Tomatoes are one of the most common fruits that people grow in their home vegetable garden. This crop can be eaten raw in salads, sandwiches or the famous salsas. On the other hand, you can also consume them as sauces, soups, stews, and chilies. It is a great enhancement tool for your spicy dishes. It is used in many dishes to make it look more colorful and to add more taste.
You have a choice among hundreds of varieties of tomato to grow in your garden. They come in all shapes and sizes including cherry and grape and their flavors range from sweet to acidic. You can find red, pink, yellow, purple, green or striped tomatoes in the market.
Tomatoes have different ways and days to mature and are resistant to diseases as well. You can choose to grow several varieties of tomatoes so that you can discover their different flavors and growth patterns. You will notice that they are easy to grow and will give you harvest even when the growing conditions are not perfect.
Whether you are growing them for salads or put them into cans, the tips below will surely help you to improve the quality of your tomato harvest.
Let’s begin with healthy tomato plants :
Growing your own plant is fun, you get to experience with the ones which you are unlikely to come across in the market. Growing them also expose you to an abundance of tomato plants. A pack of seedlings is going to give you as many tomatoes as you want every year and it will cost around the same as you buy in your local vegetable center.
Purchase good-quality seedlings :
If you are opting to purchase seedlings, make sure that they are of good quality. Your local nursery will surely have the tomatoes which have a reputation to grow better in your region. Look for healthy tomato plants. Make sure that you choose the smaller plants as they are easier to transplant than the bigger ones. Check the leaves to reassure yourself that it is insect and disease free. Avoid plants which look yellowish, spotted, wilted or curled. It means that those plants are stressed and will not transplant properly.
Choose the ideal location to grow your tomatoes:
Always opt for a spot which is bright and sunny as tomatoes need at least 6 or 8 hours of full sunlight to grow healthily. While choosing a bed to grow your seeds make sure that you did not grow any tomatoes in there recently as they can attract pests or diseases. When you find the perfect bed, calculate how much space you need including the tomato supports.
Always grow your tomatoes seeds when the night starts to warm and all frost is gone. Make sure that you put your plant outside from to time in order for it to get used to the weather else it might get shocked and dry off. When the nighttime temperatures are 50 F, you can allow your plant to stay outside overnight.
Plant your tomato seedlings deep :
If it is buried under the soil, tomatoes have the ability to form roots along with parts of the stem, this process helps your plants develop a strong root system. It will help your plant to absorb better nutrients, minerals, and moisture. Healthy roots also allow your plant to resist winds and heavy rainfalls.
Prepare your bed well by taking out all the weeds and adding a generous amount of compost. The latter will add organic matter, nutrients and help the soil to maintain a healthy moisture. If the weather has been continuously dry, make sure that you water your bed well before start planting.
Be sure that you dig your planting holes deep to buy your tomato seedlings up to their second set of the leaves from the bottom of the plant. Do not forget to mix some fertilizers that are made especially for tomatoes. Water the bed well and let it drain.
Things that you need to remember :
• Tomatoes need consistent moisture to grow foliage and produce healthy fruits.
• If it does not receive enough water, your plant might get stressed.
• If you feel that the soil is dry, water your plant properly
• A generous layer of mulch will protect your soil from soil erosion, blocks weeds from growing and moderates your soil temperature.
• Make sure that you prune your tomato plants regularly.
• Removing the bottom branches helps the airflow of your plants and also reduces soil splash which reduces areas where pests can hide.
• Once in a while, you should check your garden and examine your plants. Check foliage and leaves to make sure that your plants are disease and insect free.