Tomatoes: How To grow This Vegetable In Raising Beds?


First, begin by selecting good specimens and types. We almost exclusively grow “heritage” or “heirloom” Tomatoes, though I’ll admit that the term is now always well defined, and I don’t believe that will matter much in general as far as growing them goes. Individually, we grow Cherokee Purple, Purple Russian, and Early Girl tomatoes, plus Black Cherry and Sungold cherry tomatoes. But, as noted, see what grows well in your area/USDA zone.

We also prefer indeterminate to determinant varieties. But that is a personal decision; both will grow similarly and the difference in when you get how much produce. Indeterminate varieties spread the season over a longer time, while determinant varieties produce most of their fruit in just a couple of weeks and then die off.

Tomatoes: How To grow This Vegetable In Raising Beds?
Tomatoes: How To grow This Vegetable In Raising Beds?

Methods Of Growing Tomatoes

Before planting, we always make sure that the beds drain well, and then we add a good layer of compost to the foundations. About three inches of compost, which we then turn into the soil to a depth of about six inches.

Nest, when we plant, we always add an excellent slow fertilizer. We like Osmocote, but there are many from which to choose. I cannot say whether one is better than another, but Osmocote is what we typically use, and it works wonderfully for us.

Stake or cage the tomatoes, preferably early in the season. The plants get enough water regularly. In the past, we’ve mostly used Ooze-Tubes. These are long, skinny bags that you fill once per week with a combination of water and liquid fertilizer. It means you attend to them once per week, and they are well watered and well fertilized. This year (and last year), we are trying alternative drip irrigation systems. The critical point here is to keep them regularly watered and well fertilized. 

 Pruning allows the sun and air to the tomato blossoms and fruit and lets them grow to produce the best fruit. Trim off branches that will make the fruit grow while touching the ground. These are tomatoes that we would throw away.

Tomatoes: How To grow This Vegetable In Raising Beds?
Tomatoes: How To grow This Vegetable In Raising Beds?

What To do When Fall approaches?

As fall approaches, trim off the flowers. Determine the average date of the first frost, and trim off any flowers about a month before that date. On average, a flower will produce fruit in a month, so herbs that appear later than a month before the first frost will not survive to produce fruit. At this point in the later summer months, your tomatoes will be “slowing down” in their production, and I’d recommend you encourage it to put its remaining energy into fruit production instead of into flowers that won’t likely survive to produce fruit.

No real harm if you don’t do the above trimming. It won’t harm the plant. The only real consequence is that you’ll get fewer mature tomatoes.

Pay attention to the weather forecast. Don’t water if there is a lot of rain in the forecast, for example.

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