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Grow Tomatoes Like a Pro

Grow Tomatoes Like a Pro

Selecting which tomato varieties you wish to grow depends on your preference. People consider things such as sweetness, meatiness (as in Beefsteak types), and quickness to maturity. Regardless, these tips will send you on your way to growing a better harvest.

Grow like a Pro:

  • The early tomatoes ripen 8 to 10 weeks after planting while the later varieties ripen in about 12 weeks.
  • Tomatoes are very frost sensitive
  • They need to get used to the light, wind, and variable spring temperatures gradually. Set them out during the day, in shade, and gradually move them into more sun each day for 5 days. Take them back inside or into the garage overnight if freezing temperatures are predicted. This process is called “hardening off”.

tomato sprout

  • You can plant them directly into the garden over the May long weekend or when all risk of frost has passed.
  • For all varieties (except smaller Cherry Tomatoes) insert a strong stake into the ground right beside the plant so you won’t damage the root system with insertion later. Another option is to place a tomato cage over the whole plant. As the tomato grows larger, tie the main stem securely to the stake with rags or old pantyhose.
  • Don’t use rope or a twist tie that can cut into tender plant tissue or create a weak spot as it grows.
  • Since diseases can build up in the soil, grow your tomatoes in a different part of your vegetable garden every year or at least every 2 years. This is known as “crop rotation” and it’s a good idea for all the vegetables you grow.