Tomatoes comes in a variety of shapes and sizes from large plump slicing tomatoes to bell shaped romas perfect for sauce making. You can even find a wide variety of small cherry tomatoes perfect for salad.
How to Grow Tomatoes:
- Tomatoes are best started indoors 7 weeks before your last spring frost.
- Plant the tomato seed about 1/4″ below the surface of the soil.
- Space 24-30″ apart in a warm, sunny area of your garden.
- Till soil 1 foot deep 2 weeks before transplanting seedlings outdoors.
- Harden off for one week before transplanting in the garden.
- Space transplants 2 feet apart.
- Leave tomatoes on the vine as long as possible.
- If your tomato plant still has fruit when the first hard frost threatens, pull up the entire plant and hang it upside down in the basement or garage. Pick tomatoes as they redden.
- Don’t push fresh garden tomatoes in the refrigerator. It ruins their texture and inevitably, taste.
- To freeze tomatoes, core and place whole in freezer bags or containers. Seal, label, and freeze. The skins will slip off when they defrost.
- Plant in an area that gets at least 6 hours of full sun every day.
- Water an average of two inches per week during the summer.
Pests to Watch For:
- Flea Beetles
- Tomato Hornworm
- Blossom End Rot -Appears as a dark, soft, sunken area.
- Late Blight -Grey, moldy spots that turn brown and is encouraged by extended periods of damp weather. Destroy affected plants since this fungal disease overwinters so that future plants and soil will not be affected.
- Tobacco Mosaic Virus -Growth is narrow and twisted and leaves turn yellow. All affected plants should be destroyed.
- Cracking -This occurs from inconsistent growth and watering.