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Cultivating tomato

Hardly any other vegetable is grown as popular in Germany as the tomato. It found its way from South America to Europe in the 16th century, where it was initially grown as an ornamental plant. It wasn’t until later that people realized how good their red fruits taste. Today it is impossible to imagine a kitchen without it. They come in over 3,000 varieties.

Location & soil

Tomatoes need a well-drained, humus-rich, nutrient-rich soil. In theYou should prepare the soil in planters or soil Incorporate compost orApply organic tomato fertilizer to ensure the basic supply of your tomato plants. The tomato is sensitive to waterlogging. Therefore, especially when growing in pots, make sure that the water can drain off well. A sunny, warm location that is protected from wind and rain is best.

You can plant your tomatoes outdoors, in pots or in a greenhouse. Buckets should have a capacity of at least ten liters. You can grow small balcony varieties in it. We recommend a canopy for your tomato plants because they don’t like them at allIrrigation comes from above. Support the plants with sticks asClimbing aid .

Sowing & planting

If you do not have a greenhouse, we recommend that you choose suitable varieties for outdoor use that are more tolerant of late blight and brown rot. These are, for example, the wild tomato varietiesYellow currant or red currant , which also require significantly less care.

Tomato seeds require heat to germinate. When it’s still cold outside, you can put the seeds in pots at homesow and later plant it outdoors as a young plant. Plant your tomatoes as deeply as possible, so adventitious roots can form on the stem and your plant has a better standing.
If there is still a risk of frost after planting, cover the plants withFleece off.

  • Seed depth:5-1 cm
  • Plant spacing:in the bed: 60-80 cm, in the open: 80-100 cm
  • Good neighbors:garlic, cabbage, kohlrabi, lettuce,
  • Bad neighbors:fennel, cucumber, potatoes, peas
  • Prefer:from mid / end of March
  • Plant out in the bed:mid / late May (in the greenhouse: early May)
  • Direct sowing from:mid-May
  • Germination time:10-14 days, often longer for older varieties
  • Cultivation period / harvest time: July to October

maintenance


Basically, tomatoes in our latitudes are more reliable in the greenhouse than outdoors, because here they are warm and protected from rain. Outdoor tomatoes are also happy to have rain protection. As shown in the picture, you can buy a foil with small holes and attach it to sticks around the tomatoes, but there is also a lot of moisture underneath, which can lead to rot. Alternatively, you can therefore use foil tents that are offered in garden centers. It is important, however, that the protection is not too tight around the plant, otherwise condensation will also form here and counteract the purpose of rain protection. ATomato fleece tube made from renewable raw materials  is more ecological than film and protects against hail, pests and too much heat or cold.

Rain cover and tomato stick for a rich harvest

In order to provide tomatoes with more air and light and to protect them from disease, they are guided upwards away from the ground so that they can reach a considerable size says rotavator parts manufacturers. When fruits form, they become heavy and therefore need to be well supported. Put a sturdy stick next to the plant in good time and tie it with a string. With a little manual skill, you can also build a construction through which you can lead tomatoes up on a string. Spiral metal rods that you can use for this are also available in stores.

Fertilizing tomatoes

Tomatoes added to the Heavy eaters prefer nutrient-rich soil. Especially if you plant your tomatoes in boxes or tubs, you should have fresh compost or soil annuallyAdd vegetable or tomato fertilizer . Be careful not to overfeed, which can also be detrimental to the health of your plants. It is also important to recognize what is lacking in your plant in order to apply fertilizer in a targeted manner.

Skimming tomatoes promotes fruit formation

Because the growing season is short and the plant should use its full power to produce fruit, you should regularly remove the side shoots in the leaf axils of the main shoot. These can be easily broken out, especially in the mornings. This process is calledSkimming . The tomato concentrates on fruiting on a stem axis. In addition, you should remove the leaves from under the lowest fruits so that the air can circulate better and no water splashes on the leaves when watering. In the open field, the plant should produce 4 or 5 fruit clusters, which then mature. Please water the plant regularly so that the soil and roots do not dry out. When watering you should always make sure that the leaves do not get wet, otherwise theLate blight and brown rot can spread faster.

harvest

The green “hat” of the tomatoes has a practical predetermined breaking point. Snap off the tomatoes here. They taste best when they are fully ripe on the plant.

In autumn some tomatoes are still green. Pick these and let them ripen in the house – preferably in the dark. If you add apples, they ripen faster because they release the ripening accelerating gas ethylene.

Diseases & pests

The most famous disease in tomatoes is that Late blight that occurs on many plants sooner or later in the year. It needs moisture, which is why you only look at the plants from belowwater and protect from rain. When infected, the leaves roll up and turn black, later the fruits turn brown and rotten.

Not everything that makes your tomato plant look weak is due to disease or pests. Sometimes your tomatoes just lack a few nutrients. The plant shows you what is missing and so you canre-fertilize in a targeted manner .
So many confuse those caused by calcium deficiencyBlossom end rot with late blight and brown rot.

 

 

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