Thursday, January 14, 2016

The Best Beginner Plant For A Vegetable Gardener: Tomatoes

The Best Beginner Plant For A Vegetable Gardener:  Tomatoes

There are so many different varieties of tomatoes to accommodate different planting zones and personalities of gardeners. Such as:

-Quick Pick: 60 days to harvest.  Has a heavy yield.  Good for an early harvest compared to most.

-Better Boy: 70-75 days to harvest.  Has a good balance of acid and sugar which makes this one of the most pleasing tasting tomato.
-Super Sweet 100: 70 days to harvest. Has a high heavy yield.  Great for salads and snacking

-Tiny Tim: 45 days to harvest. Very dwarf sized plant which makes for a good container plant.

My Personal Experience

     I have forgotten to put holes in the bottom of my container tomato plants.  Therefore, I've drowned them multiple times due to rain and yet all my plants survived the season.  They have been infested with aphids and still they yielded a harvest.  Not the best harvest, but a harvest none the less.  My first year I didn't prune my plants.  They were wild and all over the place and my tomatoes were still tasty.
     As the years have gone by, I've become a better gardener.  When you start, you will make mistakes, but I've learn by experience that tomatoes can outlive my numerous mistakes.  So there is hope for beginner gardeners.  

Top 5 Perks to Growing Tomatoes

-Very resilient

-Multiple types for multiple climates

-Great for containers on balconies to huge    gardens

-Harvest throughout the season

-Harvest yield can range from 8 lbs-20 lbs

Tips for Growing

-Have your soil ph level at about 6.0 to 6.8 which is considered acidic.  Use a potting mix and not a potting soil.  Potting soil can be too heavy and lead to drainage problems.  

-Use a tomato cage or trellis to train the tomato plant in the direction of growth.  Plants can grow upward of 10 feet, depending on type and variety.
-Pick a spot that receives at least 8 hours of direct sun.

-Start pruning when the plant has reached a foot high.  Prune the "shoots" or "suckers" located in the "V" or crotch between two stems

-Prune away new growth once the plant has reached desired height.  This allows the energy of the plant to focus itself instead of spreading it out thinly.

-Keep leafs and stems off the ground.

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