Growing tomatoes can be quite interesting, especially with the new varieties available. You don’t need to have a great deal of space to have the ability to select your own fresh tomatoes. Both of them are hard, and yet easy to grow. When to begin growing your tomatoes depends on what your strategy is.
It’s March 6 and we’re enjoying a gorgeous day. It’s above zero with the sun shining so the little bit of snow we have is melting. I was outside playing in the water, which on the farm means making channels for the water to drain. All these things make it feel like spring. We could still get a blizzard before spring is really here, but the desire to plant something is stirred by times like this.
I planted tomatoes today. They’re tender crops, so increasing tomatoes usually means starting them indoors 6 to 8 weeks before the last frost will be expected outside. I’m rushing things a bit this season, since we’re usually not frost free until late May. Our house doesn’t let in enough light to keep young plants from becoming tall and spindly, so my aim is to use a grow light on a timer. We’ve got a timer that normally gets used once we plug vehicles in throughout the winter but it is going to provide my growing tomatoes a normal daytime just also. On days when one of us is at home, and it’s warm outside, we can place them outside to find real sunshine.
I don’t have particular tomato varieties that I grow each year, partially because I like to try new ones, as I locate them. This winter we discovered a package that has five distinct pre-planted seed disks. One disk is a Bush Beefsteak Tomate. These large berries, with a slightly flattened shape are a favorite of many gardeners. I enjoy ‘bush’ type plants since they’re generally more easily handled because they do not require staking. The Roma tomato is just another determinate selection, and they’ll be orange/red in colour and pear shaped. I’ve developed these before and they made lots of fruit. Another variety with rather large fruit is Golden Queen, which you can guess from the title will have yellow tomatoes. The Cerise douce and Christmas Raisin will have smaller fruit.
As anglers experimentation with new ideas, growing berries keeps getting easier. It is possible to grow tomatoes in containers, flower boxes, greenhouses or hanging baskets. We’ve done all the above. One year we splurged and purchased a plant which had tomatoes on it. I kept it in the pot it came in, on the deck. It was handy to water and we chose the berries as they ripened. The biggest fad for growing tomatoes lately is upside down. There are specific kits to be bought for this, or you could create your own planter. Put a hole in the bottom of a pail. Fill the pail with dirt, and plant the tomato upside down through the hole you’ve made. Hang the pail. It’s extremely simple water, and the fruit will hang well.
Growing tomatoes is essentially pretty straightforward. The challenging part for us is to find the young tomato plants sufficient sun to keep them strong until they could be transplanted to the garden or greenhouse. With the increase light and timer, I anticipate growing tomatoes this year to be far more successful.