Growing Tomatoes in Containers
Tomato is most favorite and easy to grow vegetable at home. It is a cold season plant and grown for red and juicy fruits. Used in almost every possible dish, it is an important kitchen vegetable. So what would be better than growing your own tomatoes !! Try following tips for best results.
You can use good quality seeds bought from online sites or purchase healthy seedlings from local nursery.
While starting plants from seeds , sow 2-3 seeds per pot (¼ inch deep in soil ). Store the container or pot in room of 70 -80 degree Fahrenheit until germination. It will take around two weeks for seeds to germinate. When the seeds germinate, move them into full sun or under grow lights. Mist the seeds daily for the first 7 to 10 days. When you start to see sprouts, you can water less frequently. More plants are killed by too much water (that rots the roots) than too little water so water sparingly after the plants sprout.
Fill containers with equal parts planting mix and potting soil. Combined together, the two provide an aerated, medium density environment for roots to expand and access nutrients. Dig a hole deep enough to cover all but the top three to four inches of the seedling. It’s okay to bury the lowest leaves. Those fuzzy white hairs on the stem will form a sturdy adventitious root system.
Sun / Temperature
Tomato plants thrive in 6-8 hours of daily sunshine. Containers can be moved throughout the growing season and are a great choice for home growers who have limited garden space. Be sure to provide enough room for each plant’s growth. One tiny seedling can reach an astonishing height of ten feet and will need at least two cubic feet of soil.
Water deeply and regularly while the plants are developing. Irregular watering, (missing a week and trying to make up for it), leads to blossom end rot and cracking. Once the fruit begins to ripen, lessening the water will coax the plant into concentrating its sugars. Don’t withhold water so much that the plants wilt and become stressed or they will drop their blossoms and possibly their fruit.
Fertilize with fishmeal, chicken manure, or a premixed low-nitrogen, high-phosphorus organic fertilizer and water thoroughly. You will need to repeat the fertilizing process each year. A weekly dose of liquid seaweed will increase fruit production and plant health, as will side-dressing with compost two or three times during the growing season.
Pruning and Pinching
Pinch and remove suckers that develop in the crotch joint of two branches. They won’t bear fruit and will take energy away from the rest of the plant. But go easy on pruning the rest of the plant. You can thin leaves to allow the sun to reach the ripening fruit, but it’s the leaves that are photosynthesizing and creating the sugars that give flavor to your tomatoes.
Harvest the fruit at its peak. Fruit should appear about 60 days after transplanting. Check the plants daily once they begin to ripen to ensure peak flavor. Gently twist the fruits and avoid pulling at the vine.
Read Also : How to harvest seeds from kitchen tomatoes.
Read Also : Common vegetables to grow at home garden
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