Tomatoes

Tomatoes

Tomatoes – Introduction

It’s simple to grow tomatoes. You can firstly sow them indoors and then shift them outdoors into a sheltered and sunny spot. You can plant diverse tomatoes types, from full-flavoured giant beefsteaks types to tiny black, red or yellow cherry tomatoes that taste sweet. 

Sowing 

Generally, the plants grow in two different ways: 

  • Cordon grows up to 6 ft and needs support for proper growth 
  • Bush tomatoes are bushy and shorter. Besides, they don’t need to be supported by a stake.

Below are some tips for sowing tomatoes:

  • Ensure that you have checked the plant labels before buying them. It will help you buy the seeds as per your requirements.  
  • Sow the seeds from late March to early April for outdoor planting .
  • Sow the seeds from late February to mid-March if you want to grow them in the greenhouse.  
  • Fill the small pots with compost and sow the tomato seed into it.
  • Place the pots in a propagator.
  • Use a nice big clear plastic bag to cover the pots.
  • Ensure that temperature is at least at 64°F for young seedlings.
  • Transplant the plants into 3.5 inches pot once there is the formation of two true leaves. 

If you don’t have time to grow them from seeds, you can also buy young plants from garden centres in spring. However, the young plants also need frost-free conditions. 

Growing 

So, the flowers of the first truss start opening. Now you must transplant them in 9 inches pot or outdoors. Below are the tips that you need to follow while transplanting the plants outdoors:

  • Choose a warm and sunny location for growing tomatoes.
  • Ensure that plants are at a distance of 18-24 inches.
  • Ensure that you have hardened off the soil before planting the tomatoes outdoors.  

Growing Cordon tomatoes 

  • Tie the main stem of the plants to a sturdy and tall cane. You can also wind it around the vertical string. 
  • Remove the newly developed side shoots between the main stem and a leaf. 
  • Remove the growing tips of the main stem when plants reach the top of the support.  
  • Consider removing the leaves present above the ripening truss. It will encourage the fruits to be ripe earlier.
  • Consider removing the leaves below the ripening truss. It will prevent disease spread such s tomato blight and tomato leaf mould. 

Growing Bush tomatoes  

Neither the bush tomatoes need neither support nor side-shoots removal.

Other growing tips 

  • Water the plants regularly. Otherwise, the fruit will start splitting due to fluctuation in moisture levels. 
  • Feed your growing plants with a balanced liquid fertilizer every 10-14 days.  
  • Use the potash feed once the fruits start forming.
  • Avoid irregular watering because it results in calcium deficiency, leading to blossom end rot. 

Harvesting

The ripening time of tomatoes depends on the fruit size, weather conditions, and variety. However, they start ripening from mid-summer onwards. 

  • Cherry tomatoes ripen faster than the larger fruits. On the other hand, harvesting greenhouse tomatoes starts earlier and lasts longer till autumn. 
  • Examine the plants regularly to pick the ripe tomatoes immediately. 
  • Place the plants with unripe fruits under cloches at the end of the growing season. You can also choose warm and dark places to help ripe the unripe fruits.   
tomatoes

Common problems

Blossom end rot

It results in the appearance of dark blotches 

Remedy

  • Water the plants regularly.
  • Avoid sporadic watering. 

Tomato blight

This disease is most common in wet weather conditions. It causes the rotting of foliage and fruit.  

Remedy

Choose resistant varieties.

Tomato leaf mould

It rarely occurs in outdoor crops. It results in the appearance of yellow blotches on the upper leave surface. Besides, lower leave surfaces became infected with greyish-brown mould. 

However, the upper surface also contains mould growth in severe disease attacks. 

Remedy

  • Enhance ventilation to indoor tomatoes.
  • Choose resistant varieties.

Tomato splitting and cracking

Split fruit leads to fungus infection and various other physiological disorders. However, it can, and does affect the taste of the fruit. 

Remedy

  • Maintain the sunlight level and temperature.
  • Maintain the fertility of the soil by feeding it regularly.
  • Maintain moisture level of soil by watering it regularly. 

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09/01/2021 | Vegetables | 0 Comments

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