Tomatoes are one of the most widely grown plants around the world. In fact the Aztecs and the Incas harvested it as early as in the eight century. In Europe tomato plants were introduced in the 16th century.
With the richness of folic acid, calcium, potassium, Vitamin A and Vitamin C along with ample amount of the antioxidant lycopene, tomatoes are extremely good for you. So rather then sticking to the insipid store tomatoes, you too can get fresh homegrown tomatoes with these simple tomato gardening tips.
- The first step is choosing the tomato plant variant that you want to grow. Black cherry, Brandywine and purple haze are some common types of tomato plants that you can choose from. Apart from personal preference, other selection criteria include the climate needed for the growth and resistance to diseases. Choose whether you want determinate tomato plants that bloom once and diet out or the indeterminate variant that are in it for a long haul.
- For growing tomatoes from seeds, you need to ensure that you start out around six weeks before the last frost in the area. This gives the seed enough time to grow before they can be planted outdoors. Choose flat containers with drainage holes and a good potting mix preferably containing peat moss that will retain the water.
- Sow the tomatoes half an inch deep into the soil and moisten the soil. Cover the soil with a cheese cloth or paper bag to allow it to retain the moisture. Ensure that the germinating seeds receive ample light and are kept in moist humid conditions.
- When the seeds have germinated and contain around for leaves, transfer them into larger containers or plant them in the garden. Ensure that the outdoor spot that you choose has a soil of pH of around six to seven and gets enough sunlight. To provide protection from cold wind, choose a spot close to the garden trellis or wall.
- Prepare the soil by adding compost. Now gently transplant the plants to the soil preferably on a cloudy day when the extreme temperatures cannot harm the plant. Set the plants around 12 inches apart and plant them deep to ensure proper root development.
- Watering the plant regularly is essential to promote proper growth. Add a layer of mulch to ensure water retention in the soil. Add nitrogen and phosphorous fertilizers. Install supports such as tomato cages, stakes or trellis for the plant to grow. Prune and remove the suckers developing in the joints of the tomato plant branches.