TIP 1 - TOMATOES LOVE FULL SUN
Tomatoes run on warmth; plant in late spring and early summer.
Devote a prime, sunny spot to tomatoes, which will grow into a tall screen of green foliage studded with ripening fruits in mid to late summer.
Tomatoes need at least 8 hours of sun to bring out their best flavours, and you will need to stake, trellis, or cage the sprawling plants to keep them off the ground. Decide on a support plan before you set out your plants.
TIP 2 - USE NUTRIENT RICH, WELL DRAINED SOIL
Tomatoes take up nutrients best when the soil pH ranges from 6.2 to 6.8, and they need a constant supply of major and minor plant nutrients.
To provide the major nutrients, mix a balanced timed-release or organic fertilizer into the soil as you prepare planting holes, following the rates given on the fertilizer label. At the same time, mix in 7-10cm (3-4") of compost. The compost will provide minor nutrients and help hold moisture and fertilizer in the soil until it is needed by the plants.
When it comes to planting, good soil is the foundation on which you build a good garden. Along with organic matter or humus there are three primary minerals that make up soil: sand, clay, silt. The right balance of both humus and minerals will achieve garden loam, the best soil for growing plants.
Soil that has too much clay will cause problems by holding water and being too wet and dense to work. Soil that is too sandy or silty will allow water and the nutrients to run through the ground too quickly to be absorbed!
TIP 3 - PLANT DEEPLY IN WELL DRAINED SOIL (AND MULCH)
If you plant deeply, they will sprout roots along the buried stem, so your plant will be stronger and better able to find water in drought. Two-thirds of the plant’s stem should be buried.
Cover the ground with 5-10cm (2-4") of mulch to keep down weeds and keep the soil evenly moist. Straw and shredded leaves make great mulches for tomatoes.
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