Terrific Tomatoes!

Raleigh Landscaping, Raleigh Landscape Contractors, Raleigh Garden Designers, Garden Design, Landscaping, Insects, #Raleigh Garden Design, #Raleigh Landscaping, early spring, Tomato, Tomatoes, Vegetable GardensTomatoes are a great choice to add to vegetable gardens because they can be grown in small areas, containers and raised beds.  There are so many types to choose from such as cherry tomatoes, plum tomatoes, slicing tomatoes and grape tomatoes.  They come in red, green, yellow, orange and purple and are a good source of Vitamin A and C, folic acid and a variety of other anti-oxidants and nutrients including lycopene, beta-carotene, lutein and alpha-lipoic acid.  Tomatoes are also a good dietary choice because they are low in carbohydrates, fats and sugars.  These are just some of the reasons we think tomatoes are terrific!   And who doesn’t like a good mater sandwich in the summer?

Any gardener can grow tomatoes with the right growing conditions but here are a few tips from the DesignScapes of NC team to get you started:

Tomatoes are either determinate or indeterminate.  Determinate tomato plants usually only grow four to five feet tall and set their fruit all at one time.  Indeterminate tomato plants grow all season and produce fruit throughout the season.  Indeterminate tomatoes can grow to six feet and higher.  These will require good staking or a heavy-duty cage.  So, you will want to take this into consideration when selecting the type of plants that are best suitable for your garden, raised beds or pots.

You will want to space the plants that are in the same row, 1 1/2 to 2 feet apart and space the rows 3 – 4 feet apart.  Tomato plants need to be planted deep enough to allow the root ball or the peat pot to be covered with 1 inch of soil.  Adding compost, peat moss or other types of organic matter to sandy and clay soil types is best.  The planting hole will need to have good drainage as tomatoes do not like to sit in standing water.  They may die if they sit in water for several hours.  If you are planning on growing tomatoes in pots, providing good drainage is key.  However, you will also need to make sure that the plants get adequate water especially on hot days. It may be necessary to water daily in particularly hot growing areas like we can experience here in Raleigh, NC.  Adding mulch will also help to conserve moisture.  Using a high quality planting mix and providing good support such as stakes, cages or a trellis are also essential.  Tomato plants can grow pretty tall and wide and can’t support themselves.

If you are going to give growing tomatoes a try, there are varieties that do better in the south.  Heirloom varieties that are best for the south include ‘German Johnson’, ‘Cherokee Purple’, ‘Marglobe’, and ‘Homestead’.   ‘Celebrity’, ‘Better Boy’ and ‘Early Girl’ are the hybrids that grow best in south.  So, enjoy summer and enjoy dining on those home-grown tomatoes!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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