Who doesn’t love fresh tomatoes? Being easy to grow, they are a delicious plant to learn how to take care after. You can grow them inside, on your balcony, or if you want to produce more tomatoes you can save them a place in your backyard.
Even though it’s easy to grow tomatoes, it takes a bit of skill to make them mouthwateringly delicious. Everything from the type of soil, through watering, to protection from diseases is important to know if you want to have delectable tomatoes. Putting a bit of effort, in the beginning, can result in tasty produce all season long.
How to Prepare the Soil for Tomato Growing
If you want any plant to flourish then you need to provide good soil. This will be the food for your plant, so it has to be nutritious. It’s very important for the soil to have the appropriate pH level. You can easily measure the pH level easily with a test kit that you can order online.
The perfect level of acidity for tomatoes is around 6.0 to 6.6 pH. They prefer the soil more to the acidic side. It’s best if you buy it premade. That way you can be sure everything is just right.
One of the most important things is soil drainage. Tomatoes don’t do well in wet and/or compacted soil. The roots simply don’t develop well. Additionally, sandy and dry soil isn’t healthy for the plant. A well-drained soil that can retain moisture without sogging is the perfect option for tomatoes.
The Perfect Position for Your Tomatoes and Their Containers
Tomatoes love sunlight. In order to grow delicious tomatoes, you’ll need to provide at least six to eight hours of sunlight a day! That’s why it’s important to carefully plan where to plant or where to position your pot of tomatoes.
Any place that receives plenty of light will be suitable for growing tomatoes.
If you can’t find a suitable place for growing tomatoes in the ground, then you can grow them in pots. Tomatoes tend to grow in anything that has good soil and plenty of light, so it is way easier to grow them in containers and move them to the suitable location as needed.
If you want you can even grow tomatoes upside down!
Growing Tomatoes on the Balcony
The balcony can be a great place to grow small amounts of tomatoes. Let’s say that an average sized balcony will be enough to provide for a couple of Bloody Merries.
Some advice that we would give you about growing tomatoes in pots is to choose a big enough container. Tomatoes have deep roots, so to have a healthy plant you need a big container to grow strong and healthy roots.
When growing tomatoes in a container you need to keep the soil as fertile and healthy as possible. Mulch is a mandatory thing if you want to have healthy produce.
How to Get Healthy Tomato Seeds
If you want to grow your tomatoes from seeds then you can follow this simple process:
1. Scoop half a tomato in a container.
Make sure the container has a loose lid.
2. Put the container in a warm and well-lit place.
A process of fermentation will begin soon after you set the seeds aside. It smells bad and it can look offsetting so make sure to put it somewhere out of sight. At this moment you should set the lit at the top but not airtight. That way you will allow oxygen to get in and out.
Stir daily until mold forms.
Typically it takes two to three days until mold forms at the top. The mold will kill many diseases that might be genetically carried.
Harvesting the seeds.
After mold is formed they are ready for harvesting. Remove the top layer of mold. By now all seeds should have fallen to the bottom of the container.
Add water and sort with a strainer.
Dry the seeds.
The drying process can take up to five days. Spread the collected seeds on a well-lit surface and let them stay. After that they are ready for planting.
How to Grow Tomatoes from Slices
If you are looking for a method that’s even easier than the one above, then you should try growing your tomatoes from slices.
There is nothing complicated in this method. Here are the steps to take in order to grow tomatoes from slices:
- Grab a container with potting soil.
Fill a container with potting soil almost all the way to the top.
- Place the tomato slice on top.
The slices must be around 1-2 cm in thickness.
- Cover them with a bit of dirt.
Keep the soil moist all the time. In about week and a half to two weeks you will start to see buds growing. If you want to grow your tomatoes in your backyard then you’ll need to transfer of the strongest buds in the ground.
Tomatoes and Diseases
Just like any plant tomatoes can succumb to diseases. There are ways to protect them and still have healthy fruits. Tomatoes rot easily. This is a big problem for them. Typically rotting at the bottom this is called a Blossom End Rot. Gardeners don’t exactly know what causes it, but people believe to be from insufficient calcium in the soil.
Other things that may cause Blossom End Rot is too much salt in the soil, pH that is far off from 6.5 (both higher and lower) and too much nitrogen in the soil. If any of the fruits from your plant starts to show these problems you should remove them immediately! There is no way to save a rotting fruit. Make sure to clean your plant from all rotting fruits.
Great Companion Plants for Tomatoes
If you decide to grow your tomatoes in the garden, then you can grow companion plants that will help you with regulating the soil and producing better and more delicious fruits. These would work awesome if your tomato containers are spacy enough too. Here are some plants that you might want to consider:
If you have a problem with insects then you can grow basil in order to repel the nasty buggers. Also, tomatoes planted neal basil tend to be healthier and more delicious.
Garlic is great for repelling spiders.
- Mint and Parsley
Planted near the tomato plant are great for improving flavour.
And all of the plants listed above go great in combination with tomatoes. So, that’s the perfect package for all your cooking needs as well.