This Latin American fruit comes in thousands of varieties. Decide what to grow based on your needs and your garden space.
Though referred to as a vegetable, tomatoes are actually a fruit native to Mexico and Central America where they grow year-round. There are thousands of varieties of tomatoes. A trip to the local market is a great way to find the types of tomatoes that are liked and would be good choices to grow in the garden.
Choose Roma tomatoes for sauce, cherry tomatoes for salads or slicing tomatoes for sandwiches. Each tomato has a slightly different texture and flavor. Choose the type that's right for the need and a variety that grows in the climate. The local garden center will have seedlings available in the spring or seeds are available year-round if the growing from seed is preferred.
When Spanish explorers discovered tomatoes they thought they were poisonous. They looked similar to another plant that was known to be toxic so many people were afraid to eat them. Once the explorers realized tomatoes were safe they were quickly adopted as part of their diet. They carried seeds back to Europe where they became wildly popular. Many hybrids have been created from those first seeds. Now tomatoes are popular around the world.
One of the first choices to make when choosing the type of tomato you want to grow is based upon the amount of space you have to work with. There are two basic types of tomatoes, determinate and indeterminate. Determinate types are shorter, bushier and have fruit that ripens close to the same time. Indeterminate types are taller and more like vines. They need to be staked and pruned, but they produce fruit over the entire season as long as the plant is healthy. For a small space garden it'd best to choose the determinate variety, for more space plant either type or a mixture of the two types.
Vertical Gardening With Tomatoes
Growing tomatoes up rather than out is probably the most popular vertical gardening technique of all. Here are two tried and true ways.
Tips for Harvesting Tomatoes Early
These tricks will protect young tomato plants so that an early harvest is possible.
Follow these tips for growing tomatoes in your summer vegetable garden.
A Few Tips for Healthy Tomatoes
You'll get the choicest summer fruit if you follow these tips.
Learn about the different types of cucumbers and discover how easy it is to plant and grow these cool, crisp veggies.
Understanding Tomato Diseases
Expert tips on how to cope with tomato diseases in your vegetable garden.
Growing Tomatoes in Hanging Baskets
Use limited garden space as an opportunity to grow tomatoes in a hanging basket.
Shrubs, Flowers and Fruit
Learn about several plant varieties and the planting information for each zone.
Professional Tips for Outstanding Okra
Learn about the best ways to grow okra, along with a wire-and-twine trellis system for tomatoes and different critters that can help a garden grow.
Block Planting Vegetables in Beds
An easy way to grow crops is in beds, where the gardener can focus on improving the soil, removing weeds and planting dense blocks of vegetables in a manageable, defined area.
We love to DIY. You love to DIY. Let's get together.More DIY Social
See the latest DIY projects, catch up on trends and meet more cool people who love to create.Make It. Fix It. Learn It. Find It.
- Spring Home Maintenance Guide
- Spring Colors for the Garden
- Keeping Lawn and Garden Tools in Shape
- Flowering Bulbs Planted in Spring
- Quick-Growing Spring and Fall Vegetables