Tomatoes are featured on all menus and come in a multitude of varieties to the delight of young and old. There are some for all types of crops, in the ground as well as in pots. Growing your tomatoes allows you to always have them on hand in summer and to enjoy good, tasty fruit. But there is no point in planting them too early because they fear frost. So let’s see the best advice to follow and some gardening secrets for successful tomato cultivation.
When to transplant tomato plants?
For various reasons, many gardeners prefer to buy their tomato plants in order to pass the sowing stage. These plants are sold in pots. They are ready to be transplanted when they count 5 to 7 true leaves. Itou for homemade plants that are also very easy to obtain from own seedlings of tomatoes. We can thus cultivate exceptional varieties that cannot be found everywhere and it is very economical.
The planting period begins in May and continues until early June. But above all, the risk of frost must be completely eliminated as we have previously specified. It is absolutely crucial. In our southernmost regions, you can plant your tomatoes at the end of March, but it is preferable that they are well sheltered and that we keep an eye on the weather …
How to plant tomatoes
The tomato is cultivated in a planter, in a container, in a pot, in the ground and even in the field and amateur gardeners can quite succeed in their culture with pride because it is a easy to grow product.
We reserve a sunny area of the garden, a loose soil that the sun can heat very quickly and rich in nutrients.
Here’s how to plant your tomato plants.
- Amend the soil with crushed horn, compost, manure or even dried blood, namely that this can be done in the fall in anticipation of future plantings.
- Dig holes larger than clods, about 15 cm deep and 20 cm wide, every 60 cm, and if you want to plant several rows of tomatoes, space the rows 80 cm.
- Install a stake of 150 to 180 cm per tomato plant as soon as it is planted by pushing it in a good thirty cm because once the fruits are well developed, it must be able to support their weight without blinking. This prevents breakage in the event of strong winds and even heavy rain. We put the stake before the plant so as not to risk breaking the roots. We use raffia ties being careful not to tighten them because the rod will develop and its diameter will increase.
- Cover the bottom with a small shovelful of soil well enriched with compost.
- Place one plant per hole, 30 mm from the stake.
- Fill the hole by tamping around the plant without breaking the roots or the stem, and form a bowl.
- Mulch to a thickness of 8 cm approximately with mulch, dry lawn mowing or even straw or dead leaves. This is essential to limit water evaporation, keep the soil cool and reduce the development of weeds.
- Immediately carry out a copious watering and ensure that the soil does not dry out during the following weeks.
- Hoe regularly.
- During the growing season, add a couple of mineral fertilizers.
The fruit harvest takes place between June and October depending on the variety cultivated.
Growing your tomatoes, beware of mildew!
A formidable cryptogamic disease, tomato mildew is caused by a fungus. It can destroy a whole tomato crop in a short time. Heat and humidity greatly favor its appearance. It can be seen by the small brown spots that form on the leaves. These dry out in a few days then the stems are affected, the plants weaken and the tomatoes are then unfit for consumption. Eventually, the tomato plants die. It is generally too late to intervene once the downy mildew appears.
It is necessary act preventively. We can process upstream in a natural way with baking soda, a decoction of horsetail or garlic to spray three times a month on the leaves and on the ground. In addition, enough space in the plantations so that the air circulates well, and we water without wetting the foliage, preferably early in the morning. If late blight has already raged in the garden, we do not recommend planting tomatoes in this location for at least 4 years.
Gardening secrets to increase your tomato production
A tomato plant produces roots all along the stem when it is in the ground. It is therefore important to bury a good part of the stem when planting and if possible to position the foot obliquely rather than vertically. This way the foot will be much more vigorous and will give much more fruit since its very numerous roots will provide it with a large amount of essential nutrients.
It is essential water regularly because the tomato does not like to go from dry soil to soggy soil. Finally, when planting, you can install a few nasturtiums and marigolds, basil or chives in the immediate vicinity of the tomato plants. Those are friendly plants that promote the development of tomatoes and protect them against pests.