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Tomatoes are every kitchen garden's delight, and the sight and smell of a warm tomato newly plucked from a vine is mesmerizing. There is nothing as magical as growing your own food, unless it is growing your own food well. Tomatoes are special plants that need special care, but if they receive it, the rewards can be overwhelming.
Primarily, plants grown in the Tropics, tomatoes are today consumed in large quantities across the world and there's nothing gardeners love to show off more than their latest crop of shiny red tomatoes.
Tomatoes have their own garden shows where skilled gardeners come to flaunt their latest specimens; and tomatoes are pretty much the roses of the kitchen garden.
Growing tomatoes isn't rocket science and sounds simple enough, but it isn't as easy as ABC, either, and rare is the gardener who got a luscious harvest of tomatoes from his very first crop!
So, here is how you can master the art of growing fabulous, beautifully red tomatoes for yourself and your dear ones. Take a look.
Give Them Space: Tomatoes eventually grow up to be big plants, and live long as well, and the primary mistake gardeners make is of not planting the seedling in a pot that's large enough. Tomatoes grow rapidly and spread a bit as well and trying to grow them in a small pot cramps their roots.
Also, if you're aiming for a harvest of tomatoes, then you should provide the tomatoes with enough space to grow their roots. Don't overcrowd the pots, and good gardeners prefer one to three saplings per pot. Inadequate nourishment with eventually lead to a poor crop. A good rule of thumb is to use a 15-litre or a 25-litre bucket and drill holes at the bottom.
They're best suited for tomatoes. Big pots are fine as well, if you can get them, but ensure their capacity is not less than 15 litres. You can also grow 'friendly' herbs like coriander along with tomatoes, and they'll keep pests away.
Feed Them Well: Tomatoes are heavy feeders and require large doses of calcium-enriched soil to grow. Also, the soil you use should have sufficient amounts of mulch to create warmth and stimulate the roots. This helps for a better harvest of tomatoes. Feed the soil well with a slow -release fertilizer as well as a liquid fertilizer. Use sufficient amounts of compost to nourish your plant and lock in the warmth.
Expose Them To Enough Sunlight: Tomatoes need at least two hours of uninterrupted sunlight every day, which helps give them their rosy red colour, and stimulates the roots and vines to grow. The more sunlight your tomatoes get, the better it is for them. However, also remember that sometimes all your plant needs is warmth, so cover your plant with a black plastic sheet for about an hour - this will help absorb the heat, warm the soil and stimulate the roots. If done on a daily basis, it leads to a healthier, more abundant crop of tomatoes.
Plenty Of Water: Tomatoes have a reputation for requiring several gallons of water to grow well and that's true. They require an abundance of water, and cannot grow in areas where there is water shortage. Make sure you water your tomatoes well and on time, as well-watered tomatoes are healthy tomatoes. The more water your vines drink, the juicier the tomatoes are and the healthier the plant is, overall. However, don't overdo the watering and ensure the pot you're using has adequate drainage.
Don't Forget The Trellis: When your tomato vines are old enough and are beginning to spill over the sides of the pot, get them a trellis or a tomato cage. It's a unique structure exclusive to tomatoes and it ensures your tomatoes grow well, in an organized manner, without spilling all over the ground.
Tomatoes are vines and not giving them proper support can be disastrous for your crop. Your tomato trellis has to be introduced at the right time. Too early - it will make it difficult to care for your plant, and too late - your plant will be beyond taming.
Tomatoes are great plants that can be grown at home in little patches of land and even on balconies. All they need is a big pot, a trellis and some TLC!