Gardening

How to plant tomatoes step by step?

Domestic cultivation is gaining more and more followers around the world. Knowing the origin of what is consumed will ensure a diet free of chemical additives and one of the simplest and most practical foods to start harvesting at home is the tomato; a fruit produced by the tomato plant.

The tomato plant or Solanum lycopersicum is the plant that bears tomato fruit, a product that is widely used all over the world and is part of many recipes.

This fruit, which is within the category of «berries», when ripe, has a rounded shape with a mostly smooth surface and can measure between 3 centimeters to 16 centimeters in diameter, depending on its type. The consistency, for its part, is meaty and juicy, having a generally sweet flavor that, in addition, can be consumed both raw and cooked.

On the other hand, the tomato can also be found in different presentations, either natural and fresh, as it is grown from the plant, or in the form of sauce, puree, dehydrated, among others. This allows you to take advantage of its flavor, color and other properties when cooking various dishes.

tomato cultivation

The cultivation of the tomato plant can be carried out at home if you have space to make a small garden or even in a pot. However, you must first take into account when to plant tomatoes, since the plant has certain requirements in order to grow properly.

What do I need to grow tomatoes?

To carry out this project, we advise you to get a large tray, organic substrate, lime-free water, a watering can (you can find some options to buy at this link), the pot and, of course, the tomato seeds. The latter can be obtained from ripe tomatoes and later we will teach you how to prepare them for sowing.

Another point that you cannot neglect when planting the seeds is the time of year, in case it is not possible for you to provide the temperature and humidity parameters that it needs to grow. In Spain, these dates go from the end of winter to the beginning of spring, that is, the months between February and April.

To harvest them, you must wait approximately 5 to 6 months, which is when the fruit begins to ripen, taking on a reddish color from its base. From here, you can choose at what stage of development they are most useful considering that, for example, ripe tomatoes are used to make sauces and young ones in salads.

Step 1: Getting the seeds to plant

To plant tomatoes, the first thing you should do is remove tomato seeds from the ripe fruit to germinate them and wait for it to develop its root system.

Cut the tomato in half and remove its pulp, where the seeds will also be. Store this section in a jar, so it can ferment for 4-5 days. Once the process is finished, pass through a strainer and wash the pulp with water, so that only the seeds remain, which you must dry with absorbent paper and they will be ready to germinate.

Step 2: Prepare the tomato seedbed

Put the tray on a table and pour the substrate into it until it reaches a height of at least 10 centimeters. Remember to lift and drop the tray so that it can be properly compacted, as well as preventing the appearance of air pockets between the layers.

Now, proceed to open the holes where the seeds will go. Each one should measure a maximum of 1 centimeter deep and have a distance of 5 centimeters from each other, so as not to interfere with the growth of their sisters.

Step 3: Germinate Tomatoes

When you have prepared the seedbed, place a dried tomato seed in each of the holes made and proceed to cover them with another layer of substrate, making the respective compression. Water everything until it is moist, but not excessively, and wait for the plant to grow sufficiently before moving it to the pot.

Step 4: Transplant the tomato plant

To check that your tomato plant is ready for the pot, you can gently tug on it. If the root ball breaks, you will have to wait a little longer. Typically, this process can be done between April and June, depending on when you started planting.

Proceed to fill the pot with natural ecological substrate and drill a hole the size of your fist in the middle. Now remove the entire root ball of the tomato plant with the help of a shovel, to take it to the newly made hole and finish by covering the remaining spaces with more substrate.

Step 5: Potted Tomato Plant Care

To answer the question of how often to water potted tomatoes, this will practically depend on the time of year you are in.

Some users recommend that potted tomatoes should be watered regularly, especially in hot weather, to prevent them from losing moisture, but without exceeding the limit, as this would cause plant diseases, withering their leaves and stopping growth.

Consequently, in times of heat such as summer, the tomato plant should be watered at least 3 times a week, while in winter it should be watered at least 2 times a week.

In addition to tomato care, care should also be taken to use water without lime or rain, so as not to change the parameters of the substrate and affect its performance in root growth. Besides, you should not wet the fruits or the leaves, but only the stems and the substrate, respecting the amounts of water recommended according to the growth stage of your plant.

one last tip

Although the tomato has multiple health benefits, there are things that it cannot change and if you suffer from immobility in your body for whatever reason, we advise you to purchase the best anti-decubitus cushion on the market as soon as possible. This will prevent your skin from suffering from the pressure exerted due to the weight and will allow you to stay healthy, until a speedy recovery.

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