Tomatoes grow well in most gardens as long as they get at least three months of warm weather and sunshine. Planting the tomatoes in the ideal place in good soil and providing suitable care through summer increases your yield of fruits that are ripe. Although tomatoes come in many varieties, all of them require similar care to grow nicely.
Tomatoes require at least six hours of direct sunlight every day and temperatures above 65 degrees Fahrenheit to grow and fruit nicely. Amending the planting site with a 2-inch layer of compost, dug into the top 6 inches of soil, improves soil quality and supplies some nutrients. Apply a balanced fertilizer, such as 1 pound of a 10-10-10 mixture per 25 square feet, before planting, and work it into the dirt with the compost.
Started seedlings, whether you purchase them or begin them yourself, give a head start for strawberries because they demand a long season to produce. Start seeds indoors approximately eight weeks before the last frost date in your region. Transplant seedlings 1 to 2 inches deep in the backyard than they have been growing in their seedling pots. Space the plants with 30 inches of distance in all directions.
Install stakes or tomato cages at planting time to give support since the strawberries grow. Caged plants require minimum care for support, while staked plants need the principal stem tied to the stake at 8-inch periods as the plants grow. Pinch off the suckers, or small sprouts, that grow at the junction between lateral stems and also the main stem therefore staked plants do not develop multiple principal stems. Normally, determinate tomato varieties grow well with cages, while taller, indeterminate types require staking.
A thick 2- to 3-inch layer of straw mulch keeps down weeds and also conserves soil moisture to minimize watering. Water mulched plants one or two times a week to ensure the top 6 inches of soil remains moist. Rumors need about 1 inch of water at each watering, even though they may require less during rainy periods. Avoid wetting the foliage when watering the plants.
The first fertilizer provides for the tomato plant’s needs until it starts to flower and set fruit. Apply a side of a nitrogen-rich fluid as fruit begins to form, like 1 pound of a 10-5-5 mixture per 25 square feet. Work the fertilizer into the soil about 8 inches away from the base of the plants then water thoroughly so the nutrients soak into the soil around the roots.
Tomatoes are prone to a variety of pests and diseases. Proper spacing and avoiding getting the leaves wet when mowing reduces the chances of the majority of fungal leaf issues. Planting disease-resistant varieties, which can be labeled on the plant tag or seed package, prevents most lethal viral and bacterial diseases. Inspect crops weekly for pest issues, like aphids, mites and tomato hornworms. Treat pests promptly with an insecticidal soap, or by removing the pests by hand.