12 Most Commonly Asked Questions About Growing Tomatoes

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There are several questions that bother many tomato growers. I have tried to compile some of these in this article. Here is a list of all the frequently asked questions (FAQs) about growing tomatoes.

FAQs About Growing Tomatoes

What Are Determinate and Indeterminate Types of Tomato Plants?

Determinate types: These are also called bush tomatoes. They don’t grow very tall and reach an average height of 4 feet. These are ideal for growing in containers. 

Indeterminate types: These are generally called vining tomatoes and can reach up to a height of 10 feet. They require substantial support in the form of a stake or cage. Most of the heirloom tomatoes are indeterminate types.

What Are The Different Tomato Cultivars?

Tomatoes can be of several types. Here is a list of all the cultivars from Wikipedia.

Do I Need To Prune Tomatoes?

Pruning is not mandatory for tomatoes. It depends on the surrounding weather as well as your preference. If the weather is too dry and hot, removing leaves can really damage your plant.

Indeterminate varieties are generally pruned, but you can prune the determinate ones also. Modest pruning will lead to early fruiting and will increase the fruit size (but you will get fewer fruits).

Does Mulching Help In Growing Tomatoes?

Mulching helps in maintaining the moisture of the soil and thus reduces the frequency of watering the plant. It also keeps the soil cooler.

What Causes Poor Tomato Fruit Sets?

A poor set of fruits can be a result of many things. It can be environmental (like too cold or too hot), the age of the plant, an unfavorable ratio of NPK, etc. The best way to avoid these problems is to give the plant its proper growing environment. Check this article to know more.

Should I provide Staking/caging or No Support is needed?

Generally, determinate tomatoes can be grown without any support but I strongly recommend that you do. Indeterminate tomatoes on the other hand can’t grow without support. you have to give them some stake, trellis, or cage support.

I have discussed the topic of tomato support in this article, see this for more information.

How To Save Tomato Seeds?

Extracting seed from a fully grown tomato is very easy. I have written an article on this. Please click here if you want to know about the techniques.

What Causes Leaf Roll In Tomato Plants?

Tomato leaf roll is a very common phenomenon. This is due to the pressure of water which moves through the roots and causes the older leaves to move inwards. If you look closely you will find the leaves are green and healthy. It is not a disease.

What Causes Blossom-end Rot?

Insufficient water is the main cause of this problem. Sometimes lack of calcium can also cause this. Make sure your plants get adequate water.

Follow these techniques of watering. The good news is that the fruits are still edible and you can have it just by removing the affected portion.

What is Heirloom Tomato?

This is the non-hybrid version of tomatoes and lacks any form of genetic mutation. These are mainly maintained by gardeners or farmers in isolated areas and are considered to be a variety that has been passed down through several generations of families because of their valued characteristics.

Why My Tomatoes Are Cracking?

This is also a problem related to water. Too much water makes the fruit overflow with juice and to release this pressure it cracks. Mulching and proper watering techniques generally solve the problem.

How To Prevent Cross-pollinating?

The success of this depends on the seriousness of your efforts. Here are some suggestions.

  1. Plant different varieties of tomatoes far enough so that the pollen don’t reach one another.
  2. Use screened cages to grow different varieties.
  3. Cover individual flowers with bags.
  4. And finally, time the planting properly so that you can avoid same time flowering for different varieties.

If you want to know more about plant pollination see this post.

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