Growing tomatoes from seed. Starting homegrown tomatoes. Deciding between determinate and indeterminate varieties of tomatoes.
Types of Tomatoes
Tomato vines fall into two groups. There are indeterminate tomatoes and determinate tomatoes. Which type you should choose depends on how you intend to grow them.
Indeterminate tomatoes continue to grow as long as the weather remains warm enough. They will take over your garden if you do not control them by staking and pruning them.
Indeterminate tomato types produce more fruit over a longer season.
Determinate tomatoes will stop growing when they reach a certain height. They tend to produce a large crop of fruit at one time. This is the type to grow if you plan to can your homegrown tomatoes or if you plan to grow tomatoes indoors or in pots.
The seed packet will tell you which type you have.
Decide how many tomato plants you want to grow. Fill that number of Styrofoam cups with a quality peat based potting mix. Leave half an inch of space at the top of each cup. Poke a hole in the bottom of each cup with a pencil.
Place 3 tomato seeds in the center of each cup. Just lay the seeds on their sides. Cover them with potting mix and water them in gently so as not to disturb the soil or the seeds.
Keep the cups warm and moist. They don't need light now but as soon as the seedlings are up (in a week or so), move them into very bright light.
If you're growing tomatoes from seed indoors, set the seedlings directly in front of a south facing window or directly beneath a fluorescent light for at least 8 hours per day.
If you're starting tomatoes outside, set the seedlings in bright shade or early morning sun. Full sun will dry the soil out too quickly at this stage. Wait until you pot them up.
When growing tomatoes from seed, start the plants at least 6 weeks before the last frost.
Set the seedlings outside after all danger of frost has passed. Place them in a sheltered, brightly lit but not sunny area to harden them off before you set the into the open ground.
If you plan to keep your tomato plant in a pot, you can transplant it into the pot you intend to grow it in now. Just take care not to over water tomatoes which are growing in containers they have not grown into yet.
If you live in a hot climate--zones 9-11--start more seeds in late summer. Tomatoes grow and produce better during the cool season in these zones.
Growing Tomatoes in Pots
Growing tomatoes in containers is about growing tomatoes in pots and buckets. Container growing tomatoes. The best tomato varieties for container tomato gardening.
Planting tomatoes in the ground or in buckets. Tomato planting instructions for growing tomatoes in containers or an upside down tomato planter.
Growing Tomatoes Upside Down
Growing tomatoes upside down in buckets. Hanging tomatoes in an upside down tomato planter. Topsy Turvy tomato.
Growing Bell Peppers
Growing bell peppers. How to grow sweet bell pepper plants. Container gardening bell peppers. Planting green bell peppers.