Secrets to Great Tomatoes

If you're looking for bragging rights to the earliest tomato, the biggest crop of fruit or the healthiest plants, you're in the right place. Because this ebook is going to give you the tools to earn bragging rights in your neighborhood. I want to make it clear right now - upfront - that I'm a serious garden and garden writer and not some apartment gardener trying to sell you something they've taken off the Net. I've grown tomatoes commercially in my greenhouses. And if you want to know how to maximize the harvest off each plant, try paying the greenhouse heating fuel in a Canadian winter and not getting a good harvest. Boy, you learn fast - just like I did.

I love tomatoes and every year my buddy and I have a little contest to see who can get the earlies, the biggest and the best-tasting. The first two are easy to decide but the last one needs at least one bottle of wine and a party to figure it out. These are big stakes with our gardening reputations on the line.

One of the first things you need to know about tomatoes - a small thing but one that will make your gardening that much more successful. Know the difference between determinate and indeterminate tomatoes. If you mix them up, your yields can go down dramatically. (determinate yield all at once, indeterminate produce fruit all summer.

These and other bits of necessary tomato tips are described in the first chapter. It might not keep you awake at night but knowing this stuff will help you grow bigger tomatoes and more of them.

Tricks to Great Soils

There are tricks to getting a good tomato soil that work even on the heaviest of clay soils. There are several techniques there to improve garden soils as well as the single best way grow tomatoes on a heavy clay soil to let you succeed. And they're covered in this ebook in enough detail that even a beginner gardener can figure it out.

Tomatoes in Part Shade

I get asked all the time how to grow tomatoes in sunlight that is a bit shady. This ebook gives you that simple trick. And it doesn't take a rocket scientist to make it work. The fact is that you won't get as large a crop as a garden in full hot sun but you'll still get a crop if you follow this simple trick. I know some garden books try to tell you they have a "secret" to allow you to do this but really - it's all in the plant selection.

You're going to want to know how to plant tomatoes; and the simple trick to planting them no matter how gangly they are.

Tomatoes in Containers

Chapter Five is all about growing tomatoes in containers. If you follow the instructions in this chapter, you can grow as many tomatoes in a container as you can in the ground. I've done it – and done it regularly using garbage bags as containers. And the methods I'll describe in this chapter will enable you to try to reach that world record.

Watering - You Might Be Surprised

Chapter Six tells you how and when to water. I know that you think you know all about watering plants so this should be pretty boring stuff. Well maybe.

This chapter is where I tell you of my simple watering system that will grow the largest crop of tomatoes in your garden short of installing automatic watering. And its free to do

And you'll learn what happens if you don't water enough.

Three Reasons to Mulch

Chapter Seven tells you the three reasons I mulch my plants. And one of those reasons is because my tomato roots come out three to five feet all around my plants and I don't want hoes digging up the roots. If your tomato plants are not as aggressive as mine, you may want to ask yourself what I'm doing that you're not.

Clear or Black Plastic and When

This chapter also tells you when to use clear plastic on your tomatoes and when to use black plastic. If you get this mixed up as some garden writers will describe it- you'll either kill your plants or reduce the yields terribly.

Not only do I describe plastic but this chapter also describes the organic system of living mulch for both the gardeners in USDA zone 6 and warmer.

Mastering the Art of Pruning Tomatoes

Chapter eight describes pruning techniques and if you want to really increase your harvests, you'll master these simple methods of training your plants. Both the single and multiple vine systems of pruning are described so you can really increase the size and number of your fruit. And not only that but the book describes how and when to prune your plants at the end of the season to increase that important final yield.

How I Grow On Shallow Ground

Chapter nine describes the system I've used over the past few years to grow and stake tomatoes on shallow ground. Anybody can drive a stake into the ground but as the pictures in this chapter will show you, it takes a former Cub Scout to design this system. If you have a windy garden, this is something you want to take a look at.

And it takes a very lazy gardener to construct the other system for determinate plant staking. I explain both in this chapter.

Feeding for Huge, Juicy Fruit

Chapter Ten tells you the single best thing you can use to feed your tomato plants. It also describes the alternative plant food that will dramatically increase any plant's growth rate without wrecking the plant.

The Nine Things You Have to Do to Get Early Crops

Chapter Eleven lists the nine things you want to do to get earlier crops than your neighbors and friends. What more can I say? Put these tips together into one growing package and you'll be the neighborhood champ.

What are bragging rights worth in your neighborhood? They're worth a bottle of fine wine in mine.

Cures for Common Problems

Finally, Chapter Twelve lists the common problems (and cures!) for all the common tomato problems. From Blossom end rot to blights and verticillium, these problems are described and easy organic remedies described.

The chapter concludes with a handy reference chart so if you see a problem with the leaves on your plant, you can go to the chart – under leaves – and identify the problem. If the problem is some irregular shapes on your tomato fruit, you know you're looking at catfacing and the reasons are described. You can then refer to the solution in the chapter.


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