One of the reasons I love gardening is to save money. In this article, Tips for growing delicious Tomatoes, I’ll share some of my favorite budget-friendly gardening tips. In the hopes it will allow you to grow delicious tomatoes without breaking the bank. Number one frugal tip is to start your very own seeds. It saves a lot of money and can provide you with a variety of fresh flowers and vegetables. I live in Western New York at Zone5b. You can easily find your zone with a quick Google search. This helps determine when to start my seeds and when to plant once they are ready for transplant.
Tomatoes can take up to a hundred days to harvest after they were planted. This was something I learned that the days on the packet are not from seed but from when you plant into the ground. If you are an unexperienced gardener you may want to start by planting small starter plants that can be bought from a garden center or nursery. I personally prefer starting my own plants but you do what you feel comfortable doing. I simply start my tomatoes in a tray close up under a grow light. Once they have sprouted, I then move them into my small greenhouse that is positioned near a window.
Learning new gardening tips is one of the easiest ways to keep costs down. There are a variety of gardening magazines and books out there that can help you grow more. This is where I found new ways to harden off plants before planting them outside. This is such a HUGE step for planting tomatoes! If you do not gradually harden off your plants they will wilt and die. Start by setting your started seedlings outside in the shade under cover for a few hours a day. Do this a week before planting outside, each day leaving it outside longer.
I have found planting flowers near your tomato pants also help them grow. When growing Cherry varieties I place them near a trellis and plant marigolds around. Anything to attract pollinators! I also flick the yellow flowers as they bloom to help pollinate the plant. I would say they do best in the sunlight with a good water source.
There is a bit of controversy over whether or not to pinch or cut the “suckers”. If you do this, it will allow the plant to divert all energy to the fruit but produce less. If you do not you will have a ton more yield but some might not ripen by the Season close. I have tried both and found that by cutting the suckers I get less yield but we enjoy the tomatoes more. Because of this I have started to succession plant and start tomatoes several weeks apart so that when one plant is done another is still producing. It truly is up to you and your garden preference!