Tomatoes

Tomatoes:

 

  • Why you should grow it
    • There are many varieties to choose from – cherry, beefsteak, Roma
    • There are also many varieties that let you plant throughout the growing season, early, main and late season, giving you up to 6 months of potential harvest
    • Summer is a fresh picked tomato still warm from the sun
    • Tomatoes are flavourful! Homegrown are much more rich than a lot of what you find in the store
    • Companion plant to many herbs and vegetables!

 

  • How to start seeds
    • Moist, not wet, seed starting soil
    • Once seedlings sprout, they need about 6-8 hours of good sun
    • Mist on the top before seedlings appear, and water from the bottom for good seedling root growth
    • Re-pot once seedlings get about an inch tall to prevent overcrowding
    • You may have to re-pot them once or twice before you can plant them outside
    • Use pots that can be planted directly in the ground to save moving it a final time
    • Plant seedlings around mid-May when the ground is warm
    • You can keep seedlings in pots, ensure there it is in good potting soil

 

  • Tips for growth
    • Water well – always moist and if in a pot, water from the bottom
    • Tomatoes need warm soil, lots of sun and adequate water
    • There are many companion plants for tomatoes:
      • asparagus, basil, bean, borage, calendula (pot marigold), carrots, celery, chive, cucumber, garlic,  lettuce, marigold, mint, nasturtium, onion, parsley, peas, sage, and squash
    • Mulch around the bottom during the peak of summer to prevent evaporation
    • Many diseases are spread by water (blight, wilt). Watering the bottom, not the plant helps prevent this
    • Prune regularly removing suckers and weak leaves allowing for light to ripen the fruit and ensure air circulation

 

  • Harvesting
    • Leave the fruit on the vine for as long as possible
    • If the fruit falls before it is ripe, store in a paper bag in the dark
    • If the soil freezes before the plant is done producing fruit, pull the whole plant, hang upside down
    • Store the tomatoes at room temperature, refridgerating will reduce flavour
    • Pit the tomatoes and freeze or make sauce for long-term storage

 

 

  • Saving Seeds
    • Scoop out the tomato seeds into a jar, rinse and cover with water
    • Leave for a week, a white mold will have formed. This is necessary to break the protective coat on the seed
    • Rinse off the seeds and dry on paper towel in a windowsill
    • Label with the variety, type and year
    • Store in a cool, dark place