Gardening

10 simple rules for growing the best tomatoes

 

Grown in the home garden or that of the neighbor in the village, or even on the balcony, tomatoes give us the best of themselves when they have ripened in the sun on the plant itself.

Follow these simple tips to grow organic or organic tomatoes , and in addition to enjoying their flavor in salads, sauces and other dishes, you will be eating healthy.

1.- Choose a sunny and airy place

Whether in a potted garden or in the field, tomato plants should be at a point where they receive between 6 and 10 hours of sun. In addition, you must leave enough space between plant and plant so that the air can circulate correctly.

2.- Crop rotation

Crop rotations minimize pest attacks and disease occurrence. We also make better use of the nutrients in the earth.

You can sow or plant tomatoes where you have previously grown lettuce, endive, chard, spinach, beetroot, zucchini, melons, or cucumbers. After the tomatoes in that same space you can plant legumes, cauliflower, cabbage or broccoli.

3.- Use organic and native seeds

The native varieties are more resistant to diseases and pests, they are adapted to the weather, and in general, they grow better and cause fewer problems than those that are not.

Locate nearby nurseries, local growers or seed networks and purchase organic tomato seeds. If this option is not possible, you can always buy organic tomatoes and take the seeds yourself.

Using organic seeds instead of hybrids ensures that you will get a seed that has not been treated with toxins and that you will be able to obtain more plants for future crops from the seeds that your tomatoes give. However, with hybrid seeds you will not be able to get more plants once you sow the seeds of the tomatoes that you have grown.

4.- How to choose the best seedlings

If instead of sowing the tomato seeds yourself, you prefer to buy the seedlings, keep three important factors in mind:

Look at the roots. Choose seedlings with more developed roots, even if the aerial part of the seedlings is less so.

Another factor is to check the seedlings and verify that they are free of pests or diseases.

Finally, and as with seeds, choose organic seedlings because if they are not, they will be treated with pesticides.

true leaves 5.- The transplant

Transplantation is another important point to take into account.

When you go to transplant the seedlings, bury the stems and cover them with soil until you reach the first true leaves of the seedling.

You will be able to recognize the true leaves of the cotyledons (first leaves that come out of the seed) because the latter have an oval shape while the true leaves have the definitive shape of the typical tomato leaf but smaller.

6.- Watch the risks

You must always maintain a certain point of humidity in the soil. You achieve this in several ways: through drip irrigation, laying down mulch, or by watering in the late afternoon. Good results are obtained by watering abundantly every 5 days. Make sure the soil has good drainage. Avoid watering the leaves so that fungi do not appear, water only on the ground.

prune tomato 7.- Prune the tomato plant and remove the suckers

Tomato plants grow branches that do not bear fruit, but are consuming plant resources. Eliminating these twigs, also known as “suckers”, through a simple pruning we favor the formation and development of the fruits. Suckers are twigs that come out of the armpit of another main branch.

Approximately 3 weeks after transplanting, we can already eliminate the first suckers, and normally one or two main stems are left so that they grow with more strength and vigor.

You can remove the pacifiers both with pruning shears and by hand directly.

8.- Guide the growth of plants

Use tutors to guide the growth of the tomato plants and favor the ventilation of their leaves and fruits. Tutorials are nothing more than fasteners and guides that you can use made of different materials and in different ways, although the purpose is always the same. Many times the first tutored is applied when the seedling is transplanted to its final place. Be careful not to damage the roots. Here are some examples of plant tutorials .

9.- Feed them!

When the tomato plant bears its first fruit, add compost or humus around the stem and trim the highest branches a little. In this way we will be favoring the formation of the fruits.

10.- Tomatoes for longer

For multi-month harvests of tomatoes, plant staggered every 3 weeks.

To enjoy the tomatoes with all their flavor, harvest them when they have reached the right size and color for their variety.

You can see cultivation sheets here and more practical tips for your garden and garden here

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