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Tomatoes are the royalty of the garden — and the kitchen. They're the country's most popular garden vegetable by a mile. This is probably because it's almost impossible to duplicate the juicy sweetness of a homegrown tomato.
Tomato plants are easy to start from seed. Start them indoors, six to eight weeks before you put them out into the garden. Under warm conditions indoors (70 degrees F.), the seeds will usually germinate in just a few days. Provide your tomato seedlings with 15 hours of bright light each day to keep them from getting leggy. You may need to transplant them into larger pots if they grow very quickly. Tomatoes are hungry plants and they need to be fertilized frequently, starting as seedlings.
Because of the huge number of tomato plants out there, it's difficult to choose what to grow. If you're growing in less space, consider a dwarf variety. If you have more room, the options are incredible.
Always provide some sort of support for your tomatoes. Letting them flop on the ground increases disease problems. Get your supports in place at planting time and make a habit of checking weekly to tie, prune or tuck-in wayward branches.
Last updated: 2/27/19
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