*** Tomato, basil, pepper, eggplant can’t be put outside until Memorial Day.
However, they can be placed outside during warm days and would need to be taken inside during the night.
What’s the difference between “indeterminate” and “determinate” tomatoes?
Determinate tomatoes, or “bush” tomatoes, are varieties that grow to a compact height (generally 3 – 4′). Determinates stop growing when fruit sets on the top bud. All the tomatoes from the plant ripen at approximately the same time (usually over period of 1- 2 weeks). They require a limited amount of staking for support and are perfectly suited for container planting.
Indeterminate tomatoes will grow and produce fruit until killed by frost. They can reach heights of up to 12 feet although 6 feet is normal. Indeterminates will bloom, set new fruit and ripen fruit all at the same time throughout the season. They require substantial staking for support.
Should I prune or not prune tomato suckers?
Never prune a ‘determinate’ type tomato. You want all the fruit you can get from these shorter plants. Indeterminate varieties vary in their response to pruning, some reportedly have increased yields when the young plant is pruned back to three or four vines. I prefer to let the plant produce stems for better fruit production and better leaf canopy to protect the fruit from sunscald. However, I like to remove most of the suckers at the bottom 10″ of the plant to invite greater air flow at the base of the plants and reduce the risk that fruit will touch the ground where they insects and disease might be encouraged. Know that removing new flowers near the end of the growing season can help speed up the ripening of mature fruit.
Is pruning necessary at all?
Pruning is not necessary at all. However, if you want taller plants or huge fruits you will need to prune excess vines that start to form where the leaf meets the main stem.
It turns out that different tomato cultivars vary in their response to sucker removal. For some, light pruning (removing the first four suckers) results in the greatest yield; for others, no pruning gives the highest yield. Experiment with your favorite variety.
What does “days to maturity” mean?
This is the number of days from transplanting your seedlings in the garden until the first appearance of mature fruit.
Heirloom: Open-pollinated varieties whose seed lines have been maintained and passed down by gardeners and farmers over generations, prized for traits such as appearance, fragrance, and flavor.
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