Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Higher Yields on your Tomatoes with these 5 Simple Tips

It is by far and away the most popular vegetable grown in the home vegetable garden. Not only here in the United States, but also around the world. If you want better tasting tomatoes and higher yields, follow these tips and you will be well on your way.

Tomatoes like the soil to be more acidic. If you can get your soil’s pH level in the 5.8 to 7.0 range you will be in business. Pick up a pH soil test kit to find out where your soil’s level currently is and then make adjustments as necessary as per your soil test kit recommendations.

Give your tomato plants a boost by starting them indoors about six to seven weeks prior to the final frost of the season in your area. Once you have them started and fear of frost has passed, you will want to harden the plants, or acclimate them to the environment. You can do this by bringing your plants from the indoors to the outdoors every day to get them used to it and then bring them back in at night. When temperatures are more stable in your area, then go ahead and plant them in your garden.

Give your tomato plants and their roots plenty of room to expand. For determinate varieties space the plants out about twenty four inches and for indeterminates, go with thirty-six inches. More room will equate to less competition for the roots when it comes to using the nutrients in the soil.

There is no way around it. If you want great tasting tomatoes they need to receive as much sun as possible throughout the day. Partial shade just won’t cut it for tomatoes. They are all or nothing. Not to say you won’t grow any tomatoes, but if you want plants that produce a lot of tomatoes that taste great, make sure you put them in your garden that gets full sun all day long.

Tomatoes are juicy. In fact I read that some variety of tomatoes can be more than 70% water. So it goes without saying that a moderate to high watering schedule should be followed while the plants are growing and beginning to produce fruit. Once you start harvesting you can reduce watering to a low even schedule. One of the best tools you can have in your vegetable gardening arsenal is a soil moisture tester. They will give you an exact reading as to how much moisture is your soil. They range in price from $5 to $100 depending on how advance you would like to get.

Chances are you, like 95% of the rest of the vegetable gardeners in the world, grow some variety of tomato. Do your tomato plants a favor and follow these five tips to ensure they are successful in producing the great tasting fruit you desire.

About the Author
Michael C. Podlesny is a contributing writer for Mike the Gardener Enterprises, LLC the exclusive home for the Seeds of the Month Club.

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