Growing Tomatoes in Your New England Garden is Easy with a Little Help
The most common question asked by amateur gardeners is.... you guessed it, "how do I grow tomatoes in my New England garden?"
Believe it or not, tomatoes are one of the easier vegetables to grow, and will do well either in the ground or in VERY large pots, like ½ whiskey barrels in a warm sunny location. Either way, we can teach you how to grow tomatoes in just a few minutes!
Pick the Right Variety of Tomato for Your Garden
Decide what kind of tomatoes you want to grow. The new hybrid tomatoes have good disease resistance but tend to be harder-skinned while the heirloom varieties are very juicy and have thinner skins. Also, don't forget the various cherry tomatoes available through garden centers and seed companies... these cherry tomatoes ripen faster than the larger tomatoes so you can start eating your tomatoes sooner! Buy your tomatoes online from a respected grower- you'll get healthier plants and much better varieties than you'll find in any garden center.
Plant Your Tomato Right Up to the Top Leaves
Tomatoes do something many plants do not - they can grow roots all the way up their stems. In the wild, as tomatoes grow tall they fall over and touch the ground. Where they touch, the tomato sends roots down into the soil. If you have the room, you can let your tomatoes do this but you also run the risk of having the fruit touch the ground and rot. The better solution - plant your tomato at least 8 inches below the soil, a foot is even better. Every bit of stem below the soil line will grow roots and help your tomato take up water, resist disease and reduce the amount of water you need to give your tomato plant during the growing season!
Water Your Tomatoes Deeply and Thoroughly Once a Week
With roots so deep, it only makes sense that when you do water, you do so thoroughly. That means at least an inch of water a week, preferably 2 or 3 inches. That way, the water seeps deep into the soil and can make contact with all those roots the tomato has grown on its stem below the surface.
Pick Out Any Side Shoots to Encourage Bigger Tomatoes and Better Air Circulation
This can be done weekly and goes a long way to making bigger tomatoes and less leaves on your tomato plant.
Eat Your Tomatoes and Repeat!!
This tried-and-true method has worked very well for us over the years. We water less and get big juicy tomatoes every time!