I think tomatoes were the first vegetable I ever planted in my garden. For the first few years, this was actually the only type of plant I had. There are many varieties and I tried them all. They are an easy plant to grow and they can thrive just about anywhere, even in a bucket on the patio. Here are 5 tips on growing tomatoes that I thought I’d share with you.
5. Warm the Dirt
Growing tomato plants inside often allows the dirt to be warm enough for seedlings to start quickly. However, you can always place the potted seedlings on a warming pad for faster germination. A couple of weeks before you put plants outside cover the area with black plastic to help warm the dirt.
4. Bury the Plants a Bit
Tomato plants might start off rather spindly, but this is okay. Even when you buy tomato plants from a nursery, the stem always seems rather long. When you are placing these plants outside, you will actually bury a portion of the plant. Dig a hole deep enough for the entire lower part of the plant to be buried in the dirt; all the way up to the bottom set of leaves.
3. Give Seedlings Plenty of Space
Starting tomato plants from seeds can be tricky, but such fun. When they begin to sprout, you’ll have to thin them out. One way to avoid the thinning process is by purchasing plants that are already large enough to be placed in the ground. Make sure you place each plant at least 3 feet apart, to give them room to grow properly.
2. Give Them Plenty of Light
Starting seedling in the house means that you might want to invest in some grow lights. Tomato seedlings need between 14 to 18 hours of light or lots of strong and direct sunlight. Once the danger of frost is gone, then your young plants can be placed outside in a sunny location.
You don’t have to worry about mulching your new plants right away. Remember that tomato plants like warm soil and too much mulch actually reduces the amount of heat the soil is able to receive from the sunshine.
I hope these tips are useful for you and that your tomato plants are healthy and happy. Do you have some tips for new gardeners who are just starting off? Do you find tomato plants to be a lot of trouble or a simple plant to grow?
Top Photo Credit: zJMac