Why Plant Tomatoes
Tomatoes are an edible fruit which originated in America. Tomatoes can be consumed in many ways including raw, juice, sauce and also as drinks. It is one of the most common fruit found on virtually every dining table at some meal throughout the week. Tomatoes are used for many dishes and are highly in demand.
There has been a recent shortage of tomatoes and the prices for them and for products made from them are really skyrocketing. Although it is highly in demand, it is very easy to grow the plant. McDonald’s and other fast food restaurants in some regions will only place tomatoes on your burger if you request it. This is directly due to the price.
Tomatoes can be cultivated in places that are warm and at the same time little damp. It is one of the easiest plants which could be grown in your backyard. There are hundreds of varieties of tomatoes and most of them could be grown in the backyard itself. You will have to do a little work to cultivate the soil. However, with a little effort you could grow your own tomatoes.
Growing the Tomatoes
The average tomato plant grows up to 6 feet tall when provided with proper water and sunlight. The average time a tomato plant takes to grow is about 3 months. You can begin planting tomatoes in your backyard by buying some tomato plants from the nearby nursery. If you would like to grow it from seeds, it is better to keep them in a greenhouse a month before planting them outside. It is advisable to grow them 6 to 10 inches tall before planting them outside. Tomatoes grow well during spring season and it is the best time of the year to grow them.
A single tomato plant can serve up to 3 members in a family and it is usually better to plant two or three plants at the same time. The tomato plant requires a healthy amount of sunlight up to 7 hours a day and you should consider planting them in sunny areas.
These plant requires a good amount of organic matter for healthy growth. It is necessary to add a good amount, about 5 to 8 pounds of compost per square foot of land to supply the organic medium for the tomatoes to grow. If you can't make your own compost, it is better to buy compost or manure from any of the nearby stores. Each plant needs to bury well under the ground. Almost 50 to 75% of each plant needs to be buried under the ground. Only the deeply buried plants grow well as they have a strong root. After being planted, it is necessary to water the plants immediately. About 2 gallons of warm water is to be poured on the plant in order to avoid any transplantation shocks to the tomato vines.
Each tomato plant needs its own space to develop strong roots and there must be a minimum distance of 36 inches between the other plants to avoid overcrowding. Leaving optimum space not only develops strong roots, it also gives enough room for you to water them and move around. Watering the vine is crucial and it is enough to water the tomato plants with at least a gallon of water each day for the first ten days.
It is best to place a bunch of grass or straw around each plant to prevent the soil from getting dry during warm conditions. After the first 2 weeks, the plant requires about a half a gallon of water every day. It is better to increase the amount of water as the plant grows in size. Tomatoes are a fruit that is mostly water. Therefore, if you want a juicy fruit, you need to supply the water to the plant.
It is also advisable to use a tomato cage or a stake after the first 2 weeks. A good cage needs to be at least 4-5 feet tall and must be strong enough to hold the leaves as the plant tends to pull it down. My friend instructed me the cages should be strong enough to make sure the wind does
It will be better to use fertilizers to stimulate the growth of the plant. Tomatoes don't grow well with lawn fertilizers and organic fertilizers such as vegetable fertilizers suits them better. The tomato plants can be pollinated by shaking them gently for five seconds after they start to flower. Tomato plants take almost 90 days to flower. Initially the fruits will be small in size and green colored. It is necessary to leave them undisturbed until they change into big, dark red tomatoes. Fully ripe tomatoes are dark red in color and can be characterized by their softness. The fruit can also be picked before they are fully ripe to protect them from birds and predators. The fruits which are picked earlier must be kept in a sunny place to allow them to ripen completely. I actually prefer to pick them early and let them ripen.
My friend spends more time that most on his backyard tomato garden. I have to admit, he gets great results and more than enough tomatoes for the entire family and my family too. I would say that most people can grow decent tomatoes with the initial time investment of a few hours and then 5-10 minutes the first few days and then even less until it is time to pick. You may have to find a few minutes to pluck the fruit off the vines and to wash them and prepare them to eat.
We use the tomatoes for many purposes but my favorite is just to slice them when they are not too ripe, put some salt on them and eat them by their self. Tomatoes are very healthy and have a lot of vitamins that can help your family lead a healthier lifestyle. They are a fruit, not a vegetable, so remember this when you are following the guidelines of what to eat.
Tomatoes are the easiest of the plants that could be grown in the backyard. With little care, they can satisfy the needs of your family in as low as 90 days.
Amazon Price: Buy Now
(price as of Jun 25, 2016)
Amazon Price: $29.95 $1.98 Buy Now
(price as of Jun 25, 2016)