There are 2 kinds of Tomatoes sorta of 3 kinds: -Determinate/Bush: The plant will grow to a determinate height then the plant will put on fruit – Indeterminate/Vine: The plant will grow and put fruit on as it is grows and will keep putting on fruit, until it gets too cold and dies. If in warm areas such as the island of Hawaii where frost is not a problem they will grow for years. -Semi-determinate/Semi-bush: The plant will grow, put on a heavy harvest, and slowly produce fruit until frost
Always grow tomatoes in cages or on trellises to get the plant off the ground and it will produce 2x more fruit then if it is on the ground.(it is true you lose 50% of the crops as it sits on the ground a rots)
– Always plant more then one type of tomato, plant determinate as well as indeterminate, some will do better than others from year to year. To find out what type of tomatoes you have check the seed package.
1. You need to have full sun location to have a good crop. If you have a partial shade backyard and want o grow tomatoes it can be done but is a partial shade situation grow cherry or grape tomatoes as they do not require a much sunlight to grow as they are smaller.
2. Tomatoes can be grown in the ground, raised beds and containers. for small area/limited spaces grow Determinate/Bush tomatoes. If you have more space Indeterminate/Vine is a good choice for you as these will grow until you kill them or the weather does. If you have lots of space plant them 4 foot apart if you are not growing them in a field and a backyard 2 foot works well. If you are growing them on a trellis such as a Florida weave you can space them as close as 18 inches.
3. Plant all tomatoes deep. Every hair on the stem can grow into roots if in contacted with soil. So how deep? If you have a plant that is 10 inches tall, plant it in the ground 7 inches and leave 3 inches above ground. leave the top leaves along but remove the lower leaves and limbs that is below the soil. You also can use an all balance fertilizer in the hole and follow the direction on the package. But keep it below a 10- 10 – 10 in the northern parts of the country as the season is to short to be able to use a fertilizer with a higher number.
4. Early blight is yellowing of the lower leaves of your plant, then it works up the plant throughout the season and you have a plant with tomatoes and vines but leaves. To prevent this at planting sprinkle a hand full of Yellow whole grain corn mill around each plant. The Yellow whole grain corn mill has a beneficial Bactria in it that fits the early blight. (all soil has blight it is part of all soil) Also mulch – such as dried grass clippings, fall leaves, straw and or shredded paper as 3 or 4 inches. Mulch to prevent soil from splashing up on the tomatoes. That splashing up of the soil is what cause the blight We would still recommend putting whole grain corn meal around as a preventative measure. Also through out the season keep the bottom 6 to 8 inches of trimmed to keep splash up from getting on the leaves just leave the stalk.
5. Spider mites: An early sign of infestation includes yellow spotting on the top side of the leaves and crusty undersides covered with webbing. To prevent this use liquid sea weed. Mix 1 gallon of water with 2 tablespoons of Liquid Sea weed and spray every 2 to 3 weeks throughout the growing season. This does not kill the spider mites, it toughens the leaves and the mites move on and won’t affect the plant.