Home Grown

Tips and resources for farmers and gardeners
Tips for Growing Tomatoes by the Ton
from Grow Your Own Pizza: Gardening Plans and Recipes for Kids 
by Constance Hardesty. Fulcrum, 2000

Every gardener will tell you secret tricks for growing a bumper crop of tomatoes. But the biggest secret of all is: Tomatoes are easy to grow. After one summer, you will have secrets of your own!   

May I Suggest

Early Girl, Better Boy VFN, and Roma VF are good full-sized tomatoes.

Red Cherry and Super Sweet 100 are good cherry tomato plants for the garden.

Pixie, Micro Tom, Tim Tim, and Tom Thumb are good for pots.

Getting Started
  • Tomatoes love rich soil. When you prepare your garden in the spring, work in lots of manure and compost.
  • Tomatoes like heat and sun, so plant them where they will get lots of sun.
  • Plant seedlings 3 feet apart if you are going to let them sprawl on the ground, or 2 feet apart if they are bush plants or you are going to grow them in cages.
  • Give your seedlings a good drink of garden tea to get them off to a healthy start.

Caring For Your Tomatoes

Water your tomatoes every week, unless you have lots of rain.

Spread a 1-inch-thick layer of manure around the plants two or three weeks after you plant them. Or give your plants a drink of garden tea every few weeks all summer long.

Mulch your plants to keep their roots cool and to keep the tomatoes off the ground.

Look for big, green, ugly tomato worms. Pick them off with your fingers and kill them

Harvesting Your Tomatoes
You can twist the tomato gently to break the stem. Or use scissors to cut the stem just above the tomato's cap.

Deep Transplanting for Tomatoes

Deep transplanting is good for tomatoes. You can set tomato plants so deep in the ground that only a little tuft of two or three sets of true leaves shows above the surface. Remove all leaves that would be under the soil. New roots will sprout along the stem.

Don't try deep transplanting with any other vegetables or flowers.

Drive stakes for future support at the same time you plant tomatoes. If you try to install stakes later, you may damage the roots. Tie the plant to the stakes with a soft material such as stockings or strips of old bed sheets. These materials won't cut into the stems the way string would.

Grow Your Own Pizza
Gardening Plans and Recipes for Kids by Constance Hardesty
Fulcrum, 2000

Grow Your Own Pizza shows you how to grow great-tasting food the natural way, without chemicals," explains gardening trainer Constance Hardesty.

Designed as an activity resource book for school children, this text is also a handy guide for adult gardeners and family cooks. The gardening advice is well grounded and the recipes are simple, but interesting.

Garden plots for nearly two dozen different types of gardens are mapped out, with varietal recommendations and cultivation tips included. 

The plans are organized into sections as Easy, Medium or Advanced to match the development and gardening interest level of each youngster. No large garden plots are required for any of these plans; most can be grown in containers, flower beds or small garden plots. Basic gardening tools, such as a shovel and rake, are sufficient.


Growing Flavorful Tomatoes
SPF for Tomato Skins
Garden Center
Farmer's Market Online.
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