Planting tomatoes can provide you with lush, tasty fruits so unlike those found at the green grocer shop. Tomatoes which are commercially produced at harvest while green and gassed to ripen them. This results in tomatoes which are hard, tasteless, and often have large cores and little soft fruit. Growing your own plants can provide sweet, soft tomatoes that your family will love.
You can choose to plant tomatoes in containers on the balcony or patio. In fact, some varieties are bred specifically to produce short, compact stalks and foliage and smaller but plentiful fruit. Yes, tomatoes are fruit rather than vegetables. If you plant tomatoes in the outdoor soil, you can still plant a compact variety or you might prefer planting varieties of tomatoes which grow taller and produce huge fruit. Large plants will need to be staked or caged to prevent the plant’s weight from breaking the main stem.
In order to enjoy optimal success, prepare you the soil with lots of organic matter such as compost and leaf mold. This adds nutrition to the soil. If you plant in containers, commercial potting mix made for planting tomatoes and other fruit-producing plants works great and has the right pH balance and nutrition in the soil mix.
Planting tomatoes from seedlings is the most popular method. Few hobby gardeners plant seeds, but you can choose this method if you desire. Planting seedlings allows you a jump-start on the growing season and disease resistant varieties are commonly available in any nursery or garden center. Read the small inserts placed in each pot to learn the exact requirements of the variety you are considering. You will learn the size, sun requirements and length of time before you can expect mature tomatoes to be ready to harvest. Choose some plants which develop quickly and others which require more time to grow so that you will have a continual harvest.
Planting tomatoes soon after the final frost allows you to enjoy an early crop. You can plant a few more specimens a couple of weeks into your gardening season so that you will have vine-ripened fruits available every week.
Preserve your harvested tomatoes by storing in a cool, dry place away from too much light. You can place them on a shady shelf for use within a few days or place them in the lowest compartment of your home refrigerator for use the next week. Tomatoes can be preserved by canning or freezing for use during the winter months.