- Time needed: 5 minutes.
HOW TO GROW THE PERFECT FRUIT
Time needed: 5 minutes.
Whether in a salad or as a refreshing topping on bread, tomatoes are an indispensable part for a healthy summer meal. If you want to make sure that the fruits are neither genetically modified nor irradiated, it is best to grow your tomatoes yourself.
You don’t even need a garden to grow delicious tomatoes. Tomatoes are just as easy to grow on a balcony or in an indoor garden. Grow them in soil or even faster hydroponically. In order for the fruits to flourish and taste even better, you should read on.
- Tomatoes need sun and space
Self-grown tomatoes taste better when they have plenty of room to grow. This is because it increases their sugar content, explained by the North Rhine-Westphalia Chamber of Agriculture. Sugar enhances the natural taste of the tomato.
Within Europe, starting mid-May, small tomato plants can go outside and be planted into the ground. The plants shouldn’t be watered too much, but if grown in soil it need to be in nutrient-rich soil. This will allow the plant to grow and develop the right balance of sugar and acid concentration which not only improves taste but also the vitamin content. You will notice however, that this also makes the skin of the tomato tougher.
- Tomatoes prefer sunny locations
The tomato plants feel most comfortable in a warm, sunny place and you ideally protect them from wind and rain. A south facing wall can be an ideal location as it provides additional warmth.
If your tomatoes get wet, chances are that your plants are trouble as this is the ideal condition for the notorious brown rot. In other words, be mindful when watering the plants and make sure that you only water the roots and soil.
- Vibration helps to ensures a rich harvest
If you are looking to increase the amount of tomatoes that you can harvest from your plant, you can use an electric toothbrush as little helper.
Thanks to the vibration, flowers are getting pollinated as tomato plants can pollinate themselves. In nature bumblebees trigger this process, but when growing indoors you will have to help out. Here is how: Place the moving brush head on the stem just above the flower and set it in motion.
Alternatively, if you do not have an electric brush you can simply help by shaking the plants a little. Be mindful though that once the flower has opened, you have only a window of 1-2 days where you can pollinate the plan. Above all you want to harvest a lot of fruits! After that just leave the plant to do their job and grow some fruits.
- Recognize nutrient deficiencies
You can tell if your tomatoes are not getting enough nutrients for instance if you see light green leaves. If that’s the case, get some commercially available liquid fertilizers and apply according to instructions. In most cases, however, good garden soil provides the plants with sufficient nutrients – especially if compost has been added.
If you grow hydroponically and unless you are using a smart system that does not require manual fertilizer dosage, you will have to use a 3 component fertilizer mix also known as N-P-K to feed your tomatoes the right nutrients depending on their growth stage.
- Prevent brown rot in tomatoes
The disease is caused by a fungus that feels most comfortable in a warm, humid climate. You can tell if a plant is infested by black-brown spots on the leaves. At a more advanced stage brown spots also appear on the fruits. The infested fruits can only be thrown away. They are unsuitable for consumption.
- Protect plants from rain
To protect the tomatoes from rain, you should cover them. However, if the covering is too much trouble for you, and if the plant is planted in a pot you can move it indoors until the rain stops. If you are using an indoor garden this wouldn’t be much of a problem except if you have leaking roof.
- Pruning tomatoes
Pruning is very important for a rich tomato harvest. It means you will have to remove the young side shoots of the plant. This helps the plants to develop only the main shoots.
Without pruning, the tomato can still develop a lot of fruits, but they will be very small and do not ripen properly.
If you grow your tomatoes in soil, regular watering is important. The soil should never dry out completely.
In conclusion, independent on how your grow your tomatoes, as long as you follow the steps above you should be able to harvest some yummy, juicy tomatoes.
If you have any further questions, drop me a note, I am happy to help.