Imagine yourself sitting in the gazebo, the sun is shining and you’re indulging yourself with big, juicy, delicious tomatoes from your organic garden!
How to grow these tomatoes?
Simple! With a little love and attention, spiced with fertile soil will result in a delicious, big tomatoes.
Tomato is a nightshade family vegetable, originating from South America. Firstly it was served as a spice, and it was used as a medicine. Only 200 years ago tomato found its place in the kitchen. Technically tomato is a fruit, but from the culinary point of view it is a vegetable.
Tomato is a plant that has a large number of different varieties: they differ in height (from 20 cm to 2 meters), in color (red, pink, white, black, green, and yellow, orange, tabby), and the shape of the fruit (round, oval, pear-shaped, elongated, wrinkled …). They differ in leaves shape, in flowers and fruits arrangements.
If you grow several types of tomatoes, you will notice that they are not all the same flavors – some are sweeter, some saltier, some juicy, some watery.
Tomatoes – food and medicine
Lycopene (an antioxidant that gives tomatoes their red color) protects against heart attacks, cardiovascular disease, dementia and cancer and has a beneficial effect on the prostate.
Tomato stimulates elimination of excess water from the body and is recommended for rheumatism, gout, kidney stones, gall bladder and bag.
Also, it has been proven that people who daily consume tomatoes or tomato products are more resistant to the harmful effects of sun rays.
It is scientifically proven that the levels of flavonoids are by 97% higher in organically grown tomatoes than in the fruit which is grown in a conventional manner.
Tomato pulp is an excellent for oily skin; sliced fruits are excellent for pledget as first aid for burns.
Tomato has a low energy value – only 2 calories per 100 grams, which makes it an excellent food to lose weight.
Tomatoes are rich in potassium, phosphorus, magnesium and calcium. Rich in vitamins C, B1, B6, B3, niacin, folic acid, vitamin C, and has the most carotene (provitamin A).
How to grow tomatoes in a pot on the balcony
Many of you might say, “I do not have a garden, so I cannot grow tomatoes.“
Do not despair! To be a proud owner of tomatoes you don’t need to have a garden.
The good news is that tomatoes grow in the balcony! The only requirement is that your balcony need is plenty of sun and you can pick the benefits of tomatoes all summer long!
Before you decide to plant tomatoes in the balcony, ask what kind of tomatoes grow best in the balcony. For example, the variety names Minibel intended for planting a small space – such as balconies. This species grows to be about 30 cm in height. The fruits are delicious.
Determine in which container you will plant the tomatoes. The best pots are plastic or fiberglass. Plastic pots are a good choice because of its low cost and convenience. Clay pots are not good since they absorb the water intended for tomatoes.
Make sure the pots in which you plant the tomatoes are deep enough. The depth of 8 cm is the absolute minimum, while a pot of 12 or even 16 cm is an excellent choice.
When you select a pot, make sure it drains. Tomatoes will rotten if kept in the wet ground. Most store-bought pots already have pre-drilled holes in the bottom.
Fill the pot with compost and quality soil, and plant tomatoes. When the plant starts to grow, tie it to a stick. The picket will help your plants maintain stability and balance.
Water your tomatoes regularly. How do you know when it is time for watering? Put your finger into the ground, if the first 2 cm of the soil is dry, it is time for watering.
It is necessary to add compost to soil in order to get a better yield. Every time you water your plant, water washes away a certain amount of nutrients from the soil. Soil needs to be enriched once a month.
By growing tomatoes in the pot, you will avoid many diseases that attack them from the ground.
If you sow tomatoes in the pot, plant in late February and leave in warm, but with a mandatory period of adaptation to external conditions.
When the weather gets warmer, it is necessary to take the pots out in the sun, to adopt the plants twice a day, and over the night always bring the pots inside. Thus, the plants will slowly adapt to external conditions.
When the danger of freezing stops and nighttime temperatures rise above 10 ° C, you can move the tomatoes in the balcony.
How to grow eco tomatoes in the garden
Tomato is a plant which enjoys the sun and moist. It is grown from seed or from seedlings produced in unheated, protected area. Good seedlings are about 25 cm high, thick about 1 cm at the bottom.
When you purchase tomato seedlings for the garden, go for healthy green plants with thick stems without fruits and preferably without flowers.
Tomatoes can be planted in the garden flowerbeds when the danger of freezing stops. Usually this is the second half of April. If you have a greenhouse, you can plant earlier.
The most important for the plant is to keep it warm and regularly watered. Plant your tomatoes in the soil rich in organic fertilizer – compost.
Tomato plants have a large root and therefore should be planted in deeply dug up soil. Line spacing should be 60 – 80 cm and between plants 30 – 50 cm.
How successful will the growing of the tomatoes in the garden be depends only on the temperature. The optimum temperature for the germination of the seed is between 25 °C and 30°C. For growth and development of seedlings need 18 to 25 ° C during the day and about 15°C at night.
At a temperature lower than 10 ° C growing and blooming stop. Tomato is very sensitive to frost and dies already at -1 ° C.
Tomato plant is very demanding in terms of light. It needs at least 12 hours of light a day. Otherwise, the plant is poorly developed and yield is poor too.
If tomato seedlings rise high but are weak, it means that they lack the light – you probably planted them in wrong place.
Tomatoes demand moist. When planting, think of ground irrigation to ensure yield in case of possible drought. If the plant is left without water, the leaves will fall off; flowers and fruit will not develop properly.
Tomatoes are best when watered with rainwater.
In order to give lots of great healthy fruits is not enough to plant it in quality soil enriched with compost, but to additionally enrich soil several times: firstly fertilize when the fruits develop, and the second time when the first fruits begin to ripe. It is better to enrich soil with natural compost.
When harvesting, cut it with scissors. This way you will not damage the neighboring immature fruit.
Best time for harvesting is early in the morning or evening hours. At that time the fruits will not be dewy or hot. Those tomatoes that are dark red in color are the best. Harvested tomato is best used immediately. At the end of the harvesting season even green fruits can be picked, and then stored in a cool place.
Diseases and pests
The most common disease that tomatoes suffer from is blight.
Downy mildew is a fungal disease. It expands when there is too much moisture, so the plant is affected, usually after rain. Downy mostly affects tomatoes and potatoes.
In addition to downy mildew, tomato can be attacked by the spiders. It often occurs during severe droughts. Upper side of leaves appear whitish smaller or larger spots, and on their reverse it is visible a fine off-white yarn in which there are spiders, their larvae and eggs.
The leaves begin to look like marble and later become whitish and dried. With the dried leaves, spider is moving toward the top of the leaves of young plants. The fruits remain small and change shape.
If you react in time, in the initial stage of the disease, the plant can be saved. Once a plant is infected, it is necessary to immediately remove all diseased plant parts and burn them.
What you should do is try to prevent infection. It can be done by caring for the soil, because it is the basis for a healthy growth.
If the plant has a breeding ground, it will be resistant and less likely to become infected. Water tomato with liquid fertilizer made of nettle plants once a week.
Spray them regularly with tea made of horsetail. Horsetail contains a lot of silica and can prevent fungal diseases.
Tomatoes are often attack by Colorado potato beetle. It is not recommended to plant tomatoes and potatoes next to one another because of the common pests and diseases.
Potato beetle will choose potatoes first, and in the late summer they begin attacking tomatoes and eggplants.
The easiest way to fight Colorado potato beetles is to mechanically remove them from your plants. When they sense danger, they freeze and fall off from the plant to the ground and play dead. Then you have the chance to pick them up and take them to another place where they will not do harm.
Besides potato beetle, tomatoes can be attacked by various kinds of insects and caterpillars.
Aphids can be removed with water. This procedure should be carried out in the morning. If this does not help, you can use some of the natural remedies.
To fight aphids, rust, dust mites, caterpillars and ants, soak 300g wormwood fresh leaves and flowers or 30g of dried wormwood into 10 liters of water (preferably rainwater). Leave wormwood soaked in water for 2-3 days, and then regularly spray your tomatoes.
Compatibility with other plants
Tomatoes grow very well with some plants. Tomatoes grown in the neighborhood of basil, marigold, onion, parsley, carrots, and asparagus are great. Tomatoes do not like to be in the company of potatoes, cabbage, peas and fennel.
Selecting the tomatoes to keep the seeds from it is very important. If your tomato is low quality, it makes no sense to keep the seeds.
Take the seeds from fully ripe tomatoes, but again not too mature. The seeds of ripe tomatoes could already be in the germination stage or rotting.
Seeds from tomatoes rinse with water, leave to drain, put on paper, and let it dry completely.
To enjoy your tomatoes even in the autumn, you need to cover them with foil in the September, to protect them from freezing.