Tomatoes are one of the most used vegetables all over the world. They are very quick growing plants and are a favorite among most amateur gardeners. Once we understand the quirks and tricks of growing tomatoes, we can successfully and easily grow them in pots or our backyards. The aspect we just have to bear in mind before mastering the art of growing tomatoes are the following:
SOIL AND CLIMATE
Tomatoes grow well in rich, fertile and well drained soil. The soil should not hold water, as it will cause damage to the crops. The plants respond well to organic compost. Warm weather is ideal for a good and healthy plant. They require a minimum of 8 hours of daily sunlight. Lack of suitable climate results in poor harvest.
In warm areas, the seeds may be directly sown in the ground. But in cold countries, people prefer to first grow it indoors for few weeks before the spring frost. The seedlings are then planted in the garden. Growing the plants from seeds gives you the independence of growing wide range of tomatoes as you don’t have to depend on the stock your local nursery has to offer.
While choosing the right seedlings, pick the healthy seedlings with dark green leaves. Plants with brown or yellow leaves and already flowering will not be a good option. The leaves should look fresh and without any marks of pests. The ideal time of sowing the seedlings is when there is no fear of snowing and the soil is warm.
It is good to mix organic fertilizers to the soil before actually planting the seedlings. The plant initially does not require too much fertilizer. Surplus fertilizer will make the plant look healthy but the yield will be poor. When the plant starts to flower, its time to add more fertilizer.
The plants need to be watered frequently but the soil should not be squelchy. The soil needs to dry a little before the next watering. Water only the base and not the leaves and flowers. This may infect the plants and rot them. Using overhead sprinklers should be avoided.
The right times to harvest the fruits are when they acquire solid colors and yet are rigid. It’s good to harvest often for a rich growth. Watch over the development of the fruits and harvest accordingly. Tomatoes ripening in the longer days of summer taste better than tomatoes ripening in the shorter days.
Brandywine, Carmello, Caspian Pink, Hillbilly, Garden Peach are some of the popular varieties of tomatoes.