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Tomatoes are one of the most used vegetables around the world as a lot of people use tomatoes in their daily dishes. Many people have found that growing their own tomatoes increases their ease of using tomatoes and confidence that they are getting a quality fruit. We have a few tomato growing secrets that will help you stagger your harvest so you aren't looking at a mountain of fruit all at once.
Tips and tomato growing secrets
Stagger your planting
To avoid the problem of too many tomatoes getting ripe at the same time, some gardeners have developed their planting system by staggering when they plant their tomato plants and, therefore, can harvest fresh, ripe tomatoes throughout the growing season.
This process depends on the area in which you are planting and the length of the growing season. Tomato growers need to wait until the soil temperature in their area is at least 55 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit. The temperature during the day should also be 70 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
The temperature at night should be between 65 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit. Whether you plant the tomatoes in early March or early May, the first tomato usually doesn't ripen until late July.
The full production usually begins in early August as long as you plant the vegetable by early May. They are sun vegetables and need warm climates. A minimum of six hours of full sun is essential to help your vegetables grow efficiently.
If you are interested in harvesting your tomatoes in November before the first frost comes along in December, you should plant your tomatoes in June. Tomatoes cannot tolerate frost.
Try different varieties of tomato
In some warmer climates, tomatoes can be grown almost all year round. Planting tomato plants in April will give you a beautiful summer crop of most tomato varieties. Those who wish to have a fall or winter crop of homegrown tomatoes choose to plant tomato seedlings in July or August. In these warmer climates, it is still possible to get at least 6 to 8 hours of sunlight.
Start them indoors
Another way to avoid problems growing tomatoes is to plant seedlings rather than seeds in your outdoor garden. If you plan to grow your tomato plants from seeds then transplant them later, you should plant your seeds in a flat indoors 5 to 6 weeks before you intend to plant them in the ground.
Seedlings should be at least at a six-leaf stage to go into the ground in your outdoor garden. Ensure you till the soil in your garden very well before planting. The land should also be slightly acid with a pH level of 5.5 to 7.8.
Although homegrown tomatoes grow in most soil types, a light, well-drained fertile soil, high in organic matter, is considered best.
Use a greenhouse
Some cold climate tomato growers have even turned to compact, portable greenhouses as a way to avoid problems and to be able to get the most out of their tomato crop. These types of greenhouses allow you to gradually and safely expose your growing plant to the cold outdoors. This process is known as hardening off without which tender seedlings can die quickly on a cold night.