Home-grown tomatoes can definitely be branded as a labour of pure love starting from the time of sowing the first seed to stashing the very last fruit inside the freezer.
Today we are going to discuss in brief about some important pointers concerning tomato plantation which can be of great help in ensuring optimum growth of these delicious vegetables in your garden.
- In comparison to a big-box-store seedling, it is advisable to opt for a locally raised or home-grown one. The former options might be shipped from warmer zones which are vulnerable to widespread tomato diseases.
- It is advisable to opt for a mixture of both open-pollinated and hybrid tomato type as that can guarantee the greatest insurance against all risks of failure. Irrespective of the chosen variety, you should properly go through its performance details.
Rather than blindly swearing by extravagant flavour claims, you need to look at other traits like disease resistance, regional adaptation as well as days to harvest.
- You can save the seeds of open-pollinated tomatoes for being sown in the next harvesting season. These seeds bear a lot of resemblance with that of the original. However, you need to be extra cautious by conducting this survival of the fittest regimen.
- Tomatoes are avid lovers of heated soil texture and you can induce the same by growing them on black plastic. This also assists with soil-splash control and weed suppression by acting as a barrier against those soil-borne spores.
- Tomato plants can primarily be divided into two groups. Determinate tomatoes plants grow up to a pre-determined size and you can expect fresh produce once it reaches the same.
These plants reach the maximum height of 3-5 feet and come up with their products within a small time-span. Such plants are ideal for gardeners having limited space or maybe a shorter growing season.
Indeterminate plants, on the other hand, do not have a pre-determined size and keep on growing in size unless it freezes in the fall. Its production capacity is slower in comparison to the determinate variants.
They can serve as the ideal choice for gardeners having ample space and operating under a longer growing season. Working under a short season can cause these tomatoes to freeze before you can actually harvest it properly.
In most of the cases, the seed packet carries a clear demarcation between the determinate and indeterminate variants. Alternatively, you can conduct some online research on the type of tomato chosen by you.
While most of the cherry and aromas tomato types are determinate, the big boy or beefsteak types are indeterminate in nature.
- In stark contrast to most of its fellow garden plants, the preferred watering schedule of the tomato plant is considerably different. For starters, tomato plants simply hate being sprayed on. They might pout if you pour water from overhead.
This is why it is advisable to opt for a soaker hose while watering the tomato plant. You can also proceed with an array of other options such as hand watering using a hose or cool clay pots by filling them with water.
Whatever be your selected medium, you should always target the roots while watering your tomato plantation. Tomatoes require deep watering once every week. Shallow watering done every now and then might not be of much help in boosting up its growth.
- In spite of being adequately cared for, tomatoes might fail to bear fruit. The reasons behind the same might be various ranging from feeding excess nitrogen to adverse weather conditions. Temperature ranging below 50 or above 70 can interfere with the normal course of pollination.
Dry and hot conditions during blossom months might prevent normal pollination and even cause the tiny buds or fruit to drop. This might be followed by a succeeding round of flowers in favorable weather conditions especially if it’s early enough.
- Tomato plants require the optimum mix of sunny spot and shade at varying times of the day for delicious produces. The morning sunlight followed by sufficient natural light for four to six hours’ daily is adequate for catering to tomato plants growing in your garden.
However, while growing it indoors, you can keep it next to a sunny window. Afternoon shade can keep it buffered from all chances of burning the leaves by cooling down the small tomatoes.
- Adequate structural support is required for the growth of a tomato plant. You can tie down its stems to a fence or trellis for guiding them towards the upward direction. This helps in faster ripening of tomatoes by promoting proper airflow and preventing end rot or cage diseases.
Stakes serve as the perfect starting option for new plants. But the structure needs to be strong enough for sufficing the normal plant growth. You need to avoid wire tomato cages in all cases as they are not of much help in boosting plant growth.
- Other than optimum sunlight, tomato plants also require enough space, especially at a young age. Having adequate space leads to better air circulation so that the tomato plant can spread around its lower branches and leaves in a better manner.
- Burning the tomato seedlings deep into the garden soil can encourage its roots to develop all throughout the stem and deep inside the soil’s organic matter thus resulting in a stronger plant.
- You should remove the true leaves of the tomato plant from the bottom of its main stem once it reaches the height of about three feet. These are usually the oldest leaves which are also the most vulnerable to fungal diseases.
Tomatoes serve as the staple ingredient of BBQs as major salad ingredients as well as burger toppings. Although growing tomatoes in your own garden might seem like a pretty difficult task, the end product is definitely worth all the hard work