Tomato Tips

Growing and Watering

The Nature of Tomatoes

  • Tomatoes are a heat loving, subtropical vine.
  • Tomatoes do not need bees to pollinate them.
  • Tomatoes are either determinate (self-limiting in size of plant) or indeterminate (continue to grow and bloom until frost).
  • Tomatoes are related to potatoes, tobacco, some peppers, petunias.
  • 75 – 85° is ideal air temperature for most tomatoes; 65° soil temp. Night air temperature must be 50° or more to set fruit Will stop flowering and setting fruit when its in the 90’s Cool nights are our “problem” in the Rogue Valley Tomatoes need at least 8 hours of direct sun per day.
  • Time between fruit set and ripening is 45 – 50 days

General Hints for Growing Great Tomatoes

Choose the right variety for use desired (see page 55 of Garden Guide). In the Rogue Valley, early varieties (70 – 90 days) generally perform better. (Siletz, Early Girl, Legend, Oregon Spring, etc.) Experiment!

“Heirloom” tomatoes are usually indeterminate and often take 90 days to ripen; however, the flavor is often superior Hybrids are often more resistant to disease; look for letters on label: V, F,N, T, A.

If you want to save seeds, hybrids will not “come true” to parent plant.

Seed starting tips:

  • Seeds are viable for about 4 years
  • Soil temperature needs to be 70° – 85° for seeds to germinate
  • Seeds take 7 -14 days to germinate
  • Start seeds early to mid-March; takes 7 – 8 weeks to reach transplant size
  • Provide some “breeze” to strengthen stems (5 -10 minutes daily)
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