Here at Kudos House, we know the importance of being self-sufficient, and the fantastic feeling that you get from growing your fruit and vegetables. That’s why we have made a guide about how to grow tomato plants. Keep reading for more!
How to Grow Tomato Plants
The tomato plant is a very popular vegetable with gardeners as it is so simple to grow. With just a little effort and some space, tomato plants can give you a bountiful harvest. The tomato plant originated in the Americas and was brought to Europe in the 1500s. Tomatoes were considered to be poisonous for a long time because they were closely related to the deadly nightshade plant. Tomatoes were not widely grown in the United States until after 1820.
When purchasing tomato plants, there are several essential items to keep in mind. Tomatoes are classified as either determinate or indeterminate. Determinate is a bush type that produces its fruit at the tip of its stems and requires little staking. Indeterminate is a vine type, which requires staking and pruning, with fruits growing along the stem. You will need at least two plants per person, more if you are planning to do some canning.
Sowing Tomato Seeds
If starting seeds yourself, sow eight weeks before the first frost-free date. Use a seed-starting mix and place four or five seeds in each pot. Tomato seeds need temperatures around 75 degrees to germinate. Keep them moist and fertilize regularly. Tomato plants are ready to set out when they have five to seven leaves. Do not wait too long. If your plants have already produced flowers or fruits, they will have a more difficult adjustment to being transplanted.
A wide variety of tomato plants will be available at your local nursery. For best results, space tomatoes a couple of feet apart, with three to four feet between each row. Tomatoes do well in a sunny spot. Take the time to add some extra organic matter, such as compost or manure, to the soil.
You should place the tomato plant in a hole one foot wide. Fresh banana peels can also provide a natural fertilizer in the planting hole, releasing potassium and some other trace elements. When you fill the hole, set the plant deep in the soil, up to the first set of healthy leaves. Additional roots will form along the underground part of the stem.
It is vital to give your plants enough support. You can install stakes about four inches from the plant or use steel cages to support the vines. Loosely tie plant stems to supports with soft twine or strips of cloth. That will keep your plants from falling over and keep the stems from splitting open.
Tips For Healthy Plants
Here are a few things to remember about maintaining healthy plants.
Use a Fertilizer Low In Nitrogen
This can easily be done by using any type of organic materials that are high in carbon but quite low in nitrogen. These low nitrogen fertilizers are good for plants that produce fruits and flowers and will help the plants focusing on that.
Mulch Plants With Hay Or Straw
When you use straw or hay to mulch the ground and cover your plants it will keep the sunlight away to prevent weed growth. It will also help to prevent the sun from removing the moisture from the ground.
Prune Your Plants By Removing the Suckers Between the Main Stems And Branches
The pruning can take place throughout the growing stage and help the stems and fruit to strengthen while it is growing. This process will also help the roots to grow along the part of the stem that is in the ground and provide better stability.
Pick Tomatoes When They Are Nearly Ripe With Even Color
Prune your plants by removing the suckers between the main stems and branches, so more energy can go to the fruit. For the best flavor, pick tomatoes when they are nearly ripe with even color. Always keep them at room temperature; refrigeration halts the ripening process.
It is a known fact that tomatoes ripen from the inside to the outside, so what you see on the outside is how it looks inside. Tomatoes can be harvested at the breaker stage or halfway ripe and then it can mature safely off the stem.
Always Keep Them At Room Temperature
Before the first hard frost, pick all the fruits and let them ripen indoors in indirect sunlight. They should be kept in a single layer and not touching each other away from direct sunlight so they can ripen in their own time. This way you can have fresh tomatoes to use in your food for much longer. Tomato plants are an easy and fruitful addition to any garden.
It is always a good idea to keep the tomatoes you put away for later use in a cool dry place to slow down the ripening process. If you follow the hints given to you, you will always have fresh tomatoes at your disposal for foods and salads or sandwiches.
If you would like more information about gardens, please see our garden section on the homepage. We also have a section dedicated to gardens and the outdoor living areas of your home.