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Tomatoes



Tomatoes

DETERMINATE: (bush) varieties do not need pruning and may be grown with or without support; fruit ripens within a concentrated time period.
INDETERMINATE:
(climbing) varieties should be staked, trellised, or caged, and pruned for best results; fruit ripens over an extended period. Call for additional cultural tips.
CULTURE: GROWING SEEDLINGS:
Don't start too early! Root-bound, leggy plants that have open flowers or fruit when planted out may remain stunted and produce poorly. Sow in flats, using a soilless peat-based mix (NOT potting soil), 5-6 weeks before plants can be transplanted out after frost danger. Keep temperature of the starting mix at 75-90F (24-32C); tomato seeds germinate very slowly in cooler soil. When first true leaves develop, transplant into plug trays or 3-4" pots for large, stocky 7-8 week transplants for earliest crops. Grow seedlings at 60-70F (16-21C). Water only enough to keep the mix from drying. Fertilize with fish emulsion or a soluble, complete fertilizer.
TRANSPLANTING OUTDOORS:
Transplant into medium-rich garden or field soil 12-24" apart for determinate varieties, 24-36" apart for indeterminate, unstaked varieties, and 14-20" for staking. Water seedlings with a high-phosphate fertilizer solution (see Index). For earliest crops, set plants out around the last frost date under floating row covers (see Index) which will protect from frost to about 28F (-2C). If possible, avoid setting out unprotected plants until night temperatures are over 45F (7C). Frost will cause severe damage!
FERTILIZER:
Abundant soil phosphorus is important for early high yields. Too much nitrogen causes rampant growth and soft fruits susceptible to rot.
DISEASES:
Learn the common tomato diseases in your area. Select resistant varieties. For prevention, use young, healthy transplants, avoid overhead irrigation, plow in tomato plant refuse in the fall, rotate crops, and do not handle tobacco or smoke before handling plants. Fungicides can reduce certain diseases when properly selected and applied.
BLOSSOM END ROT:
Prevent it by providing abundant soil calcium and an even supply of soil moisture.
INSECT PESTS:
Use rotenone to discourage flea beetles on seedlings. Tomato hornworms can be controlled with Dipel. Use BT for potato beetle larvae, and rotenone or pyrethrin for adults (see Index).
HARVEST:
Fully vine-ripen fruit only for local retailing or use. To deliver sound fruit, pick fruit less ripe the further the distance and the longer the time between the field and the customer.
STORAGE:
Store firm, ripe fruit 45-60F (7-16C) for 4-7 days.
DAYS TO MATURITY:
From transplants.
TRANSPLANTS:
Avg. 850 plants/1,000 seeds, 7,450 plants/oz., 119,000 plants/lb.
AVG. PLANTING RATE:
Avg. 785 seeds to produce 667 plants needed to plant 1,000 ft. of row. Avg. 8,540 seeds, approx. 1 oz., to produce 1 acre of transplants, 18" between plants in rows 4' apart (7,260 plants needed).
SEED SPECS:
SEEDS/OZ. (varies!)
:
6,875-15,625 (avg. 8,750).
MINI:
Avg. 40 seeds unless otherwise noted.


Tomatoes


THE BENEFITS OF TOMATOES

Health benefits of tomato include eye sight, good gut health, low hypertension, diabetes, skin problems and urinary tract infections. Tomato is considered both a fruit and vegetable and forms an integral part of the cuisine all across the globe especially in the Mediterranean region. Daily consumption of tomato provides a great boost to health apart from improving the flavour of food. It consists of a large number of antioxidants which have been proven to fight different forms of cancer. It is a rich source of vitamins and minerals and exerts a protective effect against cardiovascular diseases. It also improves eye health and prevents hypertension and urinary tract infections.

Health benefits of tomato have been known to mankind since ages. Tomato is a rich source of antioxidants that have been proven to be effective against many forms of cancer. Some of the other health benefits of tomato are as follows:

  • Abundant Source of Antioxidants: Tomato contains large amount of lycopene, an antioxidant highly effective in scavenging cancer causing free radicals. This benefit can be obtained from even heat-processed tomato products, including ketchup. The lycopene in tomato fights against cancer and has been shown to be particularly effective in fighting prostate cancer, cervical cancer, cancer of the stomach and rectum as well as pharynx and oesophageal cancers. It also protects against breast cancer and cancer of mouth according to studies published by Harvard School of Public Health.
  • Reduces Cholesterol and Protects Heart: The lycopene in tomato prevents serum lipid oxidation, thus exerting protective effect against cardiovascular diseases. The regular consumption of tomato has proved to decrease the levels of LDL cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood. These lipids are the key culprits in cardiovascular diseases and lead to deposition of fats in the blood vessels.
  • Rich Source of Vitamins and Minerals: A single tomato can provide about 40% of daily vitamin C requirement. Vitamin C is a natural antioxidant which acts against cancer-causing free radicals. It also contains abundant vitamin A and potassium as well as iron. Potassium plays a vital role in maintaining nerve health and iron is essential for maintaining normal blood health. Vitamin K which is essential in blood clotting and controls bleeding is abundant in tomatoes.
  • Counters the Effect of Cigarette Smoke: The two main components of tomatoes, coumaric acid and chlorogenic acid, fight against nitrosamines which are produced in the body and are the main carcinogens found in cigarette smoke.
  • Improves Vision: Vitamin A, present in tomato aids, aids in improving vision, preventing night-blindness and macular degeneration.
  • Keeps Gut Healthy: Tomato keeps the digestive system healthy by preventing both constipation and diarrhoea. It also prevents jaundice and effectively removes toxins from the body.
  • Lowers Hypertension: Daily consumption of tomatoes reduces the risk of developing hypertension.
  • Alleviates Diabetes: A study conducted by Journal of the American Medical Association shows that daily consumption of tomatoes reduces the oxidative stress in type 2 diabetes.
  • For Healthy Skin: Tomato aids in maintaining healthy teeth, bones, hair and skin. Topical application of tomato juice is known to cure severe sunburns. Daily consumption of tomato protects the skin against UV-induced erythema. Tomato ranks high in preparation of anti-aging products.
  • Prevents Urinary Tract Infections: Tomato intake also reduces the incidence of urinary tract infections as well as bladder cancer.
  • Prevents Gallstones: Regular consumption of tomato can also dissolve gallstones.

There have been various studies to prove the efficacy of tomato against many chronic diseases and cancers. The antioxidant properties of tomato can also be derived from processed foods which include tomato such as ketchup and puree. Daily consumption of tomato fulfils the daily requirement of vitamins and minerals and exerts protective effect on the body.