We all love tomatoes, don’t we? From using it to make that delicious evening stew to processing it for Ketchup, tomatoes have become a huge part of our meal cycle. Despite our love for tomatoes however, it sometimes gets difficult to find fresh ones, and even when we do, they are either not as fresh or a little costlier than expected.
We realize however that some of us don’t mind growing our own tomatoes if we had a huge farm of our own. If only we could afford that acre of land, or maybe even a plot.
Wait a minute, do we even need all that? Do we need to till the land so much just for a few fresh tomatoes to make “stewwww”? Well, here’s some good news. The answer is an emphatic NO!
We have put together a few tips to help you grow your own tomatoes in your own backyard conveniently. If you live on the 6th floor of an eleven storey condominium and you don’t have a backyard, don’t worry, you can also plant in pots. However, for the purpose of this article, we will only be focusing on backyards but soon enough, we’ll get you planting your own tomatoes.
Here are some tips on how to grow tomatoes in your backyard:
1. Space matters. Choose your space rightly: When selecting a space for your plants, you should pay attention to the need for space when growing them. The reason behind this is because you need to ensure that they will have enough room for maintenance purposes and harvesting as well. Another thing that you need to do is to ensure that space is receiving at least 6 hours of sunlight every day. Just make that the sunlight is not too much, else it will affect the plant.
2. Space them apart: We don’t just like the word, we’re using it because it’s key to the success of your backyard tomato project. You need to space your plants between 18 to 36 inches apart. This is the right area that your tomatoes need for the weed and water to go in between them. It will also help you to harvest them quickly. For people who live in hot areas, it would be best to space the tomatoes 9 to 18 inches apart. As this will help the plants’ fruits to shade each other, which will then prevent burn.
3. Transplant deeply: When transplanting the tomatoes, you need to bury at least 50 to 80% of the plant. You need to make sure to firmly pack the soil around the plant’s roots so that they can be covered completely. You don’t have to worry about anything because the new roots will then emerge along the stem that is buried to ensure that the plant will be given a boost to develop more.
4. Staking your tomatoes: For the avoidance of doubt, Staking is the practice of driving a stake or rod into the ground close to a plant to provide support for its stems. When staking, you need to ensure that the stake should measure 0.5 by 2 inches in width and 6 to 8 feet in length. Secure the tomato into the stake using strips of cloth and knot them loosely to avoid strangling the plant. Staking is IMPORTANT as this will help support the vine of the tomato.
5. Adding Compost to the Soil: Since tomatoes usually demand an environment rich in organic matter, it would be best to add compost to your soil. You can either make your own or purchase a compost which will include topsoil and gravity dust. For every square foot, you will need at least 5 to 8 pounds of compost.
6. Watering your tomatoes: Did you think we would skip water? Of course, you need to water your plants every 7 to 10 days of about 50 cl of water every day. Soaker hose or drip watering is better for the roots, instead of the overhead watering since this can only promote diseases. The best time to water your plants in during the morning to help prevent fungal disease and mold. As the plants are getting larger, it would be best to water them more especially when it gets too hot.
Those are a few tips to help you grow those fresh tomatoes that you love from the comfort of your own backyard.
Have you ever grown tomatoes or anything else in your backyard? If you have, please share your tips with us in the comment section.