Thursday, 18 July 2013 19:22

How do Tomatoes grow?

Did you know tomatoes are originally from Mexico?

  • Latin Name:

    Solanum Lycopersicum

  • Growth:

    How do tomatoes grow?

    USDA Hardiness Zones 5 t0 12. Click here to view USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map.

    Tomato plants grow from 3' to 10' in height.  

    The tomato plant is a perennial in its native habitat (Mexico) and an annual when grown outdoors.  It is cultivated at any time in a greenhouse.

    It takes a tomato plant anywhere from 65 to 100 days to grow from seedling to blossom to ripe fruit depending on variety and temperature.  


    43 Day Time Lapse- Tomatoes Growing


    Two Month Time Lapse of Growing Roma Tomatoes


  • Propagation:

    How are tomatoes propagated?

    Tomatoes can be grown either in soil or hydroponically.

    Tomatoes are warm weather plants that need at least 7 hours per day of full sun and do not like temperatures below 55 degrees.

  • Harvest:

    When are tomatoes ready for harvest?

    Tomatoes are picked when they are still ripening. They are allowed to finish ripening in storage, sometimes with the aid of ethylene gas.

    Most tomatoes are picked by hand, but some commercial growers use different sorts of mechanized harvesters.

    How Tomatoes are Harvested


    Harvesting Tomatoes in Italy


  • Storage:

    How are tomatoes stored?

    Tomatoes are best stored at room temperature.  They will lose their flavor if refrigerated. 


  • History:

    Where do tomatoes come from?

    Tomatoes are native to Mexico.  In 1521, Cortez found yellow tomatoes in what is now Mexico City and brought them back to Europe.  They spread worldwide as a direct result of Spanish colonization.  A cookbook published in 1692 includes a recipe that lists a tomato as an ingredient.

    In Italy, it was named a pomi d'oro, literally translated as golden apple.

    Facts about Tomatoes


  • Top Producers:

    Which countries produce the most tomatoes?

    China, the U.S., India, Turkey, Egypt, and Italy

  • Varieties:

    How many varieties of tomato are there?

    There are over 7,500 different varieties of tomato, but two basic types of growers:

    Determinate plants, usually the early ripeners, grow, set fruit and then die.

    Indeterminate plants continue growing and bearing fruit until the first frost kills the plant.

    Tomatoes come in a variety of sizes and colors, from multi-colored to striped.  They are bred for factors like consistent shape and taste, size, disease and pest resistance.  Commercially grown tomatoes are also bred for a thicker skin that will withstand mechanized harvesting and shipping. 

  • Products:

    How are tomatoes used?

    Eaten raw, plain, in salads, salsa, appetizers, and used as garnish.

    Tomatoes are best in stir fries, sandwiches, pizzas, soups, pot pies, quiches, and sauces.

    Tomatoes make great juice, which is low in sugar, and high in fiber and vitamins.


  • Top Health Benefits:

    Are tomatoes healthy?

    Tomatoes contain lycopene, an antioxidant that helps protect skin against harmful UV rays.

    They are also rich in Vitamins A and C.

More in this category: How does asparagus grow? »