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18 Tips For Growing The Best Tomatoes In Your Garden
Cool-climate tomatoes do best in areas that don’t have a long growing season, whereas hot-climate tomatoes thrive in warmer seasons. If you want to make sauces, roma and plum tomatoes are best, but for dishes like salads, opt for cherry tomatoes.
Tomatoes thrive in acidic soil that drains well, and the recommended pH range is 6.2 to 6.8. If you’re unsure of your soil’s pH, test it by applying 2.5 pounds of a 10-10-10 fertilizer per every 100 square feet of the garden into the soil two weeks before planting.
Tomato Seedlings
Even though tomato seedlings are young, they still need plenty of space so they don’t get stressed or become susceptible to disease. The general rule of thumb is to leave 24 to 36 inches between each plant, allowing light to reach the lower leaves of the plant.
Before you place your tomatoes outside, cut back on water and fertilizer for one week, then place the tomatoes outside during the day when the temperature is above 60 degrees. After a week, leave the plants overnight as long as the temperature is above 50 degrees, and then leave them outside for a week before transplanting.
Baby tomatoes need plenty of direct sunlight, preferably 14 to 18 hours per day, but if necessary, artificial lighting can be used. Once the plants are ready for outside, place them in the sunniest part of your garden; mature tomato plants will need at least eight hours of sun, preferably morning light.