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 How To Grow Organic Tomatoes 
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Joined: Mon Sep 13, 2010 1:47 pm
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Post How To Grow Organic Tomatoes
How To Grow Organic Tomatoes
by: Ann Cohen

Growing your own organic tomatoes and vegetables can be very rewarding. For me, there's nothing better than getting my hands in the soil and being able to produce healthy organic tomatoes and vegetables for my family and friends tops the list.

Tomatoes are the most popular vegetables grown in the home garden. One of the reasons is that they are relatively easy to grow. But that does not mean that they grow without care.

Whether you are a seasoned gardener or a beginner. I hope that I can give you some tips and tricks to make your organic gardening a pleasurable and easy process.

There are many benefits to growing Organic Tomatoes.

1. Organic Tomatoes are healthier and more flavorful.
2. Save $$$ by growing your own Organic Tomatoes
3. Being able to supply our families with Organic Tomatoes and vegetables that are free from pesticides and insecticides.
4. Gardening is relaxing and stress free
5. Chemical Pesticides and Fertilizers seep into the ground water, poisoning our drinking water.
6. Chemical fertilizers strip the land of much needed topsoil, which is why with chemical fertilizers, you need to add more and more chemicals each year to maintain the same results.
7. Chemical fertilizers are picked up by the plants roots and transfered to the fruit, which is then ingested by us. The chemical toxins build up in your body, which among other things causes cancer as well as other diseases. If the product is poisonous when you put it on the plant, it will still be poisonous when you harvest the plant. Just in a smaller dosage.
8. The longer you garden organically the less you have to do to the soil each year. Organic Gardening adds nutrients and topsoil back to the earth creating a richer soil year after year.

It's All In The Soil

Good organic soil is the key to all gardening success, preparing your soil for your organic tomatoes and vegetable lays the ground work for your plants and will help them thrive. The soil is the home of your plant and should be prepared to help your plants grow.

Your first step should be to know the condition of your existing soil. Tomatoes like soil that is slightly acidic. You can test the Ph of your soil by purchasing a Ph tester, an inexpensive electronic tool that reads the soils Ph level. You can also contact your local county extension service to submit a sample of your soil. They will test your soil and give you a report on the ph of the soil as well as the various levels of nutrients in your soil.

Identify your soil. Clay soil is a heavy reddish colored soil that is difficult for some plant roots to thrive. This soil retains water and may cause standing water in heavy rains. Sandy soil is a light soil that is the opposite of clay, it drains quickly and there are many plants that prefer a sandy soil.

Now that you know the basics about your soil, it's time to start adding good quality organic material such as peat moss and organic compost. The first thing you will want to do is loosen the soil in your bed area at least 6 to 12 inches. The looser the soil is around your plant roots, the easier it is for them to grow deeply, and deep roots mean healthier, better producing plants. After loosening the soil you will mix in about one to two inches of organic materials. Now you have a soil that your plants will live and thrive in.

Now that you have prepared your soil, it time to plant your organic tomato seedlings.

1. If you are starting tomatoes from seed, make sure to give the seedlings room to branch out. Crowding seedlings inhibit their growth, so transplant them as soon as they get their first leaves and move them into 4" pots about 2 weeks after that.

2. Tomato seedlings will need either strong, direct sunlight or 14-18 hours under grow lights. Plant your tomatoes outside in the sunniest part of your vegetable plot.

3. Dig a hole twice the size of the pot and bury tomato plants deeper than they come in the pot, all the way up to a few top leaves.

4. Once the tomato plants are about 3' tall, remove the leaves from the bottom 1' of stem. These are usually the first leaves to develop fungus problems. .

5. Pinch and remove growth that develops in the joint of two branches. They won't bear fruit and will take energy away from the rest of the plant. Prune sparingly the rest of the plant. You can thin leaves to allow the sun to reach the ripening fruit.

One of the most crucial parts of caring for your organic tomatoes is knowing how much water do organic tomato plants need.

1. Water slowly and deeply - The number 1 rule of watering tomatoes is to make sure that you go slow and easy. Use a drip hose or other forms of drip irrigation to deliver water to your tomato plants slowly.

2. Water regularly. There is no hard and fast rule to this. It depends on how hot it is and if the plant is actively growing. A good rule of thumb is to supply water once every 2 - 3 days at the height of summer. Remember that water supplied by Mother Nature counts towards watering tomato plants in the garden.

3. Water at the roots - When watering tomatoes, make sure you get the water straight to the roots. Do not water from above as this can cause disease and pests to attack the plants. Watering tomato plants from above also encourages premature evaporation and unnecessarily wastes water.

Improper watering can lead to the following issues:

* Blossom end rot
* Stunted growth
* Reduced fruit production
* Susceptibility to pests
* Root loss
* Sub-quality fruit

Don't miss more tips and techniques on organic gardening...go to

About The Author
Amy Cohen is an organic garden who loves to share her tips and tricks about organic gardening. "There is nothing better than getting your hands in the soil and watching your plants grow!!! Getting a fresh healthy organic vegetable off the vine, doesn't get any better than that!!!"

Don't miss more tips and techniques on organic gardening...go

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Fri Dec 10, 2010 5:28 pm
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