love apple of the 17th century is one of the most
misunderstood fruit. First,
the tomato is a fruit not a vegetable and as a member of the solanacea;
it was believed for centuries to be poisonous. Later it became the love
apple of the very rich and a symbol of fertility and love.
it is part of everyday cooking. What would Italian cooking be with out
tomatoes, especially the world’s most perfect food Lasagna with green
noodles of course?
to seed my Tomatoes directly into four-inch pots and thin by pinching
out the weak seedlings. The seeding occurs from six to eight weeks
before the last frost date in your area.
The Tomato varieties that grow to an indeterminate height I start
at the six-week period because they have a tendency to grow and stretch
too long very quickly. The determinate varieties of Tomatoes, which
attain a specific height and stop growing I start at the eight weeks
period. If you are growing
them in sunny windows then you are at the mercy of the weather to
provide adequate light, which it usually does not.
Therefore you should grow your seedlings under grow lights
maintaining a height of four inches above tops of the plants and leave
them on fourteen to sixteen hours a day.
A light fertilizing of your Tomato plants with a 15-30-15 or
10-52-10 fertilizer will help keep your plants shorter, stockier and
begin the process of moving them to the outdoors.
your Tomato plants are still too stretched then you can remove the
leaves to be buried and plant them outside deeper or on their side with
the growing tip turned up.
are moved outside after the last chance of frost the weather has
stabilized and the soil is warm. In
our area, this is usually the 28th of May. If you wish to
plant earlier then use the old fashioned idea of covering them with
colthes. I use the Earths Friend Inc. Powergrow Greenhouse with
great success. The soil
should have a pH of 6.5 to7.0.
Your rows should run north and south because this allows for
the growing season feed them with a granular or Water soluble Tomato
food. Do not over feed your
Tomatoes because this and infrequent watering are the major contributors
to Blossom End Rot. (Black bottoms on your Tomatoes)
Do not ever get water or splash soil on their leaves, as this
will encourage many diseases. Inconsistent
watering will also cause cracking which can cause diseases to set in and
attract many unwanted insects.
Cat Face Tomatoes are those with many deep folds emanating
from the bottom or the Tomato (extremely ugly).
This caused by unfavourable growing conditions and is a more
common problem among the Heritage varieties of Tomatoes.
If Diseases are a problem in your Tomatoes then grow only
varieties that have resistance to Tomato Mosaic Virus; Fusarium Wilt
Race1 and 2; Verticillium Wilt.
It is also better if you raise the plants off the ground by
staking. There are many
methods but I find that 8 foot 2x2 inch stakes and old cotton T-Shirts
cut into strips work well but my favourite method is to use concrete
reinforcing steel with a 4 to 6 inch grid pattern rolled into and 18
inch circle forming an 8 foot tall tube that the Tomatoes can grow up
inside. The large grid pattern allows you to reach through and pick your
TO SUCKER OR NOT TO SUCKER
is an argument that has been going on for a very long time with no
resolve in sight. The
argument is that suckers only take away form the plant while giving
nothing back. This is true
but on some varieties in my garden, they do produce fruit.
In addition, in seasons where Sun Scald is a problem the
suckers do help to provide enough shade to prevent Sun Scalding on the
Tomatoes. Therefore do what
is best for your crop.
OF MY FAVOURITES
cherry type Tomatoes are listed according to my wife and daughters preferences.
Extra High Naturally in antioxidants
To date the best cherry tomato.
It is best picked when the fruit is a dark gold.
The previous best cherry tomato.
More resistant to cracking though many people say it is thicker
skinned than Sweet 100.
Excellent for those who like thin skin sand
average tomato taste.
Golden Japanese variety is said to be superior to them all including
DRIED TOMATOES: I have
grown these and the dried pieces will explode with flavour in your mouth
YELLOW OR RED:
for container growing on decks, patios and balconies. THOMPSON
& MORGAN 1-800-274-7333
try these ones also from Thompson and Morgan
Orange plum high in Beta Carotene, Vitamin A and C
winner high yields excellent fruit quality
(Heritage variety) early
Large green grape clusters of
sweet tomatoes. (unusual)
FOLLOWING IS A LIST OF VARIOUS TOMATO VARIETIES I LIKE AND HAD GOOD
LADY II, ULTRA GIRL, BIG BEEF, YELLOW PEAR, BEEF HEART, HUSKY GOLD,
HUSKY PINK, PONDEROSA (LATE) AND GLAMOUR.