Tomato plant for sale – In picking a tomato plant for your garden, select young plants without fruits or blossoms, as younger plants tend to establish faster. Tomato plants for sale in the market are divided into three types: determinate, indeterminate, and semi-determinate tomatoes.
Determinate Tomatoes – form bushes that reach a certain height and stop growing typically only up to 2 to 3 feet. This type is suitable for containers or small garden areas.
Indeterminate Tomatoes – vines that grow and produce continuously with some varieties exceeding a length of 7 feet. This type must be staked or supported with trellising or wire cages to keep them off the ground.
Semi-determinate Tomatoes – a combination of the two previous varieties. They will grow larger than determinate ones but are not as rampant as indeterminate ones. Typically growing up to 3 to 5 feet tall, they should also be staked but are less likely to outgrow their stakes.
You may want to plant at least two varieties of tomato in your garden to see which one suits your gardening needs better. Here are the things to consider when growing your own tomato plant:
Weather – tomatoes are sun lovers so pick an area in your garden with full sun. They need at least 6 to 8 hours of sun exposure in a day to bring out the best flavors. The best season to plant tomatoes is in the late spring or early summer.
Soil – an acidic and well-drained loamy soil is the best choice for tomatoes. Mix in 3 to 4 inches of compost in the soil which will provide nutrients and help hold the moisture in. in order to grow a really strong plant, it is recommended to bury two-thirds of the stem when planting. This will allow your tomato to sprout roots on the buried stem thus enabling your plant to find water in drought. Also, establish tomato stakes or cages in the soil at the time of planting to keep your future tomato fruits off the ground. Cover the ground with 2 to 4 inches of mulch to minimize weeds and help keep the soil evenly moist. Straw and shredded leaves make great mulches for tomatoes.
Water – water generously in the first few days after planting and throughout the growing season. About 2 inches of water per week is needed during the summer.
Fertilizer – Mix a continuous-release fertilizer into the soil as you prepare the planting holes. After which, you may fertilize two weeks prior to first picking and again two weeks after first picking.
Pruning – prune plants by pinching off suckers so that only a couple stems are growing per stake. Remove rotten weak stems and dead leaves. You can prune your tomato plant all year round.
Pests – Regularly inspect your tomato plant for signs of infestation. Deal with pests as soon as you spot them. In mid-summer big green caterpillars called tomato hornworms eat tomato foliage and sometimes damage fruits. One or two hornworms can strip a plant leafless in a short time.