Many snacks and dishes become more delicious when you add some tomatoes to them. Slice them into salads or use tomato sauce as a dip – tomatoes make everything better. With the cost of tomatoes constantly on the increase, growing them in your garden could be a great idea! Here are a few tips for successfully growing your own tomatoes.
Getting started with tomato growing
To ensure a bumper harvest, it’s important to select strong seedlings with good disease resistance. Check the label before purchasing and opt for F1 (first-generation hybrids) and grafted tomatoes for a desirable yield. Whether you are planting them in hanging baskets, pots or garden beds, always go for seedlings with healthy foliage.
Must-have tools for planting tomatoes
- A shovel
- Tomato hoop or stake
- Tomato seedlings or grafted plants
Select a 1-metre x 1-metre space that receives at least 6-8 hours of sunlight, because tomatoes require lots of sunlight to taste really good. Before planting, prepare the soil with compost and organic matter that will make the soil nutritious and increase its moisture-holding capacity.
To ensure a good yield of tomatoes, add ample potassium (potash) to the soil via fertilizer, wood ashes and organic matter. If you have selected a climbing type, then you must stake them with reo steel at the time of planting.
Caring for the tomatoes
For tomatoes, just watering is not enough. You have to water your tomatoes the right way. Once a week, water the roots deeply. You must wet the soil without wetting the foliage as over-watering can cause disease and damage to the roots. It is always better to water in the morning so that foliages can dry quickly.
Tomato plants require proper feeding to produce healthy and tasty tomatoes. It is recommended by experts to feed 2 tablespoons of potash during planting, 2 tablespoons when the fruits start to show, and a third of a handful when the plant is laden with fruit. Be careful with feeding as overfeeding might damage their sensitive roots.
Before harvesting, make sure the tomatoes are ripe and fully coloured. You can check by squeezing the fruit. If it feels slightly soft and has a distinct aroma then it is ready to be harvested.
Growing your own tomatoes not only saves you money but also makes gardening an absolute joy. If you need any assistance, your local Top Cut is always available!