The tomato invites itself to all menus and comes in a multitude of varieties for the greatest pleasure of young and old. There are some for all types of culture, in the ground as well as in pots. Growing your tomatoes allows you to always have them on hand in the summer and enjoy good, very tasty fruits. 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 cultivation of tomatoes.
When to transplant tomato plants?
For various reasons, many gardeners prefer to buy their tomato plants in order to skip the sowing stage. These plants are marketed in pots. They are ready to be transplanted as soon as they count 5 to 7 true leaves. Itou for the house plants which are also very easy to obtain from own seedlings of tomato seeds. We can thus cultivate exceptional varieties that we do not find everywhere and it is very economical.
The planting period begins in May and continues until early June. But above all, the risks of frost must be completely eliminated, as we have specified previously. It is absolutely crucial. In our most southern regions, you can plant your tomatoes from the end of March, but it is preferable that they are well sheltered and that you keep an eye on the weather…
How to plant tomatoes
The tomato is grown in planters, tubs, pots, in the ground and even in the open field and amateur gardeners can quite successfully grow their crops with pride because it is a easy to grow product.
Reserve a sunny area of the garden for it, loose soil that the sun can warm up 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, i.e. this can be done in the fall in anticipation of future plantings.
- Dig holes larger than the clods, about 15cm deep et 20cm wideevery 60 cm, and if you want to plant several rows of tomatoes, space the rows 80 cm apart.
- Install a 150 to 180 cm stake per tomato plant as soon as you plant it, pushing it in a good 30 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 high winds and even torrential rain. Place the stake before the plant so as not to risk breaking the roots. We use raffia ties, taking care not to tighten them because the stem 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 packing 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 water copiously and ensure that the soil does not dry out during the following weeks.
- Bin regularly.
- During the vegetation period, make an addition or two of mineral fertilizers.
Fruit harvesting takes place between June and October depending on the variety grown.
Grow your tomatoes, beware of mildew!
Fearsome cryptogamic disease, the tomato late blight is caused by a fungus. It can destroy an entire crop of tomatoes in a short time. Heat and humidity greatly favor its appearance. It is recognizable 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 usually too late to intervene once the appearance of mildew.
It’s necessary act preventively. We can process in advance 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, space your plantations sufficiently so that the air circulates well, and you water without wetting the foliage, preferably early in the morning. If mildew has already plagued the garden, we do not recommend planting tomatoes there for at least 4 years.
Gardening secrets to increase 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. In 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 quantity of essential nutrients.
It is essential water regularly because the tomato does not like to go from dry to soggy soil. Finally, when planting, you can install a few nasturtiums and marigolds, basil or even chives in the immediate vicinity of the tomato plants. Those are friendly plants which promote the development of tomatoes and protect them against pests.