The round, red and juicy tomato has always been part of the kitchen ever since the Spanish introduced it to Europe as early as the 16th century. During this time, it was thought only to be used as an ornamental plant. But that soon changed when it was likened to the eggplant.
Ever since then, it has been used in dishes for its unique tastes and vitamin-enriched properties. Not only this, as we also use it to make food condiments familiar around the world: ketchup. Indeed, the tomato is one handy plant necessary in your kitchen and garden because of its broad uses. Thus, learn how to grow these plants below and ultimately, see how they flourish in the summer:
Choosing Your Tomatoes’ Variety
Tomatoes also have their fair share of varieties. Even with these, it’s still easy to cultivate as these varieties only dictate the structure and level of growth of tomatoes – and not on its planting and growing needs.
Furthermore, you will have to choose between growing determinate or indeterminate for the varieties. You won’t need to worry as much as tomatoes can be grown almost anywhere, and they are pretty sturdy and hardy plants.
A determinate tomato is sometimes called a bush because of its shape. Here, the tomatoes will grow to a fixed size and ripen in only a short period. Even with its small size, you will need to stake these tomatoes because the fruits they bear might become too heavy for them to handle.
Additionally, because the fruits ripen quickly, it’s practical to plant the determinate tomatoes if you want to make juices or sauces. With this, you could soon harvest quality fruits at one time and use them however you like.
Unlike the determinate tomatoes that are bushy in shape, the indeterminate variety is a vining plant that will continuously grow throughout the season. With this, they are also going to give you a complete and steady harvest as they grow. Also, remember that the fruits may come later as these plants will focus first on growing rather than bearing fruit.
Similar to the determinate variety, the indeterminate will also need caging for its vines. You could plant them as a hanging vine with a sturdy hook or even wire cages you could see in department stores.
Growing Your Tomatoes
Regardless of whether your tomatoes are determinate or indeterminate, tomatoes still grow in a fixed environment that is the same for every tomato anywhere.
Sunlight And Container Requirements
Your tomatoes will need to experience the full sun for about six to eight hours every day. With this, you will have to plant them in areas where they receive such.
In addition, if you’re living in an apartment where space isn’t as ample as those with a backyard, you can plant your tomatoes in large pots that have holes in the bottom. These pots will ensure a sound draining system for your tomatoes.
Consistency is essential when it comes to watering your tomatoes. Here, you will want to water the plants one to two inches of water per week to keep the ground damp and moist but not wet.
And to ensure optimum growth for your tomatoes, you could ensure that the moisture of the ground will reach the roots.
If you’re unaware of mulching, it’s the process of adding organic materials to the soil to increase moisture and decrease soil erosion and weed growth. For your tomatoes, leaf or grass mulch is fine, and it could be placed around the plants but not too close to the stems.
With this, your tomatoes will indeed give you a bountiful harvest as it has been given the nutrients for it to thrive and foster.
Another aspect you will have to look into is caging or staking the tomato plant. This method will give your tomatoes more support and even help with keeping the plants healthy. Since most insects or diseases begin at the ground level, a stake or cage will lessen such possibilities.
For determinate varieties, it’s best to stake the stems. Remember, you shouldn’t overdo it as these are less dense and less aggressive than the indeterminate. A simple stake planted six to 12 inches deep in the ground and tied loosely to the stem, and the base will do.
And for the indeterminate, you will want wire cages because of their effectiveness and simplicity. Wire cages will promote the natural growth of your tomatoes and keep your fruits off the ground as well.
There is no denying that tomatoes are must-haves in the kitchen and the garden. Because they’re quick and easy to grow, gardeners look to them for their abundant harvest and accompanying tangy taste. And with the concepts, may you embrace the sweetness of these summertime staples and perfect the secrets of its cultivation!