Tomatoes are easy to grow from seed sown indoors in warm conditions, and if you are looking to try your hands with some gardening, then tomatoes are a good plant/vegetable to start with. Some experts have claimed that it’s best to sow from late February to early April if you plan to grow the plants outdoors, that is transferring your budding tomatoes to a permanent site.
There are two main types of tomato plant: bush and cordon. Bush make a squat bush shape and don’t need to be tied in or staked. Cordon has more varieties and they grow like a climber so need to be trained around a cane.
Germinating - 14-15 days
Seedling growth - 2-4 months
Step By Step
- Extract the seeds from a ripe tomato fruit, spread on your nursery soil and allow them to germinate. You can also allow the seeds to dry before planting in your nursery soil.
- Transfer the seedlings (germinated seeds) to the permanent site in your garden or re-plant them in large pots, depending on what space is available: staggering the tender seedlings with care to ensure sufficient breathing spaces in-between them. Ensure they are placed in open spaces without wooded branches/shades that could shield the seedlings from sunlight, thereby limiting photosynthesis & thus impeding their growth/development.
- Water the tomato plants twice a day to provide sufficient moisture for growth
- Tend your plants and watch them grow and blossom.
- Harvest when they are ready.
Like with all plants, there are some issues that can arise when cultivating tomatoes and it will be no different while doing it in your garden. Here are some problems to keep an eye out for.
- Blossom End Rot
Dark blotches appear on the ends.
Water regularly and not sporadically and never allow the soil to dry out.
- Tomato Blight
A disease that causes fruit and foliage rot, most common in wet weather.
Select resistant cultivars.
- Tomato Leaf
Leaf mould can develop rapidly to cause significant yield loss in greenhouse-grown tomatoes. It is rarely seen on outdoor crops. Yellow blotches develop on the upper leaf surface. Pale, greyish-brown mould growth is found on the corresponding lower surface. Where the disease is severe the mould growth may also be found on the upper surface.
If growing indoors, provide ample ventilation to tomato crops.
Pick fruits individually once ripe and fully coloured. At the end of the growing season, lift outdoor plants with unripe fruit and either lay them on straw under cloches or pick the fruits and place somewhere warm and dark to ripen. Alternatively, put unripe tomatoes in a drawer with a banana, to aid ripening.
Now you have your tomatoes, it’s time to prepare some delicious delicacies. Don’t forget to drop the line, "cooked with my home-grown tomatoes" in your conversations.
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