Ah, tomatoes – it doesn’t matter which way you pronounce their name because it won’t in the least affect the delightfulness of this fruit. Yes, the tomato is a fruit in case you didn’t know, and it just happens to be one of my favorites. This plant is cultivated in summer, and many like to eat it, but most don’t know how to grow it.
Now, this is where my article comes in as it thoroughly explains all that one needs to know about how to grow tomatoes in their garden. So, without further ado, let’s get into it.
What Is There To Know About Tomatoes?
Even though millions of people consume tomatoes and tomato products frequently, I was surprised to meet plenty of folks whose only knowledge about this fruit is that ketchup is made from it. Thus, I feel obligated to spread some general information about this miraculous plant.
Ok, I think that this should be enough for now. With this basic knowledge under your belt, you will not embarrass yourself if caught in discussion with a tomato farmer. Now, let’s proceed with the more technical parts of tomato growing in the following sections.
The Necessary Tools And Equipment
The tools to plant and care for tomatoes include plain, everyday gardening items which can probably be found in an average household that has a backyard. However, growing tomatoes will also require some additional equipment that not everyone has. To be specific, this is what you’ll need:
Besides all of the above mentioned, you will need seeds of you preferred tomato variety, a water source and plenty of sun.
Adequately Preparing The Soil
As you probably know, some tomato varieties can grow up to two meters in height and give you hundreds of pieces of fruit over the course of the summer, considering that they have ideal soil and growing conditions.
First and foremost, make sure that you pick a spot where sunlight falls freely. Tomatoes need around 6-8 hours of sun daily to grow the best possible product, so plant them in the corner of your garden where sunlight hangs on the longest.
Second, check the pH value of the ground with a soil test kit that can be found in any garden store. If it’s too high (above 7), you can lower it by adding some sulfur, and if it’s too low (below 6) boost it by adding lime.
Third, evaluate the nutrient make up of the ground. It is essential that the soil has the right balance of potassium, nitrogen, and phosphorus as all of these minerals play an important role in growing healthy tomatoes.
Last, add compost to improve the structure of the soil. Another thing that ingredient does is attract worms and microbes, as well as helps with nutrient retention. Compost can be bought in gardening stores, or you can make it yourself from yard clippings, leaves and fruit/vegetable peels.
Stake Or Cage – How Do I Plant Tomatoes?
The optimal time for seeding depends on where you live. In warmer regions, you can plant tomatoes in early spring, but in continental climates, late spring is the best time. The reason for this is that you want the ground to get nice and warm before doing anything.
After preparing the soil, it’s time to choose the type of support for the plant (I prefer stakes), and stick it into the ground after planting. The seedlings should be 2 to 3 feet apart depending on the variety of tomatoes that you have, as some are more robust and wild while others are stocky.
Bury around two-thirds of the stem into the ground. Start watering right after planting because this will help the seedlings settle in nicely.
Caring For Tomatoes
As far as maintenance is concerned, there’s not too much to say. Of course, it can’t be overemphasized how vital sunlight exposure and watering is. The latter should be done every day, and each plant should receive around 2 gallons of water per week. A common problem with tomato growing is fruit splitting which is a result of irregular watering.
In case you wish to limit your plant’s growth, you can do it by preventing further truss formation. After the plant grows a desired number of trusses (for example, four or five), rip out the main growing tip to stop a new one from forming. This will also help the existing fruit to ripen.
Yellowing of the leaves indicates insufficient magnesium, and it can be solved by adding magnesium limestone.
Whitefly is a pest which is the most likely to attack the plant. You can recognize it by small eggs and sticky secretion on the bottom side of the leaves. It can be treated by a tiny wasp named Encarsia Formosa.
So, there it is, I’ve shared all the things I know about growing tomatoes, and now it’s up to you to put my tips to the test. Believe me, there’s nothing quite like tasting the fruits of your labor (literally!), and I’m sure that this experience will make you giggle like a child.
My final piece of advice for you would be - just go for it. The process isn’t complicated and is cheap as chips, so there is no reason not to try it. As always, if you’ve found my writings useful or interesting, please leave a comment below!