Primary Source Oklahoma State University Growing Tomatoes in the Home Garden HLA-6012
Most of this information will be applicable for all growing zones. Find Your Last Spring Time Frost Date However planting dates and often plant varieties are for zone 7 and may or may not be correct for your growing zone.
Selecting Your Growing Site
Tomatoes should be grown in full sunlight and planted away from trees and shrubs to obtain highest yield. Tomato plants require an abundant moisture for best growth, so arrange for easy watering. The area selected should be well drained since poor drainage promotes root loss.
Tomatoes grown on heavy or poorly drained soils should be planted in raised beds or mounds four to six inches high.
Soil Preparation Tomatoes grow well in many types of soil but prefer deep, fertile, well-drained soil that is amply supplied with organic matter and is slightly acidic (pH of about 6.5). The soil should be worked only when it is dry enough that it will not stick to tools.
Fertilizers should be added when the soil is prepared for planting. A soil sample should be taken for testing if fertilizer needs are not known.
When needed, a complete garden fertilizer should be added to the soil when it is prepared for planting. Tomatoes prefer a fertilizer low in nitrogen, high in phosphorus, and medium to high in potassium. Prior to transplanting, use one to two pounds of 10-20-10 or similar fertilizer for each 100 square feet if you do not have soil test information. All fertilizers should be worked into the top six inches of soil. For additional details on fertilization and soil preparation, obtain OSU Fact Sheet HLA-6007
Small Fruit———————Large Fruit——————–Paste
Juliet————————–Better Boy VFN—————–Milano VF
Mountain Bell VF—————-Big Beef VNF——————-Roma VFN (canning)
Small Fry VFN——————-Bigset VF———————-San Remo VF
Sungold FT———————-Carnival VNF
2Sweet Million FNT————–Celebrity VNF
Yellow Pear———————Flora-dade VF
——————————–Jet Star VF
——————————–Mountain Pride VF
——————————–Summer Flavor 5000 VNF
——————————–Sunray F (yellow)
Disease resistance or tolerance codes:
Verticillium wilt (V)
Fusarium wilt, Race I (F)
Fusarium wilt, Races 1 & 2(F2)
Root-Knot nematode (N)
Tobacco mosaic virus (T)
Alternaria stem canker (A)
Stemphylium (gray leaf spot) (S)
Earliness of production and quantity of fruit produced are influenced by the quality of the plant and the time it is transplanted in the garden. The ideal tomato plant should be six to eight inches tall and dark green, with a stocky stem and well-developed root system. Normally, six to eight weeks are required to produce
this type of plant from seed.
OSU recommends If you are interested in having only fresh tomato’s you should plant three to five plants per person. If fruit is wanted for home processing, then five to ten plants per person should be grown.
A Word About Watering Tomato’s.
Top watering or using a sprinkler to water your tomato’s is the worst thing that you can do. Even heavy rain fall can cause soil containing disease to be splashed on to your tomato plant leafs
Tomatoes require at least one inch of water per week during May and June and at least two inches per week during July, August, and September. The soil should be watered thoroughly once or twice per-week. Apply enough water to penetrate to a depth of 12 to 18 inches.
Simple, inexpensive equipment for drip irrigation of gardens is available. By this technique plants receive water more efficiently. None of the water comes in contact with the foliage, thereby reducing leaf and fruit disease problems.
The total amount of water applied by the drip irrigation method might be less than half the amount applied in the more conventional way.
OSU County Extension have information concerning methods and equipment needs for applying water by drip
irrigation methods. See OSU Fact Sheet BAE-1511 Drip Irrigation
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