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Home-grown tomatoes-straight from your patio

Home-grown tomatoes-straight from your patio

(NAPSI)-Edible gardening has become a cultural phenomenon. The need to save money at the grocery store and the desire to have better-tasting fruits and vegetables has sparked an increase in home gardening. According to the Garden Writers Association, 41 million U.S. households have a vegetable garden and 37 percent plan to expand the size of their edible garden this year.
Do you want to take the first step? Consider growing tomatoes in a container right on your patio or balcony.
"Growing tomatoes is one of the most popular forms of edible gardening," says Bayer Advanced(tm) Garden Expert Lance Walheim, author of "Vegetable Gardening." "They can be grown from seeds or plants and they make an excellent addition to a salad."
Tips For Successful Tomato Growing
* Choose your tomato: The Patio Hybrid tomato was developed just for containers, but you can also grow varieties such as Celebrity, Early Girl, Sweet Tangerine, or Northern Exposure.
* Containers: The bigger the better, but containers that are at least five gallons are the best size for promoting growth. Make sure the container has a hole in the bottom for drainage.
* Soils and fertilization: Use a high-quality potting soil and fertilize twice a month.
* When to water: The rule of thumb is to water the base of the plant when the top two inches of soil have dried. Container-grown tomatoes can require daily watering as the plant gets bigger.
* Destructive insects and diseases: Whiteflies and tomato hornworms like to eat tomatoes. Diseases such as blight and powdery mildew can harm your plants as well. The brand-new Bayer Advanced Natria(tm) Insect, Disease and Mite Control RTU contains sulphur and pyrethrins to control insects and diseases that affect tomatoes in one ready-to-spray application. Be sure to read and follow all label directions. Visit BayerAdvanced.com for more gardening information and to view how-to videos or call (877) BAYERAG.

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