Category: Garden Vegetable Plants
Facts about tomato plants. "Scientific name for tomato is Lycopersicon lycopersicum". Meaning: A native to South America and extensively cultivated in many varieties. The tomato originated in the Americas in Central and South America to be exact and has become a loved culinary treat once it was spread around the world. For a time, many Europeans believed the culinary plant to be poisonous as it is from the deadly nightshade family of plants that contain many poisonous plants. The tomato plant is however not dangerous, though you shouldn't eat the leaves, and it is related to other nightshade plants that are edible like the eggplant, peppers, and tomatillos.
Scientifically speaking, a tomato is definitely a fruit. The government classified it as a vegetable, it went all the way to the Supreme Court: In the 1883 case of Nix v. Hedden so it could be taxed under custom regulations, the Tariff Act of March 3, 1883, tomatoes are vegetables.
The state of Florida grows more tomatoes than any other state. The state of New Jersey calls the tomato its state vegetable. The state of Arkansas uses tomatoes as both the state vegetables and fruit.
There are two main types of tomato plants; determinant and indeterminate and this classification distinguishes between those that produce fruit abundantly at the same time, and those that produce fruit slowly throughout the growing season. Determinate tomato plant types with their large harvest are good for commercial growers while indeterminate tomato plant types are good for families who are growing the tomatoes themselves.
Tomatoes are warm weather plants and will be stunted if they are not provided with nutritious soil or if they are planted prior to a frost. They thrive in warmer temperatures and can be started indoors early in the season. Leave a space between them 1 to 2 feet (.30 to .60 meters) and allow them to climb up a trellis or tomato cage. The tomato plant will grow towards the light and fill out the tomato cage. Tomatoes are healthy and sturdy plants. For increased yield water regularly and fertilize before planting and once during the growing season.
Wait about 6 to 8 weeks after planting and then you can harvest the beautiful red tomatos. Eat fresh or cooked and enjoy the unami flavor of the tomato for all it is worth. Tomatoes are very healthy and are rich in vitamins A and C, potassium, calcium and lycopene and other minerals and nutrients that are good for you. The tomato has been scientifically linked to preventing certain forms of cancer like prostate cancer and are good for other health benefits as well. Plant a mix of different varieties that come in sizes ranging from cherry to beefsteak tomato, many which have unique flavors associated with them.
All of these factors go to show why tomatoes are the most popular garden vegetable and a treat to eat fresh from a garden. Hybridization of tomatoes have promoted varieties that store well but are not as sweet as heirloom varieties. As such, the tomatoes you grow in your garden are likely sweeter and tastier than store bought types. What better reason can there be for growing a tomato?