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Home & Lifestyle > Gardening > How to Grow

How to Grow Tomatoes

How to Grow TomatoesWhile many people consider tomatoes to be a vegetable, they are actually a fruit. Tomatoes come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and colors, however, the most popular varieties are the Beef Eater and Cherry Tomatoes. In addition to these variations, tomatoes are categorized as either an indeterminate or a determinate variety. Determinate varieties are bushier in appearance because their vines will only grow to a certain size before they stop. Indeterminate varieties, on the other hand will continue to branch out.

Which Tomato Plant Should You Buy?

The type of tomato plant that you buy should reflect what type of tomato you are interested in, as well as how much space you have. For example, if you have a small garden then you will probably want to stick with determinate varieties. You may also want to select tomato plants based on what you want to use the tomatoes for. For example, if you will be stewing your tomatoes for sauces then you will want a larger variety of tomato. On the other hand, if you want a snacking tomato then you will want to look for a cherry tomato or a pear tomato.

Caged or Free-Range?

Most people who have grown tomatoes in the past have used a tomato cage. A tomato cage is a metal frame that fits over a tomato plant. As the plant grows the vines are able to hang on to the frame. The frame is used to support the tomato plant and to confine it to a specific area. If you have a determinate tomato plant then you probably wonít need a tomato frame.

Selecting a Good Tomato Plant

You have two options for acquiring tomato plants. Your first option is to grow your plants from seed. If you select this option then you will need to start your plants in a greenhouse or in your home, and then transplant the tomato plants to you garden in April or May. If you donít want to invest this much time in your tomatoes you can always buy tomato plants from a nursery or garden center.

When you shop for a tomato plant you will want to look for a healthy plant. Examine the leaves. Healthy plants wonít have spotty leaves or yellow leaves. You will also want to look for a plant that is naturally resistant to certain disease strains. The tag on the plant will have letters that tell you what they are resistant to. A key to these letters should be provided on the container or in a sign posted near the tomato plants.

Caring for Your Tomato Plant

Tomato plans need a lot of water and a lot of sun. Without both of these things your tomato plant wonít thrive. Fortunately, tomatoes donít have specific soil requirements. In fact they can grow in just about anything, including damp newspapers. Compost and organic fertilizers can both be used to provide the tomato plant with the proper nutrition.

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