If you grow tomatoes at home. Then, you know the feeling of making pasta, ketchup, and soups whenever you wish to.
Irrespective of whichever part of the world you belong to. Or whatever cuisine is your favorite. You will need tomatoes to flavor the dishes.
You can buy them in bulk in the season. Then, prep up sauces and ketchup that can last for longer durations.
Though if you grow tomatoes at home. Then, you can slow down your prepping game. Also, you can enjoy pasta with fresh sauce from your kitchen garden. Though growing herbs along with tomatoes will elevate the experience.
As urban dwellers, most of us do not have much experience of growing food. Though even if you have grown herbs or microgreens at home. Then, you will know that tending to plants needs patience and commitment.
Since you are reading this post. I am sure you are enthusiastic about creating your urban garden. In relative terms, growing tomatoes is easy in comparison to other vegetables.
It is not mandatory to have farmland to grow tomatoes. You can grow cherry tomatoes in pots and you can even grow tomatoes in buckets.
To know how to grow tomatoes, read further.
1. Start With Good Quality Seeds/ Saplings and Potting Material
This is an obvious step to growing any plant variety. But this factor is often overlooked.
Optimal potting material lays the foundation for quality seeds to grow their best.
You can also grow tomatoes at home with the tomatoes you eat. But then the probability of germination of seeds is low.
There is a huge difference between farm quality seeds and the seeds from tomatoes that we eat.
There are a lot of different kinds of tomatoes. So, pick up the seeds of the variety that you are fond of eating. The small tomatoes like cherry and vine are best suited for growing in pots.
For good produce, it is advisable to start with seeds from a nursery.
Likewise for the potting material. Although tomatoes survive in almost any kind of soil. But a good mix of potting soil with the regular soil will provide a good yield.
Tomato roots go deep in the soil for a firm hold. Therefore, when growing in pots, ensure that you bury the seeds deep.
A deep container is perfect for growing tomatoes at home. Also, stick to growing one plant per container. That way the nutrients will not divide between one or more plants.
In case you find more than one plant in the same container. Then, you can remove one.
An alternate option is to germinate the seeds in a seed starter tray or the microgreens growing pots.
It will be easier to shift the baby plants from starter pots to the actual ones.
As the tomato plant grows, the leaves at the bottom need pruning. Since they are closer to the ground. Thus, they carry a probability of catching soil borne infections.
Overcrowded leaves on the plant will suck up nutrients. So, the more the leaves, the more the distribution of nutrients in the plant. So, getting rid of the old leaves brings in better yield of the tomatoes.
But do not go overboard in chopping off the leaves. Leaves carry out the process of photosynthesis. Without them, the tomatoes will not taste good. So, leaves are necessary to get flavorful tomatoes. Although it is fine to remove the old and frail ones.
Now that you know how to grow tomatoes at home in pots. Then, you can also make use of some tomato growing secrets from our experience.
Some of our learnings over the years are:
1. Use of Household Compost
You can add eggshells to the soil. The calcium from the eggs will add calcium to the tomatoes. It is an easy way to fortify your tomato harvest with a household source of nutrition. Also, the shells get recycled without ending up in the dustbins.
2. Use of Wood Ash as a Pesticide
The tomato plants get an abundance of leaves. Unless you prune them on time, they carry a probability of getting infected. You can reduce the chance of infection by coating the leaves with wood ash. Ash is a non-toxic pesticide that works well to keep tomato plants healthy.
3. Use of Grow Lights and Drip Irrigation
Tomatoes require an adequate amount of heat and water to flourish. Therefore, you must ensure that you place the pots in the Sun for a minimum of 4-6 hours each day.
You can use grow lights if you live in an apartment that does not receive a good supply of Sunlight.
The same goes for watering. Tomatoes will not prosper in the absence of moisture. Maintain a consistent schedule to water them at regular intervals.
If you are traveling and there is no one to water them in your absence. Then, a drip watering system is your best help.
It is not that difficult to grow tomatoes at home. If you can commit to watering them on time. Then, there is not much you need to do to get a homegrown supply of goodness.
There are plenty of tomatoes kinds. You can grow the ones that you have a liking for. If you are an urban farmer, then cherry and vine types are the easy ones to grow.
Apart from watering them, the plant requires Sun too. This should not be a problem if you are growing them outdoors.
But even if you grow tomatoes at home with little to no supply of natural light. You can make use of natural light replacements.
The best part is that if you grow past the hurdles of starting tomato planting. Then, within a few weeks, you will get the sweet and tangy fruits of your labor. This is literal because tomatoes are fruits and not vegetables.
Though no matter what you classify them as. You can enjoy them anytime by plucking them straight from your garden.
Now that you know how to grow tomatoes. Then, why not learn how to grow chillies indoors. That will help add some homemade punch to your tomato sauces.
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Have you ever wondered what herbs to grow in kitchen? If you have, then you must have considered the ones that you consume.
Some herbs are common to most of the cuisines. Though there are some that are popular because of their medicinal reasons.
Irrespective of your reasons to grow herbs. It may get confusing to decide on which ones to grow.
Read this article to know how you can create your own indoor herb garden.