Alright welcome back guys, welcome to my video on how to grow tomatoes. I am just going to take you over how I grow tomatoes here at the farm and take you through some scenarios. I’m going to give you some tips and kind of what we do to get some outstanding tomatoes here.
So first of all number one tip is you want to make sure that you’re growing your tomatoes in a sunny location. You have to have at least six hours of sun. If you can eight to twelve hours of sun is best for the tomatoes and you definitely want to make sure that you’re outside of the frost zone in your area. Now up here in northern Ohio this is actually June first when I’m making this video. Last night our temperatures got into the low 40s. Kind of scary. Typically at this time of the year you don’t have temperatures that low, but you just want to make sure if you got a cold stretch there you want to cover them up because they will die at the first touch of frost. So basically your time to harvest is going to be 60 to 100 days depending on if you’ve got seedlings. If you’ve bought small plants a lot of times if you do have that it will be quicker but if you’re starting from seed and you start indoors you want to you know keep that harvest time to about two months to three months hardiness zones you can plant tomatoes anywhere as long as it’s summer. As long as there’s no chance of frost you’re okay.
The optimal growing temperature is gonna be sixty to ninety ninety degrees Fahrenheit which is fifteen to thirty two degrees Celsius. Your germination temperature, maybe you’re trying to start seeds ,is gonna be 70 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit and then 21 to 29 degrees Celsius. Now that’s the soil temperature so again germination to get these to sprout you want to pick some good seeds, some plump seeds not the thin seeds. When you’re planting seeds you want to hand pick the best seeds as you can and with just a pinch test on those you can kind of see them. If they’re swollen those are good seeds so you don’t want any flat seeds when you’re planting tomato seeds. Make sure they’re plump okay. So again germination temperature between 70 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit which is 21 to 29 degrees Celsius. That is going to be your soil temperature; that’s not the air soil temperature and then optimal growth temperature this is the air sixty to ninety degrees okay which is 15 to 32 degrees Celsius. Germination usually takes between 7 and 14 days so you look in a week to two weeks typically. If your soil conditions are good you’re gonna get sprouts within the first week.
Light preferences. You want these in full sun, you don’t want to go anything less than six hours up to 12 hours of strict sunlight per day. If you’re into the science and you’re looking at pH levels your pH levels you want between 6. 2 and 6. 3, and eighteen and 36 inches and that usually depends on whether the cherry tomatoes were in or vine tomatoes whatever. So 18 to 36 inches apart that gives you plenty of room to work with the vines. Okay soil amendments. We’re gonna get onto what to put in the ground to get a good tomato but what I recommend is using a product called Roots Organics, it’s completely 100% organic.It’s stuff that’s not gonna hurt you, it’s not synthetic, it’s got a lot of good things and it’s got microbes all sorts of good stuff. You know I really plug roots organic. I’m not a spokesman or anything like that for them. I don’t get paid any money by you know promoting their products but I can just tell you from from past comparing things where I’ve used and grown in the RIS organic compared to just regular soil or some other soil, some other name-brand, just doesn’t compare.
Alright so some of the things that you might want to put into the soil to help it. Alfalfa meal is great. It’s great for some early season nitrogen. Typically you can go 8 to 12 pounds for 100 feet or we go 2 pounds per 10 feet like in a row so I’ve got a row of 10 feet .I’m going to use about 2 pounds of alfalfa meal then I’m going to mix that into the soil. Alfalfa meal is the best all-around fertilizer. I found something that’s handy, handily available at any store and tomatoes love the alfalfa meal. Another thing that you could use is something that’s called feather meal. Feather meal is ground-up chicken feathers and on the feather meal you’re gonna use one to one-and-a-half pounds per hundred square feet or about a cup per 10 feet in a row so one cup per 10 feet in a row. That’s the feather meal. Another great thing that I just started using actually here recently too is called kelp meal. Now if you guys are going with the Roots Organics, this is another thing about the Roots Organic, it has the kelp in it. Kelp provides potassium trace minerals and house plant immunity. It’s a really good organic product so I always start with about three to four inches of good garden compost or mushroom compost. You want a nice layer that’s like I said for your tomatoes. The tomatoes just thrive and compost want to be able to mix it into the soil and then you can add the alfalfa meal, the feather meal, kelp meal there’s, all sorts of things.
If you have any questions on that post the questions below and we’ll get to the the questions when we can and as a community here we can help each other out. So there’s nothing like a hoe, a little elbow grease or maybe a small tiller you know like a Manís. You mix in the compost, the soil amendments, the topsoil together. I like to get out there and into my garden. I like to get into it a few weeks in advance before I’m actually ready to plant my tomato plants or seedlings. If you’ve had poor performance growing tomatoes in the past the first thing you want to check is your soil pH. Tomatoes grow best in a slightly acidic soil so your pH you want to be at the six point two to six point a six point eight range. Alkaline soils have a pH of seven to seven point eight. There are ways to lower the pH levels maybe I can make another video on that in the near future but if you’ve had some poor poor years with your tomatoes and not a whole lot of success chances are you’ve got more of an alkaline soil. So I’m going to break down the stages real quick.
Stage one is watering the plants. you want to get them established the first two weeks after planting. water a little bit everyday or every other day. If it doesn’t rain you really want to get these watered. You want to get them settled in and established. Overhead watering is the best at this stage. After the first two weeks we’re going to get onto stage two and when you’re watering you want to make sure the tomatoes are stretching their roots out. After the tomatoes have been in the ground for three weeks, when the vines are thickening up and they’re beginning to grow aggressively, you want to back off the watering. Let them dry out for a few days as this stage you want to make sure your Tomatoes work to sink their roots deeper, to find water. You want them to set a good base down so if it’s really hot and they’re wilting give them some water but at this point make them stretch, not stress them excessively, but make them search for water. After a few days give them a good deep soaking, saturate the soil, let it dry out again for a few days and then make your tomato stretch for the roots even deeper into the soil. Basically you’re getting them used to digging deep for water without really stressing them out. So you know for the first two weeks you want to water them literally every day. Do not let the soil dry out.
After the third week you want to water them every couple days maybe two days in between. Let the ground dry out a little bit, let those roots dig in, let those roots dig deeper in search of water. Okay if it’s really hot and they’re wilting then give them water but you know like I said let that soil dry out a little bit. Let those roots get in there and really establish themselves. When you’re growing tomatoes the deeper the root systems the more nutrients they can pull from the soil so that’s the reason why. I say this, you know after that third, fourth week water when it’s dry give them a couple days. Let those roots search for nutrients.They get into the soil, dig deep and the bigger root system the better tomato. That makes sense. Large robust plants put off garden pests okay, they resist diseases and they fruit more heavily. So really stage three is watering when the tomatoes are fruiting.
Now they start to produce fruit. You want to make sure that you’re watering basically every day again and you do not want the soil to dry out. Tomatoes use a lot of water so you want to make sure that the soil stays moist. If you’ve ever had and wondered what causes tomato split normally what has happened is that plant has become hydrated+ or dehydrated and then you fed it a bunch of water and then the fruit swells and actually splits causes it to split so you want to do that you want to make sure that you’re always using even amounts of water so as the vine starts to grow and you’ve staked them out and you’ve got support for them you want to just keep an eye out maybe twice a week remove some suckers let them grow upwards and don’t let them grow outwards I like to let them grow up easy to harvest the fruit make sure you’re moving the suckers guys I hope you enjoyed the video if you’ve got any questions make sure you leave a comment in the bottom I will try to make it to all the questions that I can and with the garden community that’s growing here at first-class Gardens hopefully we can help each other out and make it a great growing season good luck to everybody out there if I’ve missed anything or you have any questions like I said leave a comment down below you can also follow us on Twitter make sure you check that link down below as well and happy drawing guys we’ll talk to you soon as your fruit starts to emerge and it starts to grow tomatoes really takeoff there can be a lot of tomatoes it can be overwhelming you want to make sure you’re supporting your vines support your tomatoes whether you put stakes up you know zipping them to a stay or you know using some chicken wire or whatever it is make sure you support the vine so you don’t have a collapse there and ruin your planet thanks for watching make sure to LIKE comment and subscribe it really helps my channel and we’ll see you in the next video