Squash, cucumbers, melons, eggplant, okra, tomatoes and other vegetables in your garden depend on bees to set fruit, so plant yourself some insurance with flowers that will attract them. Wildflowers for Bees or a Bee balm is one of their favorites. As soon as the weather is dependably warm and sunny, you should see the bees visiting your plants. Bee balm is perennial in Zones 4 through 9, so put it in a corner of the garden were it can grow undisturbed. It will multiply, too. If you “deadhead,” or cut off the old blooms when they fade, bee balm will bloom longer. Marigolds make good companion plants for tomatoes because the roots contain thiopene. Certain nematodes find this substance toxic and will either avoid it or meet more severe consequences. Plant tomatoes along side of radishes, spinach, lettuce and turnips to help shade them from the hot sun. Though there is some debate, cabbage and cauliflower may benefit from having tomatoes close because they discourage flea beetles from nibbling. Good plants to pair with tomatoes are basil, carrots, chamomile and marigolds but keep them separate from fennel and potatoes.
Vegetable Garden - Tips on Growing Tomato From Seeds
The main crop in some home gardens, and for the home gardener are tomatoes that deliver the taste of summer in every bite. Just a few healthy plants will produce buckets of beautiful Tomatoes loaded with flavor and nutrition. Tomatoes run on warmth, so they are best planted in late spring and early summer except in Zone 10, where they are a fall and winter crop. Choosing varieties can be confusing because there is such a large of selection of seeds to choose from, but it’s a good idea to plant some of each for variety and length of season. Devote a prime, sunny spot for your tomatoes, which will grow into a tall screen of green foliage studded with ripening fruits in mid- to late summer. Tomatoes need at least 8 hours of sun to bring out their best flavors, and you will need to stake, trellis, or cage the sprawling plants to keep them off the ground. Deciding on a support plan before you set out your tomato plants out is suggested.
You can combine fast-maturing varieties with mid and late season, but wait until any danger of frost has passed to transplant your tomatoes.
USDA Hardiness Zone -First Frost Date- Last Frost Date
in a warm, well-lighted area at least 5-7 weeks before last the last frost. Sow Tomato seeds ¼" deep in seed starting formula. Keep evenly moist. Tomato seedlings emerge in 5-8 days at 70º F. Prior to transplanting to the garden, accustom to outdoor conditions by moving to a sheltered place outside for a week.
The seedlings to stand 3-4" apart each way if left un staked; 2½" apart each way if staked or grown in cages. Tomatoes need full sun and well drained soil. Did you know that the best time to transplant is on a cloudy day or in the morning or evening hours when the sun is not as intense? And water your tomato seedlings just before you are ready to transplant to help the root ball intact.
Water deeply once a week in dry weather. Cultivate or mulch to control weeds. A trick that we learned from a grower of Hydroponics Tomatoes, that was in the absence of bees, he would flick the tomato flower with your index finger lightly, and this would help in the pollination process.
If you see cracking:
Both radical cracking ( from the stem downward) and concentric cracking( around the stem) is caused when the plant takes up too much water too quickly. As tomatoes begin turning red, their skin becomes less flexible. Uneven watering or rain following a dry period encourages the plant to drink too quickly, thus cracking the fruit in a radical direction. Later in the season cool nights combine with uneven moisture will then cause the concentric cracking. The smallest like cherry tomatoes and tomatoes over 3" in diameter are most susceptible, as well as old varieties. Some of the new tomatoes that are crack resistant would be a Celebrity Tomato.
For your information, you will see the initials below after the name of our Tomatoes. This guide is to inform you of the disease resistance or tolerance to common Tomato problems.
Tomato Disease Terminology