How much light do tomatoes require?
Tomatoes are a warm-weather crop, so they thrive in direct sunlight. They need at least 6 hours of direct sunlight indoors or 8 hours outside to produce fruit. If you’re growing tomatoes inside and don’t have enough natural light in your home, you can use grow lights to give them the sun they need.
If you live in a region that gets plenty of sunshine, but it’s too hot for tomatoes (or if you just want better control over the temperature), try growing tomatoes under an umbrella-type plant shade. Then place one end of an egg carton underneath each plant; this will help keep your plants cool while still allowing them access to plenty of sunlight!
What type of soil do tomatoes need?
You can grow tomatoes in almost any type of soil, so long as it’s rich and well-drained. Tomatoes prefer a soil pH of 6.0 to 7.0, but they can tolerate slightly higher or lower pH levels if you’re happy with the way your tomatoes taste and look. They do require lots of water, though: when growing tomatoes in the Pacific Northwest, be sure to give them ample amounts of rainfall or supplemental watering throughout the growing season.
How often should you water tomato plants?
You should water tomato plants every day. Water at the base of the plant, not on its leaves. Make sure that you are watering your tomatoes as soon as they are planted and continue to do so until they are established in their new home. Use a hose with a fine spray nozzle and direct your water directly at the soil around your plants, but avoid getting it on their leaves or stems.
Is it better to grow tomatoes in containers or in the ground?
- Container tomatoes are easier to care for, as you can move your plants in and out of the house depending on the weather.
- Container-grown tomatoes are portable, so if you want to take your garden with you when moving home or vacationing, container tomatoes make this easy.
- Growing container-style allows you to grow more varieties of tomato than would otherwise be possible in one space of ground.
- Container growing is a good way to start gardening if you live in a condo and don’t have much outdoor space available.
Do food scraps increase the flavor of tomatoes?
Food scraps can be added to the compost pile, garden soil, water and tomato plants. The idea is that there are many nutrients in food scraps which will help the tomatoes thrive.
The most popular food scraps are: eggshells (crushed), coffee grounds (fresh or dried), tea bags, celery stalks, lettuce leaves and stems/stalks of broccoli or cauliflower plants.
Which varieties of tomato produce best in a maritime climate?
- Determinate varieties produce fruit all at once, which is great if you want a lot of tomatoes quickly.
- Indeterminate varieties continue producing fruit long after the first harvest, but are more susceptible to diseases and pests.
- Determinate varieties are better for container growing because they don’t need much space and can be pruned to keep them small.
- Because of their compact size, determinate tomatoes are one of the few types that can grow well in short growing seasons (though I wouldn’t recommend trying to grow them in a maritime climate).
When should I plant tomato seedlings outdoors?
You should plant your tomato seedlings outdoors after the last frost of spring. This is usually in mid- to late May, depending on where you live. However, if you’re growing tomatoes in a greenhouse or indoors and want to transplant them into the garden, you can plant them as early as three weeks before the last expected frost date.
In addition to planting after the last frost has passed, there are a few other things that will help ensure your tomatoes grow successfully:
- Planting early in the season allows for more time for growing plants before summer heat sets in and reduces their productivity.
- The soil should be warm enough to support germination—about 50 degrees F (10 C).
What is the difference between determinate and indeterminate varieties of tomato plants?
There are two main types of tomato plants: determinate and indeterminate. Determinate tomatoes, as the name implies, grow to a certain size and then stop growing. They produce all their fruit within a short period of time (usually one or two months). Indeterminate varieties continue to grow throughout the growing season, producing smaller fruit at regular intervals over a long period. Since they keep growing until killed by frost or disease, indeterminate tomatoes make better candidates for growing outdoors in your garden or on your patio if you live in an area where danger from frost is minimal.
Determinate tomatoes are better suited for container gardening since they have less space to fill up during their growing cycle than indeterminates do. I recommend using large pots (at least 12 inches deep) so that you can plant more than one determinate variety together without crowding them too much—you’ll have more fun eating them too!
Tomatoes can be grown successfully in the Pacific Northwest, but give them extra care.
Growing tomatoes in the Pacific Northwest is possible, but you’ll need to give them extra care.
- Provide plenty of light. You can do this by using a grow light or placing your plants near a window with southern exposure.
- Water deeply and often (but not too much!). Tomatoes are heavy water users, so make sure that you’re watering deeply at least once a week—more often if it’s hot outside or if your tomatoes are flowering and fruiting. Make sure to avoid over-watering, which will lead to disease problems later on down the road.* Fertilize regularly throughout the season with an all-purpose fertilizer for vegetables like MiracleGro® All Purpose Liquid Plant Food.