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July 2008
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Growing tomatoes in your garden

The previous article was about growing tomatoes in containers. But suppose you have the space to grow tomatoes in soil, and want to figure out what all you need to do to get a healthy output. There is plenty of information that would help you in this process; after all, you need to know about which types of tomatoes, what are the pests and blights that could affect your plants, what is the best type of soil, what is the amount of watering and sunlight that should be given to the plants, and so on. Further, if you get tips and points that you should avoid doing, those will help you a lot. Here is the link to an article that should help you in this regard:

# Good first-time growers’ varieties include Better Boy, Creole, Big Boy, Early Girl, Brandywine, Celebrity, Lemon Boy, or just about any cherry or grape tomato variety.
# Plant several varieties rather than all of one type– this ensures a steady harvest. As a rule of thumb, it’s good to have two plants for each member of the family who will eat tomatoes. If you plan on canning or making salsa, use up to four plants per person.
# Prepare the garden bed by adding lots of compost (5 to 8 pounds per square foot/25 to 40 kilograms per square meter) to the soil. Turn compost into the top 3 inches (6 to 8 cm). Tomatoes demand a growing medium rich in organic matter. If you don’t make your own compost, use store-bought compost or composted manure available in the 40-pound bags. Compost or Manure is usually less than US$5 per 40-pound bag.

The referred article provides help from the process of selecting the tomato plant / seed, and then goes onto providing an estimate of how many plants you should have. You learn about the tomato spacing, watering, providing fertilizer, support for the growing plant, when to pick the tomato, warnings and things to avoid, etc.

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