Nothing quite beats the flavor and rich nutritional benefits of homegrown tomatoes.This is because tomatoes from the store are basically grown to last longer and appear attractive on supermarket shelves, which does absolutely nothing for their flavor. Plus, there is some sort of gratification knowing that you made something grow with your own hands. In this article, we are going to discuss 10tips that make sure the tomatoes you grow are unrivaled by any other.
1. Choose the Right Tomato Variety for Your Garden
Tomatoes, come in an array of varieties and knowing the type best suitable for your garden puts you
a step closer to growing the perfect ones. They can be grouped by size and appearance, to their growth habits. In terms of size and appearance, there is the cherry variety whose fruit is small and round. There is also the beefsteak, which fruits are large and take a while to ripen. Growth habits of the crop are also important to consider. Tomatoes fall into two major categories low growing and therefore, adequate where there are limitations of space. Their fruits ripen early and are small.
2. Get the Right Soil
The soil is the most important aspect in the growing of your crop. Good soil makes sure that your tomatoes grow to their full genetic capability. A light pitting mix is recommended. This consists of equal parts compost, perlite, and peat moss. This type of mixture is ideal since it is lightweight and has high water retention, mainly assisted by the compost and peat moss. Soil pH is also key in growing good tomatoes. The standard pH for tomato growth is 6-7. You can buy a soil testing kit to make sure that the pH is where it needs to be.
3. Have Adequate Container Sizes
This only applies if you are not already growing your tomatoes in the ground. The minimum container size should be 16 inches. This container size holds 8 gallons of soil and allows room for deep growth of the crop’s roots. The recommended container, however, is the whiskey barrel which is 22 inches and has enough room for growth of up to two plants.
4. Bury Part of the Plant
While planting, you should bury the plant up to part of the stem. This technique is important since it makes sure the plant grows roots along its stem. This aids in the stability of the plant and keeps it firm against strong winds.
5. Add Mulch
Mulch is essential in a lot of ways. It helps in moisture retention. It also prevents the sprouting of weeds, which takes a load of work off your hands. Mulch also creates a buffer between the bottom leaves of the plant and the soil. This is important because a lot of disease-causing pathogens are found in the soil and when it rains, water containing these pathogens could splash onto the plant’s leaves causing them to get infected. Having mulch present prevents that. You can buy mulch or make your own by cutting up grass and other foliage.
6. Water Your Crop
It goes without saying that the plant will need water. It is a necessity to know how to water the
plant. Water the base of the plant to make sure that it gets as much water as possible since plants mainly take in water through their roots. The drip irrigation method is recommended because, it makes watering slower and deeper, which comes in handy during those long summer days. Water as much as you can during the growth stages of the plant, but as the plant starts producing fruit, water it less. This makes it concentrate it sugars which improves the flavor of the tomatoes.
7. Provide Light
For a healthy plant, you should expose it to light. This is especially important if you are growing your crop from seeds. Chose the sunniest part of your garden and if you are growing tomatoes in a greenhouse, consider getting artificial plant lighting. Expose the plant to 14-18 hours of light a day.
8. Prune the Plant
Pruning leaves close to the soil, prevents the plant from getting infected by pathogens in the rain
water which splashes off the soil, onto the plant. Also, pruning suckers, which are extra branches that arise between the main branch and the stem, contributes to better fruit. The suckers strain the plant and lead to poor fruit.
9. Add Fertilizer
Fertilizer boosts plant growth. You can either choose between organic fertilizers, which are made
from animal byproducts, inorganic fertilizers which are salt based. Organic fertilizers are slow releasing and should be applied at regular intervals, while organic fertilizers release instantly. A trick for better results is to
apply a fertilizer high in nitrogen when the plants are small and when they are grown you can switch to a fertilizer low in nitrogen.
10. Do Not Crowd Your Crop
While planting, make sure to leave room between plants. Crowding inhibits the growth of the plants
and may cause the spread of disease among the crop.
With all this in mind, you are sure to be smiling come harvesting season since you’ll have the
juiciest and best-looking tomatoes around!