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Planting Tomatoes

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

Space challenged gardeners can grow tomatoes in containers. Or try mixing them 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: The way you train your tomatoes also influences ripening and productivity. Staked tomatoes will produce earlier but fewer tomatoes than caged plants. Plants grown in towers or cages will start producing a bit later but the overall yield will be greater. Plants left to sprawl on the ground will have the largest harvest. Unfortunately many fruits are lost to disease, insects and gardeners feet.

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