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Tomato Growing Tips

Nothing beats the flavor of fresh-from-the-garden tomatoes.  And no matter what size your landscape, there’s always room for at least one plant. 

Space challenged gardeners can grow tomatoes in containers.  A 3 to 5 gallon pot is perfect for a single tomato plant skirted by a few flowers or herbs.   Or try mixing a few tomatoes in with your shrubs and flowers.

No matter where they end up, planting is about the same.  Carefully slide the plant out of the container.  Gently loosen the roots of pot-bound transplants to encourage the roots to grow into the surrounding soil.  Remove any flowers or small fruit.

Plant tall leggy plants deeper to encourage a larger root system to develop along the buried stem.  Dig a trench, remove the lower leaves and set the plant in the trench, carefully bending the stem upright.  Cover with soil and water. 

Set stakes and towers in place at the time of planting.  Training tomatoes off the ground keeps the fruit off the soil, reducing insect and disease problems. That means more fruit for you to enjoy.

A bit more information:  Many gardeners are having fun growing tomatoes in hanging baskets.  Select a patio or determinant tomato (they grow a certain height and stop) that will be an easier size to manage. You can reuse an old hanging basket, create your own from a 5 gallon bucket or buy one of the growing systems sold in garden centers, catalogues or on TV.  Keep in mind the smaller the container, the more often you need to water.  And be sure to provide a support strong enough to hold the weight of the container, moist soil, and the mature plant.

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