Growing Great Tomatoes: Water and Fertilizer

To get the best tomatoes, pay attention to watering and fertilizing your tomato plants.

Watering Tomato Plants in Your Garden

Tomatoes need a good amount of water, and they produce better with deep watering. Deep watering is when the water sinks deep into the soil, not just remaining at the surface. How you apply irrigation water does impact how deep the water will get. 

Some guides have advised that tomatoes need about 1 inch of water...

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Growing Great Tomatoes: Supports

Tomatoes need support to grow their best. Even determinate tomatoes do better with support.

Supporting tomatoes with a structure helps tomatoes produce well. More air flows through the supported tomato vine which helps reduce plant diseases and discourages pests. Tomato fruits are off the ground and less likely to rot. A supported tomato vine is easier to tend and easier to harvest.

So which kind of support is best? 

Many many tomato...

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Growing Great Tomatoes: Planting Transplants

I prefer to use transplants for tomatoes.

Most often I buy the transplants at a garden center. Some years, I have started my own transplants from seed indoors when I've wanted a variety that may be hard to find at the garden center. I only grow 6 to 8 tomato plants so buying transplants is not all that expensive. If you're growing dozens or hundreds of tomatoes, though, starting your own form seed is more cost-effective!

For most gardeners in...

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Growing Great Tomatoes: Varieties

Since tomatoes are one of the most popular crops for the home and community gardener, let's dive in to how to have a great harvest.

You probably know that there are hundreds of varieties of tomatoes you can grow. It's easy to get overwhelmed with what kind of tomato to grow!

In this article, we'll go through the process of selecting what kinds of tomatoes you should grow based on your goals and your growing environment. We answer 3...

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3 Ideas To Use Up Tomatoes

recipes tomato tomatoes Sep 09, 2021

Do you find yourself with "too many" tomatoes?

Maybe you remember your parents or grandparents canning the abundance of the tomato harvest. Canning is still alive and well in the US, but it takes a lot of work, special equipment and a good chunk of time. It can also be messy. If you're going to do it, you might as well have at least 20 pounds of tomatoes and plan for a half a day to get it done. 

Those of us with small plots...

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There's Always an Exception....

Last week's article was about pruning suckers from your tomatoes to keep the plant from getting too large. I shared some pictures of suckers and discussed how to identify them.

The majority of indeterminate tomato plants look just like my pictures. Suckers emerge out from the "joints" between leaf branches and the main vine. Technically, these joints are called "axils."

But last year, I grew San Marzano tomatoes for...

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Tomato Suckers

Not talking about candy! 

(I call them lollipops, incidentally.)

Although, now that I think about it... might be kinda good! 

But I digress.

Suckers are small shoots that emerge from a main tomato vine. With practice, you can learn to recognize them easily. 

Lots of plants have growths called "suckers." You might recognize the term used for shrubs or small trees, like lilacs, fruit trees, etc. Cucumbers have them...

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Planting the Summer Garden

Here in Zone 6, I'm harvesting my spring crops briskly. Every time I go to my garden plot, there's something ready to be picked. Peas, carrots, beets, and lettuce. The spinach is already done! 

This also means that the spaces these crops are occupying will soon be open. 

Space is a limited resource in my garden plot, and I don't want to waste it! So, what goes in next?

What Can I Grow?

Two considerations are most important: how much...

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Wild Successes in My 2020 Garden

Yes, I've encouraged gardeners to celebrate their successes, so here are some my best gardening wins this year.

Success #1: Cucumbers!

I grew 8 cucumber vines this season, and holy cow they did terrific! They grew quickly and robustly in the late spring/early summer. By July I was picking cucumbers like crazy. 

All those cucumbers made me realize two things:

  1. 8 plants produce way too much for two people...
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Determinate vs. Indeterminate Tomatoes

If you've shopped for tomato starter plants (or transplants) recently, you may have noticed the plant tags have a lot of information.

  • Variety name
  • Hybrid or heirloom
  • A series of letters that seem like a code.
  • Determinate or Indeterminate

The variety name is pretty obvious. It tells you what kind of tomato it is, like "Brandywine" or "Roma."

The hybrid or heirloom tells you whether this type of tomato was bred specifically by humans...

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