Archive for the 'Tomato' Category

How Often Should Tomato Plants Be Watered?

The question ‘how often should tomato plants be watered’ is one that often leaves gardeners confused and clueless. The result is that they end up either providing too little water to the soil or over watering it. Both these situations are not good for your tomato plants. So, how can you determine whether it is time to water your plants or not? Keep in mind a few things and you will never ever make the mistake of over drying the soil or over watering the plant. The first thing that you need to understand is that too little water and over watering are both not good to keep your plants alive and productive. What is more, even uneven watering is not good for them since they make your plants prone to all kinds of diseases such as the blossom end rot.

Ideally, you should water thoroughly to make sure the roots can get the water and nutrients which are present deep in the soil. This will ensure when there is a dry spell, the plants to hold better and about 6-8 inches of the soil should be soaked for this purpose.

For the same reason, it is not a good idea to water your plants lightly on a daily basis. A deep soaking once or twice a week is better because when you water too often, the roots tend to stay at the surface and they become more prone to damage in the hot weather.

Tomatoes like to grow in a moist soil but they also need proper air circulation. So, if you over water, the roots will not be able to get the air that they require. Remember, wilting on a hot afternoon is perfectly normal because they will look fine once they are exposed to the night temperature. However, if the plants still look wilted in the morning, then it is time to water them again.

Over watering will also make your plants prone to diseases. So, if the soil is light and sandy, you need to soak it with water every 4-5 days and if the soil is heavy, soak it every 7-10 days.

Rain is also a factor that you need to consider. If it is raining, you do not need to water your plants too often. However, as mentioned earlier, too much water can damage your plants, so try and protect your plants from the rain water if it is raining continuously or too heavily.

The time of the day when you water the plants is also important. If you are watering the plants after 5 in the evening, then you are inviting trouble. The foliage of the plant should be dry during night fall or else it will become host to blights and diseases. Therefore, you should water your tomatoes early in the day to make sure that it dries out by nightfall. Watering early in the day also helps in cutting down evaporation losses. Midday watering is also not good since evaporation losses are highest during this part of the day.

You need your tomato garden to flourish and give you a good harvest and careful watering can help achieve exactly that. The best way to find out if it is time to water the soil is to stick your finger about one inch into the soil. If it is dry, then it is time to water the plants. Remember, a dry soil, over watering, and uneven watering are not good for your plants. So, make sure that you avoid doing any one of these things.

Jimmy Casperson is a tomato growing enthusiast. For more great tips and advice on tomato watering visit his Growing Tomatoes website

Best Container Types for Growing Tomatoes

If you have enough space, you can easily have a big garden to grow your tomatoes in. However, not all of us are that fortunate with space, but would still love to eat fresh and home grown tomatoes. Well, there is a good option for such people: containers. Pots or containers give you the wonderful option to plant your tomato seedlings and place them in a corner of your house where they can receive enough sunlight. However, choosing the right container type is one thing that should be carefully done if you want to get a good harvest. Here are some tips and ideas that you can use to pick the right container type and successfully grow tomatoes in containers.

The size is probably the first thing you will need to consider before picking your container. Tomatoes need adequate space so their root system can grow easily. So, a small and shallow container will not work for this plant. What you need is a five gallon pot that can provide enough space for the roots to grow.

So, now you know the ideal size for the containers and it is not necessary to stick to just traditional pots and containers that you would use for growing flowers and vegetables. There are a variety of buckets, pails, and window boxes that you can choose from.

Plastic and fiberglass are considered to be the best for growing tomatoes. This is because they do not dry out quickly and we all know that a dry soil is not good for healthy growth of the plant and for ripening of the fruits. Also, since you need big size containers to grow your plants, they can prove to be quite inexpensive. Plastic containers also do not crack easily and this is why a five gallon bucket could be a great option for growing tomatoes.

You can also look around the house and find something that can be successfully used to grow tomato plants. These could include half wine barrels or wooden packing cases that you do not need any more.

What you should keep in mind while recycling old things lying around the house is they should be made of a non-toxic substance and they should provide adequate drainage at the bottom. Mostly these recycled products will not have a drainage hole at the bottom and in such cases you will need to drill one at the bottom. The hole should be big enough to drain out excess water, but it should not be so big that the soil keeps falling from container through the hole.

If you have pots and containers lying around the house that are not being used anymore and can be used for planting your tomato seedlings, you should scrub and clean them thoroughly. This will ensure that no soil-borne diseases or pests are present in these pots. You will then need to add fresh potting soil to the container for tomatoes.

When planting tomato plant in a container, you should put some soil at the bottom and then set tomato plant in, so the roots and the stem are buried. You can then just fill in the potting soil around it till about one inch below the rim of the pot. Water it thoroughly and set it in a location where it can receive some good natural light. So, now that your tomato plant has been planted in a container, its time to enjoy the fruits of your labor!

Jimmy Casperson is a tomato growing enthusiast. For more great tips and advice on choosing tomatoes container visit Growing Tomatoes resource.

Vegetable Garden Layout

Your vegetable garden layout will depend upon what vegetables you intend to grow, the planting space available and if you would like to opt for companion planting. When I first started growing vegetables, I planted my sweet peppers in between my tomatoes and cucumbers. Well, I ended up having to supply extra water to my peppers because the tomatoes and cucumbers stole all the water due to their larger root system. Peppers have smaller roots.. So here are some helpful tips on how to layout your own garden and start planting vegetables.

Sit Down and Plan

Before choosing a layout you need to decide on what type of vegetables you would like to grow and where you would like to plant them. Here are some other factors you need to consider for your vegetable garden layout:

* Garden Space * Amount of Light in the Space * Drainage System * Soil Amendments * Type of Vegetable * Additional Space (if needed) and of course the root system of the actual vegetable itself!

You should also think about whether you want to grow one type of vegetable like lettuce and tomatoes or if you want one type of vegetable with different varieties, such as romaine lettuce or iceberg lettuce. Research the amount of light and space each vegetable requires for optimal growth.

Make a list of vegetables you want to plant and find out the plants requirements, then compare it with the garden space you have available. This should give you an indication of where you are able to plant each particular vegetable in your allotted space.

Choose your Garden Layout

There are three basic vegetable garden layouts: rows, beds and the “potager” style.

The more traditional layout style consists of planting seeds in a row. This type of arraignment would either mean planting one type of seed in a row or different seeds in a row. Regardless, the style is in a row formation.

A similar layout and a more popular approach is the raised vegetable garden beds. This bed type is similar to the rows style but on a smaller scale. The layout allows access to the plant beds from all sides. The beds are raised off the ground with some being as high as 3 feet. This is particularly convenient to avoid stepping on the beds which tends to pack down the soil, making it difficult to dig and aerate in the spring or fall. Plant beds are great ways to maximize a garden space and you can even use raised beds for easier gardening.

The most decorative style of layout is called the “potager” which means kitchen garden in French. This layout is described as geometric which allows you to layout your garden in circles or arrange plants by color or even food type. Gardens like these often contain vegetables, flowers and herbs planted together.

Companion Vegetable Planting

The idea behind companion planting involves planting different kinds of plants together so that they help each other grow. A perfect example of this is planting beans, corn and squash together which were commonly done by Native Americans. While the corn gives the beans a place to climb, the beans gives its three companions nutrients in the soil and the squash serves as a shade to the roots of the plants beside it. This not only prevents weeds from growing, it also saves up on water.

Other great companion vegetables are onions, which scares slugs and aphids away, tomatoes, which grow well with carrots and basil, which improves the taste of tomatoes. Another example is horseradish and potatoes which when planted together give your potatoes protection from disease.

Companion vegetable planting is certainly worth considering when vegetable garden planting. My new book, “Holistic Herbs~A Beginners guide to Herbal Gardening,” has a complete vegetable companion chart. You will get the chart for free along with 6 other bonus books when you order my book Here!

Successful Gardening!

Kali Winters

Gardening Hygiene

Gardeners love to get their hands in the soil. That’s ok because one can wash the hands when done. Wearing garden gloves keeps the dirt from getting under the fingernails, and is easier on the skin, so most people wear them when planting or pulling weeds. With the arrival of warm weather, gardeners have been out there in droves, seeing their perennials and bulb flowers faithfully coming in and blooming. Sometimes the gardener is just looking and admiring and then there is that overlooked weed that has to be pulled or a yellowed leaf that needs to come off. At times like this, there are no gloves, and the hands still look clean. Don’t be fooled by that. Bacteria thrive in soil. They help improve the soil but can also be harmful to the gardener. Also spores may be present and you definitely want to get rid of these.

Just like any other situation where the hands have become contaminated, handwashing is necessary in order to avoid illness. The Center for Disease Control has said that proper handwashing is the best way to get rid of microbes. The most thorough way to accomplish this is to have an automatic, sensor-operated soap dispenser available. This eliminates touching the soap dispenser with dirty hands. So after gardening always clean your hands and stay healthy.

Tips On Buying A String Strimmer!

After my garden tiller broke down last year, I found the easiest way to keep weeds out of my tomatoes was to cut them down with a motor powered string trimmer. It worked and I only lost three plants by decapitation the whole summer!

By nature I’m a lazy man and I really didn’t want to have to hoe the entire garden by hand. My idea of using the weed trimmer came because it seemed like a simple way to get rid of the weeds, at least down to the roots.

My first step was to buy a new grass cutter that would make the job easier. After visiting several hardware stores and lawn supply merchants, I developed a few tips on what to look for in a trimmer:

.01 Select the string trimmer that is right for the job. If you only have a small amount of grass to trim, don’t purchase a monster machine unless you just want to impress your neighbors. Get the right one for the job and both you and the grass will be happy.

.02 Decide whether you need an electric grass trimmer or a gasoline powered device. If you are only giving a small lawn a trim around the ears, then the electric is the right one for you. If you don’t have a long extension cord, then maybe a cordless weed trimmer is the answer for your light cutting needs. Most of them will run from 20-25 minutes on a charge.

I like gasoline engines on string trimmers because using an electric or cordless machine just doesn’t seem manly. After all, yard work is supposed to be a man’s job and it seems sort of sissified to rely on a trimmer that has to be plugged into a socket or runs on a battery.

Bigger and more rugged terrain requires a larger trimmer with a heavier cutting line, .080 or larger. If you really have a rough plot of ground that is cluttered with brush and finger sized trees, you may need a steel cutting blade or a small chain adapter that will cut heavy vegetation.

.03 Then there are weed whackers disguised as lawn mowers; grass trimmers on wheels. We have all seen the television ads of a smiling farmer type guy pushing a walk-behind string trimmer, busily cutting weeds, trees and shrubbery as if he were using a bush hog. Bush hogs are a heavy steel mower attachment that is pulled behind a heavy tractor that can cut through brush and even small trees.

.04 Four-cycle engines: The big problem for me with the standard two-cycle engine that has been on the market for years is keeping the oil to gasoline mixture perfect, which has been almost impossible for me to do. These small motors never seem to run correctly after the first tank of gas.

I have recently discovered the four-cycle grass trimmer that does not run on a gas/oil mixture. Treat it like your old reliable lawn mower that always starts after the second pull. Just put oil in the designated slot and enjoy the power.

.05 Don’t forget the safety glasses! As far as outdoor labor is concerned, I have lived by the WWJW rule. For the uninitiated that stands for What Would John Wayne Do? This line of reasoning has not always served me well for I have destroyed a couple of pairs of glasses from pebbles and stones kicked up by the trimmer.

Buy a trimmer that you want to have fun with and enjoy your gardening or lawn work.

Bob Alexander is well experienced in outdoor cooking, gardening, fishing and leisure living. Bob is also the author and owner of this article. Visit his sites at:

Indoor Gardening

Indoor gardening is becoming more popular as technology improves and costs decrease for supplies and equipment. Growing indoors can be very rewarding and the results are absolutely fantastic when done correctly, that said they can also be devastating when things go wrong.

In this article I would like to dispel some myths about indoor gardening as well as give some tips for simple ways to improve your harvest.

Myth #1: You can grow in any room indoors.

Growing indoors even in the best circumstances is more difficult than you would think at first, and depends a lot on “what” you are trying to grow. For this article I will focus on food bearing plants such as tomatoes and cucumbers, and other succulent garden plants, as well as herbs and fresh flowers and orchids. Plants such as garlic and carrots that create bulbs are even more challenging and will not be discussed at this time.

Tip #1: No matter what plants you decide to grow indoors, you will still need to meet its basic requirements for growth.

Mainly, good ventilation from the outside, Light, and fertilizer as well as a exhaust for the heat from the lights and built up oxygen that the plants cannot eat. Plants Breath CO2, but with global warming and all there is plenty of that in regular air, so just make sure your ventilation is good into and throughout the room. Light and fertilizer depend more on what you are trying to grow. Be sure that water is nearby unless you like to carry heavy things a lot. Even long hoses only go so far.

Myth #2: Indoor gardening doesn’t involve getting down and dirty.

Cleanliness is close to godliness. Growing indoors can be a messy job. Weather you decide to use hydroponics or soil, there is usually some sort of spills involved.

Tip#2: Plan for the worst! Enclose the growing area in a cheap and easy home-made reserve reservoir to prevent run-off and spills from damaging your home.

Create a wooden frame of 2x4s that sits flat on the ground and lay a giant plastic sheet (available at home depot) that tucks over the board on all sides. Be sure to measure before hand, but often you can get 12 x 30 ft or more. The idea is to create a giant tub below the plants in case of emergency. This is especially important for hydroponic systems that are not on the ground floor.

Container Vegetable Gardens – Growing Vegetables in Pots

Small space gardening is a reality for many urban and suburban families. Even though we’ve left the roomy rural farms of our forefathers, we haven’t lost the desire to grow some of our own food, and so we are faced with finding ways to garden with less land. If you count yourself among these space challenged gardeners, don’t despair. There are a great many crops that are well suited to container gardening. In this article, we’ll discuss four: lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, and beans.


Lettuce is a favorite for container gardening, especially loose leaf varieties that can be harvested on an ongoing basis, like Buttercrunch or Oak Leaf. Because lettuce grows best in cool spring temperatures, plant it early in the year. Young plants are usually available in nurseries and garden centers a month or so before the average last frost date. Plant them in containers that are about 6 to 8 inches deep. Round containers work well, as do row boxes, because lettuce doesn’t require a lot of space. Set the containers in an area that receives part sun or some filtered shade throughout the day.


Tomatoes are a home gardener’s favorite and there are many varieties that are well suited to growing in pots. Sweet 100 and other small grape or cherry varieties tend to do quite well in containers, though these indeterminate varieties can become large and sprawling if you don’t prune them back or remove suckers from the plants. Also look for compact or determine plant types such as Patio Prize. Because tomatoes are a fairly deep rooted crop, choose large, roomy containers that are at least 24 to 36 inches deep. Remember that indeterminate varieties will also require staking or caging, so you’ll want to be sure your pot can properly accommodate a cage or tomato trellis.


Peppers are another great crop to grow in containers because the plants are relatively compact. Peppers are known to be a temperamental plant, only setting fruit when temperatures are above 65 degrees but below 95 degrees Fahrenheit. Planting peppers in containers gives gardeners the advantage of being able to move the plants around as needed. For example, in the spring, you can place the container on the west or south side of your house, where it will receive maximum warmth. As the temperatures begin to heat up in the summer, move it to a cooler location. If a cool night is forecasted, the pots can easily be brought indoors for protection.


When choosing beans for container gardening, it’s important to pair your container and its location with the variety of bean you’ll be growing. Bush beans, for example, don’t really have any special requirements. Pole beans, however, are a climbing plant that will need some type of supporting structure. If you have the ability to provide a vegetable trellis for pole beans to grow on, it can actually be quite advantageous for small space gardening, because this setup allows you to grow up instead of out, thus making the most efficient use of limited space. Beans of any variety are a great choice for small space container gardening because they’re one of the most highly prolific vegetables in the garden, meaning you’ll get maximum return on your planting space. For an ongoing harvest of beans throughout the summer, make several successive plantings, each about three weeks apart.

Container gardening is a fun and rewarding hobby, and it’s also a great way to experiment with a variety of different crops. With only a small investment in some patio pots and containers, potting soil, and seeds or seedlings, you can have a wonderful kitchen garden growing on your deck or patio in no time.

Home Products ‘N’ More offers free shipping on all outdoor planters and patio trellis kits for container gardening. For more information, visit us at

How To Grow Tomatoes – 3 Secrets To Growing Tasty Tomatoes

Home grown vegetables can certainly change a person’s lives. I am not kidding, I am serious about this.

I basically grew up in the country and it was good that my mom every day cooked fresh vegetables.

When we needed some tomatoes, carrots, potatoes, celery – we just went to the garden and picked up some. There were no plastic bags, no genetically modified vegetables and fruits just the healthy home grown and mouth-watering delicious tomatoes, carrots.When I lived in the city it was extremely hard to get used to the tasteless, colorless “plastic” vegetables as I ironically call them. I think this was one of the motives why I went to live in the country once again, why I nearly always dreamed of a property with a vegetable garden. I respect more the significance of home grown vegetables nowadays.

I am really fond of tomatoes. The most important question is: How to grow organic tomatoes. Is it really complicated to grow your own delicious tomatoes? The answer is simple: no, not at all. For sure there is a lot of work involved but after all it is worth it.plenty of work involved but finally it is worth it.

Let me share the secret that I learnt from my mother who is a good gardener and who incredibly loves growing tomatoes.How to grow tomatoes?

The first tip is the importance of effective microorganisms, we just call them EM. What are they responsible for? They produce very good nutrients and elements for vegetables and of course for tomatoes too. small microorganisms in your body, for instance, in your stomach that helps to digest certain foods. We couldn’t live without them nor the plants could live without them.Thethe most importantdifference between good and bad soil is that the good soil is more alive. It is such a shame that about 90% of all soil today is dead. It’s been treated with chemicals and sitting in plastic bags for months. You can easily grow your own microorganisms at home in a short time, purchase them online for a couple of bucks and you could have a six month supply. grow our own microorganisms at home in a very short time, get them online for a couple of dollars and we can have a six month supply.It is really easy!

Watering is the second tip of how to grow tomatoes. The major rule is to water the tomatoes as frequently as you can, just make a watering schedule for for every day and try to stick to it. It will worth it. They need a lot of water and microorganisms need water to thrive too. You should only water the soil, not the leaves. It is really important too.

Last not least the third secret of how to grow great tomatoes is the importance of quality seeds. It is honestly hard to find good seeds, one thing is sure you can’t purchasethe seeds at your local garden store. You can get them from a very trusted supplier that sells only the best quality organic tomato seeds. They will cost you around 3$-5$.

These are the 3 most important secrets of how to grow tomatoes in your garden. Buy EM, find a good seed supplier and don’t forget to water your tomato plants. You and your kids will certainly enjoy the best tasting tomatoes ever.

Tomato Trellis Gardening: Using a Tomato Trellis to Maximize Your Harvest


Growing tomatoes is such a popular summertime activity that it could possibly be considered the American pastime, perhaps second only to baseball. Every spring, millions of home gardeners find at least some small space in their yard or garden, or even a spot on their deck or patio, for growing a tomato plant or two. In this article, we are going to explore the idea of growing tomatoes on trellises, and how this unique alternative to staking or caging can lead to bigger and better harvests.

The question of whether gardeners should provide support for tomato plants is one that has been hotly debated in the gardening world. Some purists believe that tomato plants should be left to sprawl on the ground naturally. While it is true that allowing plants to lie on the ground will usually lead to bigger plants, it doesn’t typically mean that you’ll get a larger harvest. This is because tomato plants in contact with the ground run a much higher risk of blight and other diseases, as well as pest infestations. Furthermore, when fruit is touching the ground it tends to rot easily and will often become infested with bugs before the gardener has a chance to harvest. Heavily mulching the ground with wood mulch or straw can help provide some protective barrier, but tomato plants left to sprawl will still experience a much higher rate of fruit rot and blight.

Most typically, gardeners use tomato cages as a way of staking their plants. These small wire cages can be round or square, and are installed at the time of planting, providing support for the growing stems and heavy fruit as the plant gets bigger. The primary problem with cages is that the plants often outgrow them by mid to late summer, leaving gardeners with overgrown foliage that droops down to the ground. Another issue may be that the cages begin falling or blowing over because they aren’t sturdy enough to support the weight of a fully grown plant and all its fruit.

One interesting alternative to cages is the tomato trellis. Trellises can provide excellent support for a large plant, because they allow it to continually grow up rather than out. If the trellis is well supported at both the top and bottom (for example, if you can attach the top to the side of your house, garage, or shed), it will easily hold the full weight of a tomato plant at summer’s end.

Tomato trellises also afford gardeners the ability to grow more plants in a smaller space. Typically, one tomato plant would require a plot of ground about three to four foot square, so as to leave enough room to walk around and harvest the fruit all summer long. With a trellis, each plant may only require a one to two foot square area, meaning you can double, or possibly even triple, the number of plants you grow in one small area.

Last but not least, because a tomato trellis keeps the stems and foliage at a higher reach, maintaining the plants and harvesting the fruit is much easier on the gardener because less stooping and bending is required. Trellises are an excellent solution for older gardener afflicted by arthritis or disabled persons constrained to a wheelchair.

So if you count yourself among the many gardeners who enjoy raising homegrown tomatoes in the summer months, consider trellises this year as an alternative to cages. You may find that it leads to an easier gardening experience and a bigger harvest of tomatoes than you’ve ever had in the past!

Home Products ‘N’ More offers free shipping on vegetable trellis and tomato trellis kits. Visit us today at

Alternate Tomato Growing Methods

Hanging Tomato Planters Tomato gardeners are always trying to find the best ways to grow tomatoes in their gardens. Tomato growing is widespread popularity, and could be considered a national pastime, just like baseball, mom, and apple pie.

Unfortunately, not everyone has the space or time to start a tomato garden.

Various container growing methods have come about over the years, but few are as popular as hanging tomato planters.

The popularity of hanging tomato planters are based on their many conveniences. You can put one almost anywhere, and because they hang, you don’

t need floor space for a tomato garden. They are perfect for apartment dwellers that have limited space, as they can be hung on their deck or patio.

Just think, you can have fresh tomatoes just a few steps away from your kitchen, where they will be handy for a quick salad or to slice for a sandwich.

You won’t have to spend countless hours weeding hanging tomato planters, because they are isolated from the lawn and other weeds. If you change out the potting soil each year, you will eliminate problems with disease. You can also control drainage and moisture retention to accomodate your specific type of tomato plant by using custom mixed soil, with more organic matter or enhancements like perlite or peat moss.

With your tomato plants hanging down, you eliminate having to use stakes or tomato cages. Pruning becomes easier because you can have the hanging planter at eye level, instead of having to crouch down to the tomato plant. Hanging tomato planters also improve air circulation, which can help the pollination of the plants.

Hydroponic Tomato Growers There’s no argument that tomatoes used to taste better a few decades ago compared to their taste now. It’s not surprising when you considers that they are no longer commercially grown for taste, but for eye appeal and the ability to withstand extended storage periods. Commercially grown tomatoes are picked approximately two weeks before they ripen, and can be shipped and stored for a month before they find their way to your local supermarket produce section. They are artificially ripened and colored with Ethylene gas, yuck! Luckily, tomato lovers, can grow their own tomatoes with relative ease in containers or in their garden.

Few people realize that tomatoes are fruits, rather than a vegetables.

Providing that a few basic rules are followed tomatoes are unbelievably easy to grow hydroponically. If grown indoors, you’ll need to ensure they receive a suitable amount of light, and while strong sunlight from a nearby window may be sufficient, most indoor systems benefit from artificial lighting.

Hydroponic garden systems require a growing solution rich in nutrients, and because this supply will need to be monitored, growers are in a position to control growth by means of temperature, humidity, lighting and of course, pH levels. The biggest benefit of growing your tomatoes hydroponically is that you’ll never need to concern yourself with weeds, common garden pests or diseases often present in soil.

A h ydroponically grown tomato’s taste can be enhanced by making certain adjustments to the solution in which they’re grown. They also have a higher nutritional value than regular commercially grown tomatoes. It cannot be stressed enough that gas ripened tomatoes will never come close to tomatoes ripened on the vine.

Hydroponic garden systems come with detailed instructions, and the equipment is easy to use with little or no experience, making them ideal for beginners or experienced growers. While most basic hydroponic systems rely on a wick system, other methods include recovery drip systems, flood and drain systems or even NFT (nutrient film technique). Additionally, tomatoes can be grown in an aeroponic system, in which tomato plants are grown while being suspended, allowing their roots to be sprayed with a nutrient rich solution. Visit us at