Tomatoes are multipurpose fruits, which are used in every household. They are known for their varied health benefits and nutrition value. So, all the health conscious people, who consistently wish to benefit from the fruit, can think of growing tomatoes in their backyard or kitchen garden. This will ensure an abundant supply of tomatoes, which will be free of all types of adulteration. Thus, you can discover the route to great health, by putting in a little effort and following the tips for growing bright and juicy tomatoes.
How to Grow Tomatoes
- The prime requirement is tomato plants, which can be bought from any nursery for planting. Before sowing, make sure the frost has passed. Otherwise, grow your seeds indoors for six to eight weeks before the last expected frost.
- For planting, choose a site that receives ample sun and has soil with a pH between 6.0 and 7.0. Tomatoes require plenty of warmth to develop a good taste. Thus, they should be protected under shelter from chilly breezes.
- Treat the soil with plenty of compost, as tomatoes need soil rich in organic matter.
- Harden off seedlings and move them to the garden during nighttime, when the temperature is above 10 degrees C.
- Dig a hole, about the size of a basketball, in the ground for each plant. Add a shovelful of compost and a handful of crushed eggshells for providing calcium to each plant.
- Make sure that all the plants are 12 to 18 inches apart, depending on their variety. Place the plants deeply into the holes to encourage new root development.
- Secure each plant with a paper collar, to keep cutworms away. Moreover, cover them with cloches or floating row covers, to protect them from insects and cool temperatures.
- When the weather becomes warm, remove the covers, mulch the soil and install supports, which the plants will require to grow.
- Add one and two inches of water to the plants every week. For a plentiful crop, spray them with compost tea or seaweed extract four times, i.e. two weeks after transplanting, just after the first flowers appear, when the fruits reach the size of golf balls and finally, when the first ripe tomato blooms.
- Pick the tomatoes once their color becomes glossy and even and their texture reaches between soft and firm.