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Saturday, 14 October 2017

How to Grow Tasty Tomatoes

Once you've chosen your tomato varieties, it's time to start planting. Transplanted tomatoes do best, so either purchase transplants or start seeds indoors six to eight weeks before the last spring frost date. Tomatoes do best in full sun, so choose an area that gets plenty of daily sunlight.

The Old Farmer's Almanac recommends planting seedlings 2 feet apart and pinching off the lower branches prior to planting. "Plant the root ball deep enough so that the remaining lowest leaves are just above the surface of the soil, [then] water well to reduce shock to the roots."

You'll need to water the plants for the first few days and continue to give them about 2 inches per week throughout the summer (a rain barrel works well for this purpose). There are many other variables that may influence the final outcome of your tomatoes, including most importantly, their taste.

A tomato's flavor is the result of interplay between sugars, acids and other chemicals that give a tomato its scent.
Researchers from the University of Florida have identified more than 3,000 aroma volatiles involved in tomato flavor, including some that contribute to a tomato's perceived sweetness independent of sugar concentration.

Growing conditions and much more also contribute to tomato flavor. For instance, as noted by NPR, which spoke with tomato researcher Harry Klee at the University of Florida:

The more direct sunlight your tomatoes get, the sweeter they'll taste
Too much water can dilute tomatoes' flavor; ideally, water two to three times during hot summer months (adjusting for rainfall)

Experiments suggest that so-called "salt fertilization” or dousing plants with a one-time dose of sea water (or water with natural sea salt) improves tomato flavor (although this must be done carefully, as it may burn foliage)
Soil quality matters; in particular, soil with plenty of organic matter or compost is best.

Facts Credit: mercola.com

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