Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 8 of 10

Thread: Tomato Mania

  1. #1
    Freebies Make My Day
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Columbia Heights, MN.
    Posts
    6,019
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0

    Default Tomato Mania

    We love tomatoes. They are a big part of our vegetable garden. Almost all gardeners grow at least one or two tomato plants. Most of us grow dozens of plants, and several varieties. Why? Because they are easy to grow, you harvest a big crop, and most people love tomatoes. There is nothing better than the fresh taste of a tomato picked fresh from the garden. Often, a fresh picked tomato is so ir-resistable, it doesn't make it to the house.

    Your first decision is whether to grow them from seed, or to buy seedlings from a garden store. If you don't have a lot of time, buying them from the store will do. But, it's a lot of fun to start them indoors yourself, and watch them grow. It may take a couple seasons to get the knack of growing tomatoes indoors. But, it's well worth the effort. If this is our first time starting tomatoes indoors, we will tell you the biggest tip.....give them plenty of light. We recommend using a gro light at night, in addition to providing as much sunlight during the day as possible.

    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

    Great news! There are dozens upon dozens of varieties of tomatoes. Chances are, you will grow more than one. Each variety has different size flavor, texture, and use.

    Here are the basic types you can choose from:

    Cherry Tomato
    These are bite-sized tomatoes that kids and adults absolutely love. Because they produce a small fruit, they are the earliest to harvest. We suggest you try a newer type in this group, called "grape tomato". The grape tomato grows flavorful fruit, about the size and shape of a grape. All cherry tomatoes are great for salads and snacks.

    Tip: Plant cherry tomatoes at the edge of your garden. You will find kids of all ages milling around this healthy fruit, munching away, before you even get a chance to pick them.

    Plum or Roma Tomato
    These are also called paste tomatoes. These tomatoes are small, cylindrical in shape, and usually have a pointed bottom. While they taste good, they are meaty, with little juice inside. Plum tomatoes are primarily used to make paste, sauces, canning, tomato juice, even ketchup.

    Beefsteak Tomato
    These are a favorite of many gardeners. They are the biggest type of tomato, and require the longest time to reach maturity. Your wait is rewarded with what most people believe is the juiciest, and most flavorful of all tomatoes.

    Main Crop Tomato
    Cherry tomatoes are small, and ripen early. Beefsteak tomatoes are huge, and take the longest time to mature. The vast majority of varieties in the middle are referred to as "main crop" tomatoes. There is a wide range to choose from. Each one has a somewhat different taste and maturity date. Gardeners experiment with these, looking for the perfect ones for their taste buds.

    Long Keeper Tomato
    Tomatoes don't keep long indoors. At least most varieties, that is. Long Keeper types are perfect for tomato lovers that want the "home grown" taste long after the snow flies. It produces a small, yellowish to orange colored fruit. They can be stored in a cool, dark place for several months.


    Every tomato lover begins to drool as soon as the first tiny green tomato appears on the vine. The wait is unbearable. So, when harvest day first arrives, the feeling is indescribable. At first, one tomato is ripe. Then, a couple. Finally mid-season arrives with an abundance of fruit.


    Harvesting
    Pick tomatoes as soon as they are completely red. Do not let them get overripe on the vine, as they can split or rot. Tomatoes can be picked just before they are completely ripe. They will ripen in a sunny window.

    When picking in advance of a frost or freeze, green tomatoes can be picked and stored away. Clean them in a solution of water with a little bleach, to kill any bacteria on the surface.

    Canning
    Canning tomatoes is very popular. You can use cut up tomatoes, sauce, paste, and tomato juice. We can up to 100 quarts a year. While it's a big task and consumes many hours of work, the reward comes in the winter, long after the snow is covering the garden.

    Canning is practiced by millions of gardeners. But, it is extremely important to follow safe canning practices. We recommend you stay current with USDSA guidelines for safe canning.

    Freezing
    A friend of mine freezes a dozen or so whole tomatoes each fall. When it comes time for a winter salad, she takes a tomato out of the refrigerator, and lets it partially defrost. She then "chips" it into a salad. While the texture is not the same, the taste is.

    Most people cook tomatoes into a sauce or paste before freezing. Tomato sauce and paste freezes well.
    Hope Everyone Is Enjoying The Day. Best Wishes From MN ~ Pamela

  2. The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to jkpjohnson For This Useful Post:


  3. #2
    Smart Budgeter
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    NE Fort Bend County, TX - Sugar Land Mailing address
    Posts
    73
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0

    Default

    The staple of our garden is Tomatos. We make our own Spaghetti sauce and homemade salsa.

  4. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to janetaba For This Useful Post:


  5. #3
    Budget101 Guru
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    157
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0

    Default Re: Tomato Mania

    I am going to try my hand at growing tomatoes this spring. I have never done it before so thank you for all the helpful advice. I am going to start small with a cherry tomato plant that I will put in a hanging planter. I saw Lowe's had cherry tomato plants last year and I decided to wait until this year for some reason. I don't remember why...maybe I was just intimidated...anyways...I am going to do it this year. I can't wait to see how my first veggie will do. Hopefully I don't kill it...

  6. #4
    Frugal Goddess
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    2,260
    Blog Entries
    79
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0

    Default Re: Tomato Mania

    We grow TONS of tomatoes every year....but I think we eat just as much!! excellent tips!!!
    Tragedy, sadness, loneliness and despair taught me that life is really a beautiful thing; if it wasn't I wouldn't be able to recognize that anything was wrong - Lynn in Virginia

  7. #5
    Deal GURU
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    VA
    Posts
    1,225
    Blog Entries
    11
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0

    Default Re: Tomato Mania

    We grew tomatoes last year but im not sure about this year. We have a very small growing spot and my other half has decided he wants to try his hand at growing one of those huge pumpkins so thats going to take up about all our growing spots.
    Mdowdy

  8. #6
    Budget101 Guru
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Milwaukee
    Posts
    471
    Blog Entries
    120
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0

    Default Re: Tomato Mania

    There's another type of tomato. I used to grow it. Its called an "ugly tomato" because its all wrinkly/bumpy. It was really delicious for being "ugly" though.

  9. #7
    Deal GURU
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    outside Philadelphia, PA
    Posts
    4,377
    Blog Entries
    6
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0

    Default Re: Tomato Mania

    Great info! Thanks! I've been wanting to start some tomatoes, but I'm a little scared. I'm not good with plants.

  10. #8
    Deal GURU
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    NW Missouri
    Posts
    1,084
    Blog Entries
    152
    Downloads
    3
    Uploads
    0

    Default Re: Tomato Mania

    Oh ya, post this in January when all us gardeners are dying to get out there and grow baby grow! Another month and I'll be able to start some seeds growing for March! we'll be out there soon!

 

 
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •