There’s nothing to beat a homegrown tomato freshly picked from the vine. And there are so many different types ranging from the mini cherry tomatoes to the monster beefcake varieties. And they don’t have to be red, although I have never been too keen on the black ones. There is an art in growing tomatoes successfully and these sixteen tips come from an article by Margaret Roach which I found on her A Way To Garden website.

FROM THE FIRST SEED SOWN to the last fruit stashed in the freezer, homegrown tomatoes are a labor of love. Whether it?s tomato-sowing time (as it is April 15ish in my Northeastern Zone 5B), or maybe already transplanting time in yours, it?s a good moment to review what goes into tomato-growing success.
Don?t worry: There won?t be a quiz at the end, where instead you can also share any tomato wisdoms of your own for our collective benefit.

my 16 bits of tomato wisdom

1. Start with a homegrown seedling (grow it like this) or a locally raised one?not a big-box-store seedling that may have been shipped in from warmer zones, where more tomato diseases are endemic and overwinter. (That logic isn?t tomato-specific; I buy local seedlings or grow my own everything?especially that basil I hope to have at tomato-harvest time. Plants from far away can be vectors for disease.)
2. Getting great flavor out of a tomato is part nature, part nurture?meaning the genetics of the seed you start with, and the way you grow it both factor into what is probably a 60-40 equation. Choosing a Florida-bred variety for your New Hampshire garden will never let you hit the sweet(est) spot. Here?s why, and how to push for a perfect flavor score.
3. Growing a mix of both hybrids and open-pollinated types (including older heirlooms and newer non-hybrid varieties) may offer you the best overall insurance policy against failure. Whichever varieties you choose, read up on them first, and select not just by a pretty photo or extravagant flavor claims, but also for traits like regional adaptation, disease resistance, and days to harvest (so it?s a realistic match for your season?s length).

Go to the next page to read more tomato tips