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Tips for Growing Your Own Organic Tomatoes

When it comes to growing tomatoes or any vegetable in your garden, you need to understand that your soil is the key to a beautiful harvest. Organic fertilizer can help your plants receive the nutrients needed to grow healthy, but only if your soil’s pH balances is correct. If your soil has too high or low of a pH balance and weeds are taking over your garden, you need to correct these problems first to have a plentiful harvest. 

Follow these simple, helpful tips to grow the best tomatoes this side of the Mississippi. 

How to choose your plants:

  1. When selecting your tomato plants for your garden, consider selecting an indeterminate type of tomato plant. These plants produce long stems of flowers and give fruit all summer long. The tomatoes have an excellent flavor and can be grown in warmer regions from March until October when the nights start to get cooler. Otherwise, if you live in a cooler region you can start planning your tomatoes in the ground as early as May or right after the last frost.
  2. If you have selected a taller lankier species of tomato plants for your garden, you will need to use a trellis, wire cage, or a stake to support your plants. Unfortunately, these taller varieties of plants can’t support the heavy fruits it produces and will fall on the ground. By using a trellis to tie your plants up you will keep the bugs and other insects from feasting on your tomatoes.
  3. Many growers offer the popular tomato plants as bedding plants. When the plants first arrive at the growers, buy your plants, but choose carefully. Don’t buy any plants that already have flowers or show signs of yellowing.
  4. After purchasing your plants, it is recommended that you plant them in the ground within a few days. However, if you are still preparing your soil, plant the tomatoes in four to six-inch pot using good compost and potting soil mixture. Afterwards, you can transplant the plants in the ground. 

Germinating and planting tomatoes:

If you want to try your hand at germinating your own tomatoes from seeds, you should pay close attention to the temperature outside. Tomato seeds best germinate at 75 to 85 degrees and can’t be planted in the ground when your temperatures are lower than 50 degrees.

  1. You can plant your seeds directly in the ground or use planting tray designed for this purpose. Before planting your seeds in the ground, you need to prepare your ground using plenty of mulch and organic materials. No need to buy organic fertilizer or expensive mulch. Use all your kitchen scraps, old newspaper, cardboard, and any other organic material to prepare your soil with.
  2. When planting your seedling in the ground, make sure you plant them deep and cover 2 inches of the stem with soil. This protects the new plants from being damaged from the wind and encourages them to develop good roots.
  3. After transplanting your tomatoes in the ground, you need to protect them from the wind at night. Therefore, for early spring planting cover your new plants with cloches or a plastic tunnel.
  4. Next to your tomato plants, you need to plant marigold flowers to control the bugs in the soil and the bug from eating your tomatoes. The flower has a natural bug repellent for tomatoes and can control all the insects that attack your tomato crop.
  5. In the area of your tomato plants, you should also plant garlic. The garlic plants near your tomatoes will control bugs and keep them away from your tomatoes as they are ripening on the veins. 

Best way to care for your plants.

Depending on how you have planted your tomatoes will determine how often you water your plants. Therefore, if your tomatoes are planted in pots, you will need to water your plants daily. Potted tomato plants don’t retain the water and it runs quickly out of the containers. However, if your plants are in the ground, you can water them once or twice a week depending on your ground’s temperature.

  1. To keep your roots moist and prevent root rot, you need to add mulch to your soil during the growing season.
  2. One way to keep your soil moist and protect your roots is to lay down a layer of newspaper and then add your compost or mulch to cover the newspaper.
  3. Use your vegetable scraps mixed in your blender with water to make your organic fertilizer. Rotten fruit and vegetables, along with vegetable peelings make the best natural fertilizer for your tomatoes.
  4. Maintain the perfect mixture of nitrogen’s, phosphorous, and potassium in your soil. Using homemade organic fertilizers can give you this mixture needed to grow healthy tomato plants and have a bountiful harvest. 

Image: flickr.com

 

Ann Johnston

Ann Johnston

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