Russian tomato seed varieties have a great reputation for rich, intense flavors. Many of the black tomato varieties originated in Russia and Ukraine, including Black from Tula and Black Krim. Russian black tomato varieties are usually red with black shoulders (the top of the tomato). Russian yellow and red varieties also have the intense tomato flavor of East European heirloom tomatoes. Two other outstanding features of Russian tomatoes are there cold tolerance and short time to maturity. If you live in a hot climate, you can start the seeds earlier and get mature tomatoes before the summer heat gets too hot. Clicking the links below will open a new window on eBay with a full description of the Russian tomato seeds for sale.
Striped heirloom tomato varieties cover a range of full flavored tomato varieties that a revered for their striking appearance. Striped heirloom tomatoes are available in just about every color imaginable. These striped tomato can be used anywhere that you would use any other type of tomato. The striking appearance of striped tomatoes makes them less desirable for retail sales at a chain grocery store, but you can enjoy these beautiful full flavored heirloom tomatoes straight from your garden. Home grown heirloom tomatoes are superior in flavor to grocery store tomatoes. Clicking the links below will open a new window on eBay with a full description of the striped tomato seeds.
Black tomatoes have a reputation for rich, intense flavors. Many of the black tomato varieties originated in Russia and Ukraine, including black from Tula and Black Krim. A black heirloom tomatoes usually has dark red flesh with black shoulders (the top of the tomato). If you want a bold tomato flavor for tomato soup, a fresh sliced snack, or an amazing tomato pie, you need try any the black tomato varieties. Clicking the links below will open a new window on eBay with a full description of the black heirloom tomato seeds for sale.
When Spring is around the corner, it is an exciting time to begin planting and harvesting tomatoes. Many people experience the nuisance of pests invading their gardens but there are always ways to control pests, including natural methods.
It is important to identify the types of pests that are disturbing your tomato plants and the most common ones are aphids, blister beetles, hornworms, stink bugs and Fruitworms.
Aphids are very tiny green or black insects that may or may not have wings. These creatures tend to remain underneath leaves or stems and usually suck the plant, leaving the leaves curled and distorted. For a natural way of getting rid of aphids is spraying your tomato plants with water or using lady beetles as effective predators.
Blister Beetles are skinny gray, black or striped beetles that eat the leaves of the tomato plants, but the larvae actually eat grasshopper eggs. Blister Beetles may appear late in the growing season but can be hand-picked, however they may let out a fluid for self-defense.
Tomato Hornworms are long green caterpillars and have horns on their rear ends. These caterpillars eat the foliage and can even eat the green tomatoes. They camouflage with the leaves but generally appear underneath the leaf stripped branches. Hornworms are actually the larvae of Hawk moths or Sphynx moths which lay eggs in the Spring under plant leaves.
Stink bugs come in a number colors and release a foul odor and suck on sap from the plants or tomatoes. This weakens the plants resulting in bad buds and fruits. It is possible to tell if stink bugs have been around if there are yellow or white spots under the skin of a ripe fruit.
Tomato Fruitworms or Corn Earworms are also common and are green, brown or pink with light stripes. They are also the larvae of various moths that lay eggs near the stem of the green tomatoes where the larvae will hatch and eat away at the fruit.
While there are many chemical pesticides to use for pest control, a better alternative is to use more natural and organic methods of controlling unwanted insects and bugs. Here are some homemade and organic suggestions for pest control.
Pruning: When you trim tomato plants and get rid of leaves that are too close to the ground, you will increase air flow and decrease the chances of pests getting on the leaves.
Rotating varieties: A natural way of avoiding pests in a tomato garden is rotating the varieties of tomatoes every year.
Cornmeal: If your tomato plants are experiencing hornworms, a sprinkle of cornmeal on the ground around the base of the plant will cause hornworms to have digestion problems followed by death.
Companion Planting: By planting other plants, herbs and vegetables, it is possible to control pests in tomato gardens by drawing away certain kinds of tomato pests. Here are some examples:
Garlic, sweet corn and onions planted near tomatoes will keep away many common pests including tomato fruitworms, red spider mites.
Basil, Mint and Borage planted near tomatoes can also protect the plant from a number of pests. Basil may even add flavor to the tomatoes.
Homemade repellants and sprays are good natural alternatives to chemical pesticides. Other options can include Insecticidal Soap which works when sprayed onto the target and Botanical pesticides such as Neem, Rotenone, Pyrethrin, Sabadilla, and Pyola, which combines canola oil with pyrethrins. Boric Acid is another natural insecticide, biocide and fungicide.
If the conditions of your tomato garden are extremely overrun with pests, you may have to resort to more aggressive control methods. By using natural pesticides, tomato plants will produce healthier and nutritious tomatoes.
Tomatoes are not only one of the most popular foods in the world, but are among the healthiest as well. Many people enjoy growing their own tomatoes in their gardens considering that homegrown tomatoes are highly nutritious and flavorful right off the vine. One tomato plant can produce up to 10 pounds of fruit and there are different varieties of tomatoes to grow. Watering tomato plants frequently is very important for a bountiful harvest and healthy plants.
Conditions for Planting
When planting tomatoes, there are three major conditions to consider. A good location with Sunshine is essential. Next, the soil needs to be prepared at least two weeks before planting the tomato seeds. The best way to prepare soil is to dig it and add natural compost and organic matter and frequent watering for moisture. The third condition to consider is temperature because tomatoes cannot withstand frost and cold. When the weather gets cold, the plants should be covered. The temperature of the soil must stay above 10 degrees Celsius or 50 degree Fahrenheit. It is recommended that the best time to sow tomato seeds is late March or early April or 4 weeks after the last appearance of frost.
Planting the Seeds
Tomato seeds can be planted directly into the ground or sown indoors. Many people find that sowing indoors is the easiest and promising method, depending on preference and climate.
Tomatoes rely on warm weather conditions and grow best when the soil is above 60 degrees F. After the soil is prepare, dig holes that are about 1 inch deep and place 2 seeds in each hole and cover with the soil again. Water the soil enough that it becomes very moist and when the plant begins to grow up to about 7 inches in height, you may want to tie the stem to a support stake with twine.
Sowing seeds indoors tends to have a higher growth rate which is why many gardeners use this method. Fill containers that are about 3 inches deep below the rim with a seed starting mix, moisten the mix and let it drain. Plant one or two seeds per pot and cover the seeds with compost or potting mix and moisten lightly. You should place the container in a warm and dry location where the plants will not experience any drafts.
In about 7-10 days, the seedlings will begin to grow whether they are planted outdoors or indoors. For indoor plants, the containers should move to a place that gets a lot of light, but not direct sunlight. A windowsill is a very good location if the sunlight is blocked to prevent burning leaves. The roots of the indoor plants will begin to grow out of the bottom of the container within 4 weeks after planting. At this point, you should transfer the tomato seedlings to larger individual pots that are 5 inches deep.
When the seedlings have their second set of “true leaves,” it is time to transplant them to larger individual pots that are filled with potting mix, moistened and drained. To transplant the seedlings, remove them by
squeezing the sides of the pots and turning them upside down. The soil ball needs to be pulled apart to separate the root-balls of the seedlings from one another very gently. The seedlings should be planted in the new containers with holes poked in the mix. Make sure the mix is firm around the seedling and water it quickly. These pots should be placed in bright light, but not direct sunlight. You should feed the seedlings each week with fertilizer and water frequently without overly watering them.
The tomato plants will be ready to transplant outside after 7 weeks of growing or when they’ve reached 6-7 inches in height. But first, they should be “hardened” by taking the plants outside during the day and gradually for long hours until ready to be left overnight.
To transplant, holes must be dug in the ground in a location that has a lot of light. The plants should be set 12 to 24 inches apart depending on the variety and should be planted deeply. When transplanting, do not disturb the roots and place the plant in the hole and fill with more soil. You may also loosely tie the stem of the plant to a stake with twine for added support or use cages for protection. Support stakes and cages should not harm the roots. Plants should be fertilized on a regular basis and watered frequently to avoid dryness, cracking and splitting of the fruits.
Pruning and Harvesting Tomato Plants
Pruning is important to maintain healthy plants. Tomato bush plants, or determinate varieties, do not need much pruning but dead yellow leaves should be clipped to prevent decay. Upright tomato plants, or indeterminate varieties, will require pruning when you first notice the fruits beginning to form. At this point, the plant will have small shoots or suckers in between the leaf stems and main stem.
The best amount of trusses to keep on your plant is 8-9 and you can remove the others. To remove these shoots, pinch them with your fingers because most of these do not produce tomato fruits. Some of them can remain to add shade. Once your plant has 8-9 trusses, you can break the growing tip of the plant for more growth.
When tomatoes are ripe enough with good color and are beginning to soften, you may pick them so your plant produces more tomatoes and you can enjoy the fruit eating
To ensure a successful harvest, always water the plants, control the temperatures and maintain any pest problems. Tomatoes have plenty of health benefits and are one of the easiest vegetables to grow in a garden.
Tomato seeds of crossed varieties have higher yields, resist cracking, increased disease resistance, and greater pest resistance. Crossed varieties are created by pollinating a tomato variety which has desirable qualities with a different tomato variety that has qualities you wish the first variety had. These cross pollinated tomatoes provide seeds with characteristics of both of the "parent" plants. Once a successful cross produces the desired qualities, it is often referred to has a Hyrbid variety. Hybridizing through cross pollination has been done for hundreds, if not thousands of years. This practice selectively breeds the best plants, but sometimes flavor is sacrificed for storage or shipping qualities, but it can also result in tasty and easy to grow new tomato varieties. Most heirloom varieties are actually old hybrids. Clicking the links below will open a new window on eBay with a full description of the hybrid tomato seeds for sale.
Grow heirloom tomatoes with these great heritage seeds. Heirloom tomatoes are old, even antique varieties that are not usually grown commercially. These seeds also carry much history, with many varieties handed down from generation to generation and can be hundreds of years old. This type of tomato is not grown commercially because it may not have a perfectly round shape, could lack disease resistance, or may not handle shipping across the country.
So why grow a heirloom tomato? Because they taste fantastic!
These tomatoes usually have a much stronger tomato flavor with a wide range of subtle sweets tastes that you cannot get out of a store bought tomato. They make for great conversation at dinner, offer better texture, and delicious flavors, while allowing you to eat local produce that is as sustainable as it gets. If you save your seeds, you are also saving important pieces of history that would otherwise be lost to progress. Clicking the links below will open a new window on eBay with a full description of the heirloom tomato seeds.