Growing Tomatoes Out of Season
Despite what many people would like to think, tomatoes are a wonderful plant that you can enjoy all year round. While it will take a little more work, growing tomatoes out of season isn't an impossible task. Frankly all you really need to do is follow these directions, and pay attention to the plant. After a while, the tasty tomatoes will sprout up, and you will be able to enjoy them on your next burger, salad, or salsa.
- Be aware of the plant's needs. Regardless of what type of tomato plant you decide to grow, they all pretty much have two basic needs that will have to be met. Those two needs are light and temperature. Tomatoes typically require a lot of light, and then definitely need warm temperatures, to survive.
- Choose your plant or seeds. Go to your local nursery or home improvement store and pick up some plants or seeds. Frankly, it would be a little easier on you if you pick up some plants that have already started, but since you are going to be growing tomatoes out of season, you will more than likely need to start off with the seeds.
- Choose a location. Pick a location that is not only out of the way, but one that meets as many of the needs for the plant as possible. An ideal location would be in a kitchen bay window. The bay window would keep the plant out of the way of foot traffic so it would not get knocked over, help provide a lot of natural light, and also act as a terrarium of sorts that will help provide much of the that tomatoes require.
- Meet any deficient needs. If you cannot find a location that will meet all of the needs for your tomato plant, then you need to prepare a method for meeting those deficient needs. For example, if you can find a location that will provide the necessary light, but not heat, you may want to think about using a small heater or a heat lamp to help out.
- Plant the seeds. Plant your seeds, or plants, into the appropriate containers. Do not use a pot that is too large, or you will simply be wasting materials. Ideally, start your seeds off in a small container, such as a cup, and then transfer them over to a pot as they get bigger. Be sure that you use a good potting mix to help ensure that the plants get enough nutrients.
- Care for, and maintain, the plants. After you plant the seeds you will need to care for and maintain the plants. This will mean regular watering, and ensuring that the temperature of the area that the plant is kept in doesn't drop below 60 degrees Fahrenheit at night. After a while, you will need to transfer the seedlings to a larger pot, so that the roots don't become entangled and begin to rot. Keep an eye on the soil as well. Make sure that the soil stays moist, but doesn't get soggy. Don't forget to fertilize the pots periodically to ensure that the plants are receiving the proper nutrients. A great method for doing this is to use those little fertilizer sticks that you can get for potted plants. Simply follow the direction that comes with them to ensure that you are using them properly.
- Provide support when needed. Over time, as the plant gets larger, you will need to provide some support. One of the best ways to do this is by having a small trellis nearby the plants, and simply attaching the growing vines to the trellis with some gardening wire. However if you do not have a trellis that you can use there are other methods that you can use. For example if you are using a large enough pot, you can simply use a few gardening stakes to help out.
- Harvest when ready. As the plants come to fruition and maturity, begin harvesting your ripened tomatoes. Enjoy!