide, and certainly not all will be perfect for your climate, landscape, etc. Make sure to do your research ahead of time and find exactly what’s best for you to grow.


When you have found those perfect garden spots, make sure that you plant your tomato seedlings up to the first true leaves. The stems need to be buried. New roots will sprout quickly and more roots mean more fruits. Plants with large root systems need less water and can stand up to those large summer storms. The fine ‘hairs’ lining the stem develop into roots when they come in contact with soil. By burying a large portion of the stem at planting time you will double the size of the plant’s root system and encourage productive plants.


When it comes to watering, soak your tomato bed once a week, or every five days at the height of summer. Water directly on the soil, not on the leaves.


Make sure to prune during the growth process. By pruning away the non-fruiting branches, you will direct the tomato plant’s energy and root system where it belongs – into growing bigger, better tomatoes.


When determining how to stake the plants, research the variety of tomato you have planted and go from there. However, if you have chosen a more vague variety to plant (i.e., Brandywine) use approximately six-foot stakes. Make sure to put in the stakes when transplanting to avoid damaging roots.


While the first fruit is ripening, to encourage new growth, add compost around the stem and trim some of the upper leaves.


Approximately three weeks after you plant tomatoes in your garden, put in another set so all of your harvest doesn’t come at once.


Then comes the harvest. Make sure to pick tomatoes when ripe: Watch the bottom of the fruit carefully, seeing as this is where tomatoes begin to ripen. When it comes to large heirloom varieties, lightly squeeze the fruit to test for firmness. Once the first bloom of red appears on the skin of the tomato, harvest time is right. For other varieties there are other ways to plan. As an example, take cherry tomatoes. In this case, flowers will be followed by tiny green fruits. After a few weeks, those turn into full-blown cherry tomatoes. A truly ripe cherry tomato will come off its stem very easily and is most definitely worth waiting an extra day for, so hold off on picking them until they’re ripe.


The question most often asked is whether or not tomatoes can and should be picked while they are still green? If you’re seeing a bit of red on those green tomatoes, picking them individually and bringing them inside may be the best chance for ripening tomatoes…but only when the season is coming to a close. Like many fruits, tomatoes continue to ripen once they’ve been picked.


By using these processes, you may not earn that new world record, but you’ll love those sauces, salads, and menu of items you will create with those tasty tomatoes.


Source:  BaretNewsWire.com