April 6, 2011

Growing the Best Tomatoes in Your Neighborhood

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. (April 5, 2011) – Think of all the things that you can make with tomatoes — sandwiches, salads, pizza and pasta. Many people just like to eat them raw with a little salt on top.

According to the National Gardening Association, growing tomatoes is the most popular form of vegetable gardening. About 86 percent of vegetable gardeners are growing tomatoes in their backyards.

“Tomatoes can be grown in containers or in the garden,” said Lance Walheim, co-author of the Sunset Vegetable Gardening book and gardening expert for Bayer Advanced™. “Growing your own will help you save money and give you fresh, home-grown flavor.”

Selection

  • Choose your tomato: Varieties range from small cherry tomatoes to the big, juicy “Beefeater.” You can also grow yellow tomatoes that are sweet and have a low acid content or heirloom varieties that have incredible flavor.

Growing Tips

  • Seeds should be grown indoors in containers in a well-lighted area six to eight weeks before planting outdoors. Or, you can start with transplants or seedlings that you buy from your neighborhood garden center. Plant outside when there’s no danger of frost.
  • Do a soil test to make sure your garden has the best pH for success.
  • Choose the sunniest spot. Tomatoes need about eight hours of direct sunlight in rich, well-drained soil. Start with a 3’ x 10’ plot.
  • Plant seedlings deep, up to the top two to four leaves.
  • Control destructive pests and diseases. Aphids, mites, leafhoppers, powdery mildew, blight and leaf spots are the kinds of pests and diseases that can damage or destroy your tomatoes. Bayer Advanced Natria Insect, Disease & Mite Control kills harmful insects on contact and controls diseases. (BayerAdvanced.com.) Always read and follow label directions.
  • Deep, infrequent watering is key: Stick your finger four inches into the soil. If it’s dry, then water. One inch of water will wet sandy soil a foot deep and clay soil about five inches deep.
  • Organic mulch helps keep the weeds out and helps keep moisture in.
  • Apply nitrogen fertilizer regularly, especially when plants are young. Cut back when they’re about to bloom.
  • Support plants by tying to stakes or growing in tomato cages.

About Bayer Advanced™

Bayer Advanced is one of the leading consumer lawn and garden brands in the United States. Driven by innovative thinking and category-leading research, Bayer Advanced provides innovative and effective solutions that help consumers grow beautiful lawns and gardens and protect their landscapes from pests, weeds and diseases. Always read and follow label directions before using Bayer Advanced products. Visit www.bayeradvanced.com for more information and to view how-to videos, or call 1-877-BAYERAG.

Bayer Advanced is a business group of Bayer CropScience LP, the U.S. affiliate of Bayer CropScience AG. Bayer Advanced, Bayer CropScience LP, and Bayer CropScience AG are part of the Bayer AG family, a FORTUNE Global 500 company.

About Bayer CropScience

Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the fields of health care, nutrition and high-tech materials. Bayer CropScience, a subgroup of Bayer AG with annual sales of EUR 6.830 billion (2010), is one of the world’s leading innovative crop science companies in the areas of crop protection, non-agricultural pest control, seeds and traits. The company offers an outstanding range of products and extensive service backup for modern, sustainable agriculture and for non-agricultural applications. Bayer CropScience has a global workforce of 20,700 and is represented in more than 120 countries. This and further news is available at: www.press.bayercropscience.com.

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Lawn & Garden Expert

Lance Walheim
About Lance

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