How to Grow Tomatoes

How to Grow Tomatoes

Although technically a fruit, tomatoes are the most popular "vegetable" grown in backyard vegetable gardens across the country. Even the smallest backyard gardens usually have a couple tomato plants, and gardeners can't wait for their first ripe tomato of the summer. Nothing beats the taste and flavor of a homegrown, vine ripe tomato!

Types of Tomato Plants

There are two main distinctions when it comes to tomato plants -- determinate or indeterminate. Determinate tomato varieties have a bush-like growth habit and usually only get 4-5' tall. These plants produce loads of tomatoes during a span of a couple months and they're done -- hence the term "determinate."

Indeterminate tomato plants will continue growing until they are killed by your first frost in the late fall or winter months. Because they continue growing, these plants get much taller and require a more substantial trellis. They don't produce as many tomatoes at one time as determinate varieties, but they have a longer production window.

Determinate varieties are great for southern states because tomatoes don't like temperatures in the high 90s during the middle of the summer. Determinate varieties allow gardeners to harvest buckets of tomatoes before the intense summer heat arrives. Indeterminate varieties are ideal for growers in milder climates, where tomato plants can thrive throughout the entire summer.

When and How to Plant Tomatoes

When & How to Plant Tomatoes

Tomatoes are a warm-season vegetable that cannot tolerate freezing temperatures. They should be planted in the spring once the risk of frost has passed. Although nurseries and plant stores often have tomato plants on the shelves in late winter, be sure that you're done with freezing temperatures before putting tomato plants in the ground.

Before putting your tomato plants in the ground, add a handful of Coop Gro Fertilizer to the planting hole or 2.5 cups per 10 row feet. Because tomatoes can form roots along the stem of the plant, they should be planted deeper than most vegetable plants. Planting depth will vary depending on the size of your tomato plants, but ideally you want to plant them so that only a few leaves are sticking above the soil.

Feeding Tomatoes As They Grow

Feeding Tomatoes As They Grow

Tomatoes prefer frequent applications of Coop Gro Fertilizer as they grow. Once tomato plants are approximately 1' tall, sprinkle a handful of Coop Gro around the base of the plant and lightly cover with soil. You can mound soil around the base of tomato plants much like you would potato plants, and they love it!

When tomato plants start to bloom, fertilize them again with a handful of Coop Gro around each plant. Continue doing this every 2-3 weeks as the tomato plants grow. The balanced formula in Coop Gro Fertilizer will provide the essential nutrients for plant growth and bloom development. And more blooms means more tomatoes for you!

How to Grow Tomatoes

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