Updated: Aug 10
Tomato is an essential part of our kitchen. It is used in almost every kind of dishes. It enhances the taste of many cooked dishes and food. It has high nutritional values for health.
Now-a-days, it has also become popular to grow tomato plants at home or garden. It looks good and beautiful with its red coloured fruit shining in the garden. It also gives extreme pleasure to cook using home grown tomatoes.
Although growing plants is easy but it requires extreme care and measures to get healthy plant and fruits. Here are some common informations given below to be noted before and while growing a plant in a garden or a pot to get better fruit harvests.
There are some points which I have written out of my experience while growing a tomato plant in a small pot which is made by recycling a bin. A DIY pot is explained in another blog in category DIY/Recycling.
1. SEED PLANTED : 10 April 2020 (before sunset).
2. SEED GERMINATION : 13 April 2020. Normally it takes 5 to 7 days for seed germination, but mine germinated within 3 days with long and healthy shoot. It was maybe because the temperature and soil environment was perfect for germination.
3. POTTING SOIL USED : Cocopeat mixture with organic fertilisers.
4. SUNLIGHT REQUIRED : 8 hours of direct sunlight. Avoid hotter days.
5. TEMPERATURE NEEDED : 15°C to 32°C.
6. SOIL TYPE : Acidic.
7. pH VALUE : 6.0 to 6.8.
8. GROWING SEASON : Summer (March to June). It can vary depending upon different environment conditions and the place where plant is planted.
9. ESSENTIAL NUTRIENTS REQUIREMENT : Nitrogen and calcium. Organic manures and other fertilisers are also used for plants.
10. FLOWER APPEARING : 5 July 2020. Usually it takes upto 6 to 8 weeks after planting. My plant flowers bloomed after 2 and half months. It depends upon surrounding environment. If it is cloudy and less warm, flowers will appear late.
11. WATER REQUIREMENT : Very much. Water adequately. Plants need water but not too much and no dryness in soil.
12. FRUIT BEARING : 13 July 2020. The fruits starts around 2 to 5 weeks after pollinated flower. My fruit appeared after 3 months from planting.
13. PLANT TYPE : Shrub. Support is needed to help plant stay erect.
14. TOMATO RIPENING: The fruit completely ripens within a month after the fruit appears. My tomato ripened completely by 12 August 2020 and ready to harvest.
14. TOMATO CATEGORY TYPE : Fruit.
15. PLANT LIFESPAN TYPE : Perennial means it can be grown for continuous multiple growing seasons from same seed and root system. However many tomato plants are grown as an Annual plant means it can complete its one life cycle within one growing season and die. Annual means lifespan of about 5 to 6 months. The plant lifespan depends on the factor in which growing condition it is grown.
The plant can be used continuously for continuous years, if the plant did not suffer any pests attack or soil damage and is yet green and healthy. After harvest is complete, look after and keep maintaining the plant for next spring and growing season. The fruits will appear little early and there will be more harvests as compared to previous harvests.
SEED GERMINATION : Best points to be noted for ideal and successful seed germination are:
First wash and dry tomato seeds for 5 days.
Plant seed about 1 inch deep into soil.
Keep the soil moist.
Keep the pot where good sunlight is available.
ORGANIC FERTILISERS USED :
Used tea leaves for nitrogen.
Crushed egg-shells for calcium.
Washed rice water.
Dried banana peel powder for potassium.
Organic compost (Vermicompost).
Provide weekly fertiliser in a pot.
Try to supply organic fertilisers only.
Nitrogen and calcium fertilisers should be provided every two weeks.
Check regularly for any pests, disease, infection, fungus, signs of lack of nutrition, etc.
Remove any infested or damaged branch or leaves immediately to prevent spreading to entire plant.
Water regularly in small amount or every alternate day.
Provide adequate sunlight.
Protect from very hot condition.
Protect the plant during heavy rainfall or during rainy season.
As plant grows gradually, remove lowest branches or leaves to avoid catching any infestation.
Pluck lower suckers to help plant get more nutrition to the flowers and fruits.
Apply more potting soil gradually to push the lower stem deeper to provide strength to the plant.
When the plant is big enough, provide support for the plant to stay upright.
Do not use any kind of chemicals.
Do not over water or let the soil become too dry.
Don't stop providing fertilisers at regular intervals.
Do not ignore any damage or pests or infections.