Grow Tomatoes in the kitchen garden is no more a herculean task. Can anything else be better than bright, firm, and pulpy home grew tomatoes? No one can contradict the importance of sweet, tangy, and aromatic tomatoes in daily meals like sauces, salad, and mouth-watering pasta. Do you want to grow some at home in your small kitchen garden? Here are a few quick and easy tips and tricks that can help you grew better tomatoes at home in kitchen gardens. At the end of this article, you will have a complete guide for growing tomatoes, from planting to harvesting and do’s and don’ts. You can also grow tomatoes with Hydroponic Farming throughout the year.
Find a Sunny Place
For growing tomatoes, choose a place that has better soil drainage and not shady as this crop loves strong direct sunlight throughout the day. At least, sunlight for 6 to 8 hours per day is needed. If you have a shady place, keep pots in bright sunlight during day time. Keep at least 2 feet distance apart from each other. Overcrowding leads to stunted growth.
Alternate Places to Grow Tomatoes
If you don’t have a backyard or kitchen garden, you can grow tomatoes at your home. You may grow them even in growing bags, on the terrace garden, or balcony of your apartment. You need to take some extra care to protect your growing tomatoes from low humidity, high winds, and blowing clouds of dust.
If you want to grow tomatoes for canning and sauce-making purposes, determinate tomatoes are a better choice. However, if you desire to spread out your harvest for longer, you may use indeterminate ones. Salad tomatoes are usually small, round, or pear-shaped. Canning tomatoes have dense flesh with little juice, which makes them the best choices for cooking, drying, and canning.
If you are using tomato seeds, then make sure to give seedlings plenty of space to grow. Always choose viable and healthy ones. Dip them in a cup of water and let them soak for some time. Choose the seeds that settled down and discard the floating seeds and don’t use them. Dig a hole in the soil, 3 to 4 inches deep. Add some manure containing soil. You may use kitchen debris as natural organic fertilizer as well. Don’t forget to label the varieties. Crushed eggshells perform a dual function; they not only act as organic fertilizer but also wade off pests.
Support for growing plants
Supporting structure is needed as the tiny plants can’t do it for themselves. You will need support as well to carry the weight of the growing plant. The vertical plants are better, while horizontal plants lying on the ground are prone to many diseases, which you cannot afford and want at any cost.
If you lack more place, you may grow them in material pots. Choose containers wisely as these are way better than normal ones. Avoid clay or porcelain as they dry out too quickly. However, if you don’t have such pots, you may choose pots of your availability, but punch many holes in them and make sure that they allow airflow and drainage. Grow one tomato plant per pot and check containers for moisture as they dry out too quickly.
Water Requirements of Growing Tomatoes
Remember to keep the soil wet; don’t let it completely dry out. For the initial few days, don’t forget to water plants. The tomato plants grown by the seeds don’t need much water in the beginning. However, it is recommended to you water tomatoes in the morning rather than afternoon or evening. It will keep them hydrated throughout the day. Irregular watering leads to the cracking and splitting of tomato fruits.
Harvesting & Storing
You not only save money by growing your tomatoes at home, but also you enjoy the reward of plucking perfectly ripe, juicy, and sweet tomatoes. Let them stay on the plant until they get red and ripe. The best time to harvest tomato is at the end of its growing season. The tomato fruit appears within 60 to 70 days after planting. Early picking of tomatoes leads to rotting rather than ripening. Once harvested, try not to freeze them, as defrosted tomatoes don’t taste the same. The more fresh and juicy are preferable.
- Make sure to clean the pot and area free of weeds; don’t let them snatch the nutrients of your tomatoes.
- Remove the side branches and lower leaves that will prevent early fruiting and promotes fungal diseases.
- Your plants are quite sensitive, so protect them from the disease. For instance, you see any symptoms like yellow leaves, distorted stems; remove them as early as possible to prevent the spread of disease.
- Create an artificial breeze as wind is needed by turning the fan on for some time daily.