How do you know you’re a great gardener? Probably while growing edible veggies. How can you know whether you’re a good gardener? When you can successfully grow organic tomatoes. They’re hard to grow, but the rewards are worth the effort. Let me share some of my years of experience cultivating tomatoes.
Growing Tomatoes Organically – Tips and Tricks
Is it a seed? Should you start tomato seeds?
To plant tomatoes, you must first decide whether to start them from seed or buy seedlings. Starting from seed takes more time and work, but gives you more options. Buying seedlings is easier, but it limits your options.
Seedling Buying Tips
Go green! A vivid green leaf and stem should be present. Avoid yellow, brown, and spotted leaves (that may signal disease).
It can’t be too big or too little. Pick a seedling 4-8 inches tall. A little plant may not grow properly. A plant that is too tall for your garden may not develop a healthy root system.
Choose a seedling that is tall and broad. Eight inches tall, eight inches wide.
For cooler climates, early season cultivars are ideal. Some of these varieties produce fruit in as little as 60 days.
Seek dirt. The soil surrounding a well-cared-for seedling will be wet and dark.
Tomatoes may be grown in a few easy steps.
Pick a sunny spot. Tomatoes require full sun to develop and ripen (6 or more hours per day).
Consider ways to improve soil beyond excellent. Tomatoes need well-drained soil tilled to a depth of one foot. Adding organic compost and manure can help good soil become great.
Harden off seedlings. It is a method of progressively acclimating young seedlings to external conditions. If you bought seedlings from a nursery, they were probably hardened off. If you started your seeds inside, gradually expose them to the outside each day.
Start by putting your seedlings outdoors for 15 minutes every day. Extend their time outdoors each day until they can spend a whole day outside (and night).
Plant when frost is unlikely. Frost kills tomato plants.
Set up ground cages or stakes. Tomato plants require a cage or a stake to grow. After you finish planting your seedlings outdoors, put them in the ground as soon as possible, since doing so later may be difficult or damaging to the plants.
Plant two feet apart. Tomatoes need two feet of space.
The deeper the better. Plant your seedling with its lowest leaves just above the soil line. When in doubt, plant deeper.
Be hydrated! Keep tomato plants moist throughout the growing season, but especially when initially planted. Before planting the plant, fill the hole with water and let it drain. After planting, re-water it.
Tomatoes in Containers
Do you have little outside space? Don’t worry! Tomatoes flourish in containers because they are compact.
Go all out! a large pot It’s almost two feet wide and exactly right for me.
Compost, compost, compost Container grown tomatoes need more feeding than garden grown tomatoes.
Drainage is key. Potted tomatoes, like garden tomatoes, need well-drained soil. Fill the container with stones to aid drainage.
It’s not hot. Tomatoes set fruit between 55 and 85 degrees. If you live in a dry environment, you must regularly check the soil’s moisture level. In arid locations, keep tomatoes away from hot surfaces like driveways.
Cage them. A stake or cage is necessary to support tomato growth in pots.
Tip for preventing tomato illness
Organic soil is the best disease barrier. Mulching the soil helps the plant flourish.
Plants need enough ventilation. Make sure the plants aren’t too close together. Cut any branches that contact the earth to improve air movement.
Tomato blight is a disease. It causes potato blight. If you’ve had tomato or potato blight, don’t grow tomatoes for five years. (Consider container gardening.)
If I ever need a great villain name for a story, I’ll call him Horn Worm. Isn’t it awful?
The tomato horn worm is a severe issue for many tomato growers. They gain their gigantic size by eating your precious plants. The best method for organic gardeners is to personally remove them.
If touching bugs gives you the shivers, use gardening gloves. If you still can’t face the idea of managing issues, try this:
After you’ve killed the horn worms, clean up your garden. I put mine in a closed container and threw it away (not compost).
A few aphids on your tomato plants are harmless. Let it all rip! If you have too many leaves, remove them. As a last resort, use insecticidal soap.
Cutworms may be avoided by utilizing seedling collars. “They may be composed of paper, cardboard, aluminum foil, or a pie plate twisted into a cylinder and stapled. To deter high-climbers, bury the collars in the soil around the plants, leaving three inches above the ground.”
You did it! Now enjoy the wonderful benefits of your hard work. Tomatoes are ready to pluck when their color is uniform (no green bottoms on red tomatoes). Prevent spits in the flesh. Even if still edible, a split fruit is overripe.
How to Store Tomatoes
Tomatoes need to be kept cool and dark. You should eat any fruit with an open wound within a few days. It’s debatable whether or not to chill tomatoes. It’s rare that I refrigerate fresh garden tomatoes.
Organic tomatoes offer several benefits.
You know the benefits of an organic lifestyle. When it comes to tomatoes, evidence backs up the organic superiority claim.
Organic tomatoes have more flavonoids than regular tomatoes, according to a study by the University of California, Davis.
The Mail says “Unquestionably, organic tomatoes are healthier than commercial tomatoes…
These little fruits are high in vitamin C and compounds that may help avoid chronic ailments.”
For more on other vegetables but health wise and growing them organically please visit Healthy Vegetables Here