Tomatoes originated in Peru, Ecuador region and was dispersed through out the lands. Cultivation was started in Mexico and Peru and spread the globe. While scientifically it is a fruit, tomato is considered a vegetable. Ranking in the top twenty among the healthest food source and being one of the most popular vegetable in Americas’ gardens, it is not why we grow them. It is the taste, they are delicious. Tomatoes can be eaten raw, or in sandwiches, or salads, or cooked up in recipes and sauces.
Tomatoes take a considerable amount of time to grow so you must have long continued perseverance. Seriously, it takes around 59 to 85 days to produce a tomato crop. Growing tomatoes is not as diffucult as you would think. All you really need to grow tomatoes is the seeds, soil, water and the sun. It takes at least eight hours of sunlight per day to grow tomatoes. You don’t want to over water your tomato plants, over watering causes diseases. Any type of soil can be used, provided it is mixed well with organic materials. This day-in-time gardeners grow tomatoes in all kinds of ways including upside down, indoors and outdoor, in flower pots, on raised dirt piles. But they all use organic matter in the soil. Seeds are basically two types hybrid or heirloom.
Hierloom seeds are original tomato seeds but hybrid have been mulipuated for growth and control of disease. After planting the seeds in seven to ten days you’ll have seedlings. Depending upon the type of tomato you have chosen will determine how long it will take to get a crop of perfect and flavorful red tomatoes. Choosing the right variety might be diffucult. You might need to consider what size the plant will grow to be, the space you have in your garden, and your preference in flavor, size and firmness.
Bush tomatoes or determinate type of tomato plants grow around 4 feet high and put on tomatoes all within a two week period then it slows down and stops production. The plants may or may not need to be staked or supported. Vining tomatoes are called indeterminate type of tomato plants. Indeterminate tomatoes can grow 6 to 10 feet high. Vining tomato plants produce fruit until frost. Plus vining tomato plants have to be supported, by staking, trellis, or cageing.
All the varieties of tomatoes would make an enormous list, but here are a few common varieties. The early variety will bring in a crop of tomatoes around 59 days. Some of the favorites are Early Girl, Early Cascade, Champion, Quick Pick which are indeterminate. A couple of determinate early varieties are Arctic Plenty and Mountain Spring. Dwarf varieties famous for growing in containers are the Pixie Hybrid II, Tiny Tim, and Red Robin make tomatoes around 59 days. Also, the renowned small tomato types including Cherry, Super Sweet, and Mountain Belle take 59 days until your eating tomatoes. Now the large tomatoes Supersteak, Beefmaster, and Beefsteak tomatoes take 85 days to produce. Pasta tomatoes make a crop in 70 days, the Roma and Viva are a popular type. The Fantastic, Burpees’ Big Girl, Mountain Delight, Celebrity, Mountain Pride all take 70 days to produce tomatoes.
Want to Speed up your harvest? It can be done. First thing is you can buy seedling tomato plants. They are usually available before the planting season at a local Farmers’ Market or even a nursery. Planting seedlings should take 10 to 14 days off. Try to buy Early Cascade seedlings, it is known to be one of the fastest vining tomato plants. Last is to balance your soil. You need a three part combination, clay to hold moisture, sand too help drain, and organic matter. The organic matter should be rich in minerals and compost. A good test is to make a ball if it is balanced it will not be compacted but yet still make a ball and crumble like cookie dough.
Soil testing can be done professionally by taking a sample to a soil laboratory. They will give you a read out of the high or lows of, the nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and other elements that are in the soil. You can take this information and buy fertilizer with the right amount of chemical elements to supplement the soil.