THOUGH I WON’T START TOMATO SEEDS HERE UNTIL MID-APRIL, I know from looking at my WordPress dashboard—the administrative screen I use to create and run this blog—that many of you are already looking around for the tomato-growing how-to’s. To make the searching easier, a roundup of links to my best tomato-growing tips and tricks:
- Tips for growing a better tomato yourself from seed. (Need seed-starting basics in more detail, no matter what the crop?)
- Take that homegrown tomato, or one you bought as a seedling, all the way to successful harvest with these tomato-growing tricks.
- Grafting is widely used around the world in commercial tomato production to increase yields and disease-resistance. Here’s how tomato grafting works.
- Tomatoes aren’t without their challenges, so here’s a rundown of some tomato troubles I have encountered. Last year, I even had a second round of worries.
- After the late-blight epidemic of 2009, a primer on preventing tomato diseases seems in order.
Late in the year 2009 I read many of your tomato growing tips. One thing I would like to put into action is the staking and suckering. I use heavy duty road mesh cages with large bamboo poles stuck in at angles later in the growing season. I love this system and it accommodates the natural sprawling habit of tomatoes. The problem with this system is the lateness of ripening.
In the past I have been opposed to staking and suckering. It just did not seem natural. This year though I think it would be valuable to stake at least a few to get some earlier tomatoes.
Last year I did start some common hybrid with the intention of grafting an heirloom and doing a comparison of production and vigor. I of course didn’t get to the grafting but do intend to try again. I notice that Johnnys is selling rootstock seed and grafting clips. The seeds are outrageously expensive so I think I will still just use Betterboy or something similar.
Welcome, Mark. There does seem to be a tradeoff with each method, you are right. The rootstock seed price is high, yes; I am going to split a packet with a friend and we are going to try it to see how easy or hard it proves to be. Will keep you posted! See you soon again, I hope.
Can’t wait for the first, juicy ‘mater in July, on homemade white bread with mayonaise. Mmmm, if we could just do something about this snow and cold…
Thank you so much for all of this amazing information. I’m in East Tennessee, where this winter has been harder than most since about 1993 (so I am told). I just ordered my seeds and am excited to try all the tips and tricks you suggest. My seedling tomatoes bombed out last year, but I know what I did wrong. Thank you so much for this post, and happy gardening. I’m ready for some green!
If you want some inspiration for your already great garden, check out the new jersey botanical gardens. I even have a great video on my garden blog that will really convince you.
Welcome, Daniel. Yes, many great botanical destination in the “Garden State.” :) Thanks for sharing, and don’t be a stranger.
thanks for sharing