Tomato plants are very popular with most gardeners because they can grow almost anywhere in the world. Besides being very hardy, they require little attention during the growth period. All tomatoes require is adequate water, sunlight, and a little bit of patience. With these combinations, even someone with little to no knowledge can have a successful yield. Tomatoes are so popular that on average about 90% of gardeners plant them in their gardens.


Getting seeds

You can grow tomatoes all year round or during the summer depending on the availability of sunlight. A large variety of tomatoes is available so you can choose to your liking. Smaller varieties like cherry tomatoes are great for snacks or salads. On the other hand, larger varieties work for use with sandwiches. Because of their popularity finding the seeds should not be too difficult.

Start off by checking with your neighbors, especially if you know they love gardening. Most graders have no problem sharing advice, seeds, and other resources. Likewise, you can take a trip down to your local nursery to see what they have in store. If you still cannot find what you are looking for then try searching online. Many Online retailers specialize in seeds and can provide you with a wider selection.

Preparing soil for planting

Before getting started with the planting process you will need to prepare the soil for growing. Start off by removing any weeds, roots, and other debris that might hinder the growing process. Next mix the soil with compost or fertilizer. Superphosphates are among some of the most effective fertilizers for growing tomatoes. Alternately, Slow-release fertilizer such as 6-3-2 is a good substitute if you do not have access to a reliable supply of manure.

Best time for planting

In order to achieve the best results, it is highly advisable to plant seeds as early as possible. Tomatoes can take as long as four months or more before bearing fruits. If you live in a location with very cold winters make sure that you protect your seed by sowing them in a seedbox. On the other hand, you can start the sowing process in summer or autumn if your location is frost-free.

The seedlings should achieve a height of 15 centimeters within six weeks and be ready for transplanting before frost passes. During the transplanting process, it is very important to select only the healthiest seedlings. Plant seedlings during the afternoon for cooler climates. You can use a sprinkler when watering, preferably in the morning before sunrise. It is also a good idea to apply a natural fungicide in order to prevent diseases from forming.

Tomato plants require all-day sunlight for healthy growth so avoid areas that are heavily shaded. When growing tomatoes vertically, you should provide proper support by using cages or stakes. Additionally, topping off the plant with the appropriate fertilizers is a good way to stimulate growth.

When to harvest?

Generally, you should handpick the fruit when the color has changed or when fully ripe. However, picking them prematurely can prevent them from withering on their vines or being eaten by pests. Place the tomatoes on any sunny windowsill and check on them periodically. keep in mind that tomatoes picked too early do not taste as good as those that naturally ripen on the vine. Therefore, avoid taking them off too early unless necessary. In the case that you do need to take them off wait until they have reached full size and start changing color.