If you want to grow a tomato as big as the one recorded in the Guinness World Records, which is at a hefty 7lbs 12oz, you have to treat growing tomatoes as you would growing a small child. I am not saying to stick your child outside in the dirt and check on them once a day, but trying to use this analogy with the idea in mind that you need to feed your child, give your child water, and nurture your child until it grows to be an adult. The same mind set needs to be applied to growing successful tomatoes; you need to feed it well, water it, and check on it daily to ensure that it is growing with no diseases or rot. But before we get to feeding it and caring for it, you need to decide if you are going to start from seed or plant.
Growing Tomatoes From Seed or Plant
Growing tomatoes from seeds are actually quite easy to do. You can start off by planting seeds in a flat, which is a small tray used for growing, and do this about 6 -8 weeks prior to spring starting. Tomatoes do the best in heat and the chilly weather and frost is harmful. Many suggestions can be made as far as a heat source. Some say to use the top of your water heater while others will mention putting the flat next to the window. You can even use a heat pad if you wish. When grown, you can move them out to the garden when the nighttime low is around 50 degrees or so.
Tomatoe Care and Harvesting
Many different composts are great for tomatoes. As mentioned above you can use eggshells. You can also use what is known as compost tea, which is manure that has been soaking in water for about a week. While compost is great for tomatoes, it is more important to make sure your tomatoes get plenty of sun and water. You will want to make sure you add 6-8 inches of water so that it soaks down to the roots. Although depending on where you live, you may have to make adjustments to this. Good mulch will also keep moisture in. Tomatoes will only need to be watered every 3-4 days and need to be watered before late afternoon to make sure they are dry by night fall. If they are not dry by nightfall they can attract diseases. Be sure to stake your tomato plant as it gets taller and if you happen to have any large tomatoes, you may want to create a sling with cheesecloth or other kind of soft cloth. If you do not like the look of stakes, many other options such as trellis’ or arbors can be used as well.
The ideal time to harvest tomatoes is when they are ripened as just becoming soft. You will want to store them in a box in a dark place. It is not recommended to refrigerate them as they will lose their flavor. You only have so many days to use them up before they lose flavor, so if needed create a sauce to use the extras up. Sauce can freeze for up to months and still taste great.
So to continue with the same analogy as above, with a little bit of food and care, it is not difficult raise a tomato plant. All they need is to be watered and have plenty of sun. If you follow these guidelines above and with a little bit of trial and error, there is no reason why you can not have big tomatoes to enjoy for you and your family.
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