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Tomato Mania - How to Grow
Sure, growing tomatoes is easy. That's one big reason why us tomato lovers grow 'em. Learning how to grow them..... better... will produce much more fruit!
Tomatoes are usually started indoors. Buy young seedlings at your local garden store. Or, plant them in containers, eight to ten weeks before the last frost date for your area. Before transplanting outdoors, "harden them off" by bringing them outside during the daytime. This allows them to get used to the outdoor environment, but protects them from cold evenings.
Transplant your seedlings after the last frost date for your area. We recommend a cool, cloudy day, as this will help minimize transplant shock. To minimize transplant shock, work carefully to avoid disturbing the roots. Normal spacing is 24 " apart, in rows 30" to 36" apart. After transplanting, soak the area around the plants with a light solution of liquid fertilizer.
Fertilize on a regular basis. Early applications should be high in nitrogen. As blossoming occurs, switch to fertilizers which are higher in Phosphorus and Potassium. Too much Nitrogen fertilizer results in lots of lush green leaves, and little fruit.
Water your plants on a regular basis. The soil should be kept moist to allow the roots to absorb moisture and nutrients. Water deeply as needed. Importantly, you should water directly to the roots. Don't use overhead sprinklers. Moisture on the leaves in hot, humid weather will encourage plant disease.
Support your tomato plants. It's important to keep the fruit off of the ground, away from insects and pests..Grow them inside of tomato cages, or tie them to a stake or fence. Properly supported, you will harvest much more fruit. The plant will be healthier, too.
Fall Frost protection is a must. Find a big piece of plastic, or an old pool cover. On nights when frost may occur, place the plastic over your crop. Anchor it down lightly, and your tomato plants should survive a light frost.
Garden Recipes - Find Tomato recipes and garden recipes galore!
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