This week, Doug shows us how to plant tomatoes upside down. It’s a fun project that’s inexpensive and easy to do. This is the 13th installment of Digging wit…
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Question by jerryd: what is the best way to grow tomatoes?
Answer by Victor
Hydroponic and greenhouse cultivation
Tomatoes are often grown in greenhouses in cooler climates, and indeed there are varieties such as the British “Moneymaker” and a number of cultivars grown in Siberia that are specifically bred for indoor growing. In more temperate climates it is not uncommon to start seeds for future transplant in greenhouses during the late winter as well.
Hydroponic tomatoes are also available, and the technique is often used in hostile growing environments as well as high-density plantings.
Picking and ripening
Tomatoes are often picked unripe, and ripened in storage with ethylene. Ethylene is the plant hormone produced by many fruits and acts as the cue to begin the ripening process. These tend to keep longer, but have poorer flavor and a mealier, starchier texture than tomatoes ripened on the plant. They may be recognized by their color, which is more pink or orange than the ripe tomato’s deep red.
Recently, stores have begun selling “tomatoes on the vine” which are ripened still connected to a piece of vine. These tend to have more flavor (at a price premium) than artificially-ripened tomatoes, but still may not be the equal of local garden produce.
Also relatively recently, slow-ripening cultivars of tomato have been developed by crossing a non-ripening variety with ordinary tomato cultivars. Cultivars were selected whose fruits have a long shelf life and at least reasonable flavor.
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