You can never compare the taste of a garden-grown tomato to a store-bought one. The quality of the produce is often compromised in the case of store-bought veggies. The sheer joy of growing produce is exceptionally satisfying. Growing your vegetables may seem an enormous task to some, but it’s quite simple and enjoyable.
You do not need a big yard to grow your produce; you can start in your garden or even in a pot. It is impressive how tomatoes can grow out of a small pot! Not only is gardening a great stress buster, but it also saves on your grocery bills, improves your health as you get to eat fresh produce, and gets you involved in physical activity. Growing veggies is a great family hobby, and you also spend quality time together.
Tomato plants come in a wide variety. You have sweet cherry tomatoes, grape tomatoes, beefsteaks, and Romas, which are excellent for sauces, and many more. You can quickly master the trick of growing tomatoes as it involves a little more than just planting a few plants in the soil and watering them regularly. By following a few tips and tricks, you will grow the same quality of tomatoes you buy from the stores. Home-grown tomatoes are so juicy and sweet, full of fresh flavors. So here are a few do’s and don’ts for planting, growing, and plucking some fantastic tomatoes!
Provide The Plant With Plenty Of Sunlight
Good sunlight is a significant factor in the growth of good tomatoes. They will require around ten hours of direct sunlight a day in the summer season. If you start planting a seedling, it may need about 12-14 hours of direct sunlight to grow.
Tomatoes Require Healthy Soil To Grow
Tomatoes grow in rich, moist, and slightly acidic soil. You need to beef up the ground almost two weeks before you plan to plant your tomatoes. Dig up a little, check for the soil temperature, and add compost to the soil. The organic compost-rich soil is the secret behind growing sweet juicy tomatoes.
Support The Stems Of The Plant
Tomato branches get heavy once the fruiting starts. You need to support the stems with sticks and tie them up using nylon threads as support. Nylon threads are flexible and will not damage your plant.
Figure Out The Right Area To Plant Tomatoes
Not all varieties of tomatoes can grow well in your garden. You need to research and figure out the type that will suit your garden to get the desired quantity. Tomatoes can either be determinate or indeterminate. Determinate tomato plants generally do not grow above a height of three feet. They are compact plants that give fruits all at once. Most of them like a tomato cage, and some may even grow well in pots.
Indeterminate tomato plants produce fruit throughout the season. They grow much taller than bush tomatoes.
Plant The Seedlings Deep In The Soil
Tomato plants need a deep root system. You must go in for a tall plant and pluck some of the lower leaves before planting it deep into the soil. Roots will slowly get firm, and it will result in a healthy plant.
Assess The Soil Type
The perfect soil for tomatoes is the one that can hold water but at the same time does not become too soggy. The wrong type of soil chosen for the plant may cause flower drop, split fruit, or blossom end rot.
Must Remove The Lower Leaves
Pruning the tomato plant is a must for good produce. The leaves at the bottom of the plant are the first leaves to grow to develop fungus quickly. As the plant grows tall and thick, they tend to get the least sunlight and air circulation. Removing the lower leaves helps in the perfect growth of the plant.
Water Deeply To The Roots
Tomato plants grow well if you water them deeply. You may use a soaker hose or a drip feeder to water the plant. It would help if you also watered them consistently. Uneven watering may end in cracking up the fruit.
Staking Is A Must
Indeterminate tomato plants can grow tall and need some staking. Even determinate plants will need staking as the plant’s stems may break because of the weight of the fruit.
Mulching Is Important
A layer of mulch helps to conserve all the moisture and keeps the plant away from soil-borne diseases.
Rotate Your Plants
Many soil-borne pests and diseases can catch hold of your produce if you grow the plant in the same pot every year. So you must move your plant to another spot every three years and make sure that the area has good air circulation.
Beware Of Caterpillars
Caterpillars can destroy the tomato crop. Always be watchful and remove any if you find them.
What Must You Not Do?
Don’t Water From Above.
Watering from a height may lead to the growth of water-borne pathogens. You must water the plant deeply around the roots.
Don’t Water Too Much.
Tomato plants do not need too much water daily. Soak the plant well whenever you water it to develop strong roots. You can also install a soaker system under the soil near the roots to prevent issues.
Give Space To Grow
Tomato seedlings need a lot of space to grow. A mature tomato plant will grow about three feet in diameter, so plant the new seedlings accordingly. Don’t forget a tomato cage so that the stems lie off the ground.
Over-fertilization Is A Big No
Over-fertilization will result in tomato plants with very few flowers which means low production of the juicy fruit.
Look For Healthy Seedling, Not A Flowering Plant
It is not necessary that planting a flowering plant will give good fruits. You have to look out for the plant to be strong rooted with healthy stems. The flowers will follow soon.
Don’t Plant And Don’t Pluck Too Early.
You must check for the soil temperature. It must be above 50º F outside. Also, remember not to be impatient. The juiciest tomatoes take time to grow on the vine. Don’t hurry to pluck them off the vine.
Follow all these tricks and sow healthy plants. All these tips will ensure that you get buckets full of juicy and sweet tomatoes. Your hard work will provide the best of fruits. Happy planting!