Equinox Tomato Info: Tips For Growing Equinox Tomatoes
By: Amy Grant
If you live in a hot region of the country, tomato growing may be giving you the blues. It’s time to try growing Equinox tomatoes. What is an Equinox tomato? Equinox tomatoes are a heat-tolerant tomato cultivar. Interested in learning how to grow an Equinox tomato? The following Equinox tomato info discusses Equinox growing and tomato care.
What is an Equinox Tomato?
Although tomatoes are sun lovers, there can be too much of a good thing. If temperatures regularly exceed 85 F. (29 C.) during the day and 72 F. (22 C.) or greater in your region, not every type of tomato will grow. It’s just too plain hot. That’s where growing an Equinox tomato comes into play.
Equinox is a determinate, heat-tolerant tomato hybrid that sets fruit in spring and fall in warmer regions. While many heat-tolerant tomatoes are small to medium in size, Equinox sets medium to large fruit.
Equinox Tomato Info
This cultivar of tomato is resistant to fruit cracking, fusarium wilt and verticillium wilt. It ripens evenly with a slight sheen on the red skin.
Plants will grow to a height of 36-48 inches (90-120 cm.). Because they are a determinate type of tomato, they will not require a trellis.
How to Grow an Equinox Tomato
Plant Equinox tomatoes in an area of full sun in rich, well-draining soil. Tomatoes like a pH of 6.2 to 6.8.
Prior to planting, mix in a slow release fertilizer with calcium into the planting holes. This will help keep the fruit from getting blossom end rot. Also, add a few inches of compost to provide nutrients and retain moisture.
Space plants 24-36 inches (60-90 cm.) apart. Equinox tomato care thereafter is the same as that for other tomato cultivars.
Keep the plants consistently watered. There should be no need for additional fertilizer if the soil has been amended as above. It is a good idea to mulch around the plants to retard weeds, retain moisture and help keep the roots cool.
Fruit should be ready for harvest in 69-80 days from sowing and ready to eat fresh in salads or on sandwiches.
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Materials needed to start your backyard tomatoes
Most often people fail to reap the complete benefits of backyard gardening when they miss out on the necessary tools and other aspects. This simple checklist of things will help your backyard tomatoes to grow to their full potential. It’s recommended that you have all the materials for the optimal growth of tomatoes using the right set of gardening tools, soil, container, seeds, and others, for healthy and nutritious growth.
The right soil choice
You must invest your money in the right areas when it comes to backyard gardening of tomatoes a good potting mix goes a long way to make it easy for the roots to penetrate. However, it’s not necessary to purchase a costly garden soil, choose the ones which are free from insect pests and weeds.
You’ll be able to conserve a lot of water with peat moss soil, especially, during germination stage. Most people suggest that you to till the soil for about 8-12 inches deep, this will help the roots to have adequate room for growth.
The ideal containers for your backyard tomatoes
A lot of things can be used as containers to grow tomatoes, just about anything that hold soil can be used as containers to grow tomatoes. Some people make use of egg cartons, plastic fruit containers, juice containers, and much more to nurture their backyard tomatoes. Regardless of what containers you use make sure they have drainage holes for the excess water to drain out of them.
Most people use flats to grow tomatoes in their backyard, oftentimes, flats are ideal for the healthy growth of tomatoes. It’s suggested that you grow tomatoes in containers which can accommodate more potting soil for the roots to have adequate growth. Oftentimes, you’ll find more plastic containers than any biodegradable ones, you can either use plastic containers or the ones that suits your plants best.
Nutritious seeds for a nutritious plant
Most gardeners will suggest you to go for store-bought seeds over the home grown ones. There are a variety of tomato seeds available in the market, choosing the one that fits your backyard can be a daunting task. First you must decide on the type of tomatoes you wish to grow, like slicers, cherry tomatoes, or the ones that can be used for sauces.
Make sure that you check the maturation dates of the seed packets to help you to harvest tomatoes before your neighborhood is visited by snow. You can purchase seeds either from a fellow gardener or get it from a nearby seed company. It will be ideal for the seeds to be planted at least three times deeper than the seed’s size. You can start with cherry tomatoes, like Sun Gold, if you’re a first-timer in backyard gardening.
Best tomato growing garden tools
Regardless of what profession you’re into, most people judge you by the tools you have to get the job done. The right set of tools not only gives a professional look, it also helps you make life simpler and save lot of time and energy.
Here’s a checklist of necessary tools you must have are listed below:
- Garden rake
- Garden trowel
- Tomato cage
- Pump sprayer
- Tiller cultivator
- Garden gloves
You can make use of the aforementioned tools and add more tools when you become a professional gardener. Some gardeners might have a difference of opinion on the aforementioned list of tools it’s a matter of personal comfort to choose the set of gardening tools.
What you need to participate where you are
As usual, if you’d like to participate where you are, you’ll need a candle and something to light it with, something for offerings and something to pour them into. I’m offering wine – you offer what seems right to you. When we’re done with the main working, we’ll share a drink among ourselves.
The main working is a planting ritual. Now, I’ve been to a lot of Spring Equinox rituals where the main working was planting seeds. But let’s remember that we never plant “seeds.” We plant tomato seeds or cucumber seeds or geranium seeds. Folk wisdom in many religions reminds us that we reap what we sow – Spring is the time to make a conscious decision on what we will sow.
What do you wish to grow this year? What will it take to grow it?
If you have seeds and a planter, plant them with me. If you don’t, just follow along, and then when you get them do your own planting ritual.
The ritual runs right at 23 minutes.
Gardening Q&A: Go ahead, prune those tomato plants. This is what will happen.
Q. I am growing tomatoes this year and considering pruning the branches. Last year I grew one, and with all the rain, it grew 6 feet tall. This year I started my tomato plant in a cage and last week I put another tomato cage next to it and guided some of the branches into that cage. Yesterday I put a stand-up trellis on the other side of the plant to have that side grow on because it is growing so tall. I am wondering if it is a good idea the trim back those branches. Would that hurt the plant or would the tomatoes get more of the nutrients because the plant is kept under control? — Carol Weinmann, Virginia Beach
A. I have a couple thoughts regarding your giant tomatoes. To answer your question — yes, you can prune them back to help keep them in-bounds. In the long run, that will likely reduce the number of fruit you get, as well as how long you get them. But by pruning them, the plant's finite resources will be allocated to fewer fruit — resulting in larger tomatoes.
The same theory applies here as with thinning your apples early in the season to help ensure better quality (larger) apples. Both the tomato and apple don't give a hoot about you and your desires. They are only trying to maximize the number of seeds they produce, to ensure they produce ample offspring to perpetuate their kind. You want bigger fruits, so that's on you.
Next year, there are several things you can do to ensure that your tomatoes stay better in-bounds. First, select determinate, rather than indeterminate types. These are shorter, bushier and require less support. The harvest is synchronized over a shorter period of time, so you will have to use successive plantings to get the extended harvest that indeterminate types give. Some varieties, such as Better Boy, are now available as both.