63 days. “Homeslice” combines exceptional earliness, lovely picture-perfect slices, real-tomato flavor, and tidy compactness to produce the near-perfect patio slicer! Fruits average 5 to 6 oz., are round and smooth, yet are produced on a container plant that grows only 18 to 24-in. tall. Excellent yields of firm, flavorful fruit. Determinate.
Preparing the soil
Amendments and fertilizer Tomato plants grow best in well-drained, moderately acidic to neutral soil (pH 6.0 to 6.8 is optimum) with a good level of soil organic matter. Have the soil analyzed to determine the soil pH and whether any soil amendments (including lime, dolomite, and phosphate) are needed?A soil analysis is particularly recommended for new garden sites. A “standard” soil analysis, which measures soil pH and available soil phosphorus, potassium, calcium, and magnesium, is relatively inexpensive and can be done by the CTAHR Agricultural Diagnostic Service Center* or a commercial laboratory (preferably one having experience with Hawaii’s soils).
When the plants begin to flower, apply the second dose of general fertilizer, in the case of determinate types, or begin the smaller biweekly applications to indeterminate types. Divide the amount of fertilizer being applied according to the number of plants in a 100 sq ft garden area, and apply it 6–8 inches from the base of each plant. Some gardeners spread the fertilizer on the soil surface, but others believe it is best to use a trowel to incorporate it 2–4 inches into the soil in one or two spots, using care to minimize damage to the plant root system. Irrigate after the application. Water-soluble fertilizers containing micronutrients may also be used for post-planting applications.
Before fruit set, irrigate two to three times a week during periods of little or no rainfall. After the fruit set, three to four irrigations per week with heavy soaking may be necessary for most soils and localities, depending on rainfall; container-grown plants should be irrigated daily after the fruit set. To minimize leaf disease, avoid wetting the plant when applying water. If possible, irrigate only the soil using furrows, drip lines, or soaker hoses. If using overhead (sprinkler) irrigation, do it in the morning so the plants dry quickly as the day warms. Insufficient soil moisture or poor water uptake due to root damage or disease may produce fruits with blossom end rot.
At the earliest, tomato fruits can be harvested when the bottom shows some pink. Fruits picked three-quarters to fully ripe will taste better than those picked earlier. Most varieties mature in 60–80 days. On average, one or two harvests per week will be necessary. Fruits should be harvested more frequently if cracking or splitting is a problem; this can occur during periods of heavy rainfall.
- Spacing: Plant seeds 1/4 inch deep, 24-36 inches apart in rows 36-48 inches apart.
- Sunlight: Tomatoes require full sun.
- Soil: They prefer well-drained, slightly acidic soil with a pH of 6.0-6.8.
- Watering: Water deeply but not too frequently to keep the soil consistently moist.
- Harvesting: Harvest when the tomatoes are fully colored and slightly soft to the touch.
- Vitamin C: They are high in vitamin C, supporting immune health.
- Vitamin A: They are a good source of vitamin A, promoting eye health.
- Heart Health: They contain heart-healthy nutrients like potassium and folate.
- Antioxidants: They are high in antioxidants, including lycopene, which is linked to a reduced risk of heart disease and cancer.
- Digestive Health: They’re a good source of fiber, aiding in digestion.