How to Grow Great Tomatoes

Welcome to this  new website.  We will be discussing How to Grow Great Tomatoes.

How to Grow Great Tomatoes

Is a subject I love to discuss with other people.

Is there anything better than walking thru your own garden, picking a beautiful ripe tomato and eating it on the spot?
A Great Tomato to me means rich red color ( of course there other varieties), juicy, hopefully unblemished and a taste that compares to the best Tomatoes you’ve ever had.
This website How to Grow Great Tomatoes will discuss some types of soil, weather, seed, seedlings, plants, planting, types of mulch, insects, types of Tomato plants, water, sun, fertilizer,insects, how to take care of our Tomato plants, companion plants and when can we rest and enjoy our Tomatoes?
I am not a scientist. I will not attempt to go into every detail of every item to the extreme. I am a home gardener and will be speaking from my own experience, learned thru the years, mostly by doing,reading good stuff and also by asking questions.

To plant tomatoes in garden:

The seedling can be planted deep in a hole or sideways in all soils. But in heavy (clay soils),especially, dig a hole and then extend it with a narrow trench.

You should very carefully take off the bottom set of little leaves. Stir some compost or dried cow manure into the dirt in the hole and trench. Then sprinkle some soil over it and firm it down.

Lay the plant in the trench with the root end being a little lower in the hole and now the stem sits up with the rest of the leaves intact. Be careful as you bend the stem and very gently cover with good soil so that the soil covers the plant up about 2 inches or more.

Actually you can lay it down without bending it and it will pick up when watered and with sunlight. I prefer to bend it slightly without injuring the plant.

The area of the stem can grow roots wherever it is touched by soil so the part in the trench will give the seedling a stronger root system to begin it’s adventure.

Soil for Tomato Plants:

When you are ready to give the tomato plants their new home,  make sure they will like the soil and the environment. They love heat so be careful not to plant too early.

The soil should be easy to work  and not come up in clumps when you dig it.

If all conditions look OK but soil is too heavy (clay type ) or too sandy you will have to modify it  preferably with Compost. If you do not have easy access to it,  you can add some peat moss and dried cow manure.

If your soil  needs Calcium  sprinkle it in  as well.   These steps should get you started with your soil  and on the way to great tomatoes.

Soil pH

It is a good idea to have your soil checked for its Calcium level. You can get a testing kit from your local Garden Center or send a sample to your State Agricultural Extension office.

That will tell you if your soil is too alkaline or too acid. The state test will probably tell you exactly what to do. If you do the test yourself and it is too acid you should add Powdered Lime (calcium carbonate). If too alkaline add Sulfur or preferably a more  natural product like Pine  Needles,  or  Oak leaf mold. You should ask the garden center about these .

The Optimal pH for Tomatoes is from 5.5 to6.8. The number 7 is neutral. Higher numbers are alkaline. Lower numbers are acid.

Companion Plantings

Marigolds are probably the best all around companion plant for tomatoes. Plant it between your tomato plants at the same time  or even before if you know exactly where your tomatoes will be located. It is effective against the tomato horn worm.

Others are Onions, Chives Scallions, spinach,carrots and among the flowers–borage, and nasturtium.  Oregano and basil in the herb group.

Asparagus  loves tomatoes as the tomato repels the asparagus beetle and the asparagus  repels the horn worm.

They all have different uses but fight against the hornworm, nematodes in the soil,aphids and white flies.

If you use some of these plants along with your Tomatoes your Tomatoes will be healthier.