Growing Tomatoes 101 - Georgina Garden Centre

Growing Tomatoes 101

How to Care for Determinate and Indeterminate Tomatoes in Georgina

Growing tomatoes in the Keswick area? You’re in for a treat! Let’s dive into the fun world of caring for determinate and indeterminate tomatoes. With a little love and attention, you’ll have a bountiful harvest of juicy, delicious tomatoes!

 

Meet the Tomatoes

Determinate Tomatoes: These are your bushy buddies! They grow to a certain size and then stop, producing all their fruit at once. Perfect for canning and sharing with friends.

Indeterminate Tomatoes: The wild ones! They keep growing and producing all season long, so be ready for a steady supply of fresh tomatoes.

 

Getting Started

 Soil Preparation:

  • Give your tomatoes a comfy home with well-draining soil rich in organic matter.
  • Mix in some compost or well-rotted manure.
  • Aim for a pH of 6.0 to 6.8—your tomatoes will thank you!

 Starting Seeds Indoors:

  • Start seeds indoors 6-8 weeks before the last frost.
  • Use seed trays with a seed-starting mix.
  • Keep them warm (21-24°C) and provide plenty of light. They love a sunny window or grow lights!

Transplanting Outdoors:

  • Harden off your seedlings by gradually introducing them to outdoor conditions over a week.
  • Transplant after the last frost, when the soil warms up to at least 15°C.

 

Watering 101

Consistent Watering:

  • Water deeply once a week, aiming for moist, not soggy, soil.
  • Mulch around your plants to retain moisture and keep those pesky weeds at bay.

Techniques:

  • Water at the base of the plant to avoid wet leaves and potential fungal issues.
  • During dry spells, increase watering frequency, but don’t drown them!

 

Feeding Your Tomatoes

Initial Feeding:

  • At planting, mix in a balanced, slow-release fertilizer (10-10-10).

Ongoing Fertilization:

  • For Determinates: Fertilize at planting and when the first fruits appear.
  • For Indeterminates: Feed every 4-6 weeks with a fertilizer higher in phosphorus and potassium (like 4-5-7 or 3-6-9) to keep them fruiting like champs!

 

Pruning and Support

Pruning Determinates:

  • Minimal pruning needed—just remove any crowded suckers.
  • Don’t go overboard; let them bush out and enjoy their moment!

 Pruning Indeterminates:

  • Prune suckers regularly to improve airflow and keep diseases at bay.
  • Remove lower leaves as they grow for better air circulation.

 Supporting Your Plants:

  • Determinate: Use cages or stakes for support. Secure gently!
  • Indeterminate: These guys need tall stakes or trellises. Tie them up as they grow, and watch them climb!

 

Watch Out for Pests and Diseases

 Common Pests:

  • Look out for aphids, tomato hornworms, and whiteflies.
  • Combat them with insecticidal soap, End-All or neem oil.

 Disease Prevention:

  • Rotate crops annually to avoid soil-borne issues.
  • Ensure proper spacing for good airflow.
  • Remove any diseased leaves promptly.

 

Harvest Time!

Determinate Tomatoes:

  • Harvest when tomatoes are fully coloured and firm.
  • Get ready for a tomato feast all at once—perfect for sauces and canning!

Indeterminate Tomatoes:

  • Pick ripe fruit regularly to encourage more production.
  • Enjoy fresh tomatoes throughout the season until the first frost.

 

Final Tips

Growing tomatoes in the Georgina area is all about balance—watering, feeding, and a little TLC. Whether you’re dealing with determinate or indeterminate varieties, follow these tips, and you’ll be rewarded with an abundance of tasty tomatoes. Get ready to impress your friends and family with your gardening skills!

Happy gardening, and may your tomato plants be ever bountiful! 🍅🌱

 

Shannon, the Garden Girl

Shannon, the Garden Girl, shows you step by step how and why to prune your tomato plants.

 

Back to blog