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Plant a Garden and Enjoy Homegrown Tomatoes

by Conrad Neuf, All About Lawns Columnist

There is little comparison between homegrown tomatoes and those you find at your grocery store. Maybe it's just the pride and satisfaction in knowing you grew the tomatoes yourself, but homegrown tomatoes always seem to be juicier and overflowing with taste. With a little bit of education and practice, you can become an expert tomato gardener and enjoy your own homegrown tomatoes all summer long.

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Types of Tomatoes for Your Garden

There are two main varieties of tomato plants--those that have an ending point for their growth, and those that continue to mature until the growing season ends. The shorter tomato plants are considered determinate, and are fairly quick to produce tomatoes. If you want tomatoes all summer with determinate plants, stagger your plantings. Indeterminate plants continue to grow, producing tomatoes later in the season.

You can jump-start your tomato plants by establishing them indoors and transplanting them into your garden when there is no longer a chance of overnight frost. Planting is determined by the types of tomatoes you choose: Smaller varieties may be planted as close together as 12 inches, while larger varieties requiring stakes for support should be planted about 15 to 24 inches apart. The size of your garden might determine the types of tomato plants you choose to plant. The University of Illinois Extension offers helpful advice on different varieties of tomatoes and how to plant them.

Tomato plants need plenty of water, so water them when rain has been lacking. Fertilize as needed for the soil. Each tomato variety has its own unique taste--try planting different types to find your favorites. Your neighbors may be happy if you may plant too many!



About the Author

Jeffrey Anderson has a Degree in English from V.M.I., and served as an officer in the Marine Corps. He worked in Residential and Commercial construction management for 25 years before retiring to write full time. He spends his time writing, remodeling


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