Whether you are growing tomatoes indoors or otherwise, this will always be a fruitful endeavour. (pun intended)
Tomatoes are part of our favourite dishes like spaghetti, from pizzas to salads and hearty sandwiches, the illustrious tomato provides that tangy goodness we long for. You probably buy your tomatoes at your favourite supermarket as most people do.
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Have you ever considered growing them yourself? Do you want to know how to grow tomatoes at home? This would save you some money at the grocery, and growing tomatoes at home will provide you with fresh, organic vegetables anytime you need them.
Before you jump the gun and start planting the seed that came from the tomato in your fridge, it’s best to gather some information. Sure you can wing it if you want and remove the seeds from the tomatoes in your refrigerator that can work too.
There are many different breeds of tomato plants. The best thing to do is choose the best one that is suitable for your climate.
For best results, the first thing you need to do is visit your nearest nursery. This way you can get access to quality tomato seeds that are sure to thrive in your area.
Heirloom tomato seeds are the best available because they have been conditioned and refined through years of selective cultivation. These seeds will provide you with the best tomato plants since they have those qualities stored in their genes.
There are two main distinctions for tomato plants; they are either determinate or indeterminate.
Determinate tomatoes – This variety usually grows up to three to four feet and does not need to be staked for support. These are the bushy kind of tomatoes. Determinate tomatoes stop growing when fruit appears, which determine their height or length.
They bear fruit at the top of the bud. All their fruit ripen at the same time, around one to two weeks and then decline after that. You will not get a new harvest of fruit from this type of tomato after it completes its cycle. You will have to wait until the next season.
Indeterminate tomatoes – Grow up to six or twelve feet. They do need staking for support. They bear fruit all along their vines. The beautiful thing about this type of tomato is that they bear fruit all season long until it is too cold out to bear any fruit.
How to plant tomatoes
The methods that I will be indicating here are used by both professional farmers and home gardeners alike. These have been tried, tested and have proven to be the most effective methods in growing tomatoes quickly and efficiently.
Step 1 Plant the seeds
This step requires you to grow tomatoes indoors. Feel free to use a small pot or several small containers to use for planting the seeds.
For efficiency, It is best to use a seed starter tray. In case you do not want to buy a seed starter tray, you can use an old ice cube tray that is no longer used in the fridge.
Fill the container with potting mix, do not use garden soil for this step to avoid any unforeseen results. Poke a hole in each cell approximately a quarter inch deep and put one seed inside each hole then cover with potting mix.
Gently tap the newly covered holes to remove any air pockets and for soil consistency as well. This is an essential step to allow you to choose the best plants from all the seedlings.
Pour a few drops of water on the area of each of the buried seeds. Cover the tray or container, that will help in retaining moisture needed for germination. Lay the tray in a warm place to support the seeds growth and eventual germination.
Take care to take to keep the container moist while the seeds are trying to grow. Check the container or tray every day for signs of a sprout. It will take about five to twelve days for the seeds to germinate. Using a self-watering seed starter tray will almost guarantee germination.
Step 2 Seedling Sun
Once the seedlings start to sprout; put them under the heat of the sun or use grow lights right away. Keep the lights only a few inches from the seedlings for maximum growth. This is the best start on how to grow tomato plants at home.
If you are using a self-watering seed starter tray, then all you need to do is fill the reservoir with water, and it would be safe to leave it for up to a week.
That is the best way on how to grow tomato plants at home. In case you used a small flower pot, make sure to keep the container moist.
Step 3 Pot time
When the seedlings develop two sets of leaves, it is then you can go ahead and start using soluble fertilizer. This will provide them with the essential nutrients they need to grow properly.
After about a month then it is time to check if the seedlings are ready to be transplanted to a more significant pot.
Each seedling from every cell needs a separate flower pot. Since tomatoes have adventitious roots it is advised to plant your seedling deep into the soil, the deeper you plant the seedling, the better.
The tomato plants stem will develop new roots which will allow the plant to gather food faster, thereby boosting its growth. If you have plans of transplanting your plant to your garden, then it is okay to use a regular flower pot for the next few weeks of growth.
In case you are not planning to plant directly into your garden soil and use containers then the ideal size for a tomato plant to reach its full potential is a twenty-two-inch wide container. If that is too big, then the minimum pot should be at least sixteen inches wide.
If you use a flower pot smaller than that, then your tomato plant will not be able to grow to its full genetic potential. When you plant the seedling, make sure to fill the pot with planting mix and add a top layer of your homemade compost.
Step 4 Garden Grove
Once your tomato plant is about a foot tall, then you can finally transplant them into your garden. For optimum results, it is best to plant your tomato plant in a trench in your garden. Before doing that make sure to cut away the branches from the main stem.
Since the tomato plant does grow roots from its stem, it is best to bury half of the plant in the soil. This will create even more roots for the plant to easily gather food from the ground to generate tomatoes for you much quicker.
Make sure to add your homemade compost tea to your garden soil to enhance the nutrients available to your new plants.
If you were wondering how to grow tomatoes before reading this, I hope I have satisfied your thirst for information and provided you with all that you need to know. Tomatoes are easy to grow, use a self-watering starter tray to make it even easier.
Plant your tomato plants deep into the soil. The stems are roots in disguise. Use that knowledge to get the maximum yield for your tomato plants.