Green thumb or no green thumb, a practical way to beat inflation is to learn how to grow tomatoes, garlic, squash and other crops right in your backyard. By learning to plant tomatoes and other vegetables, you and your family won’t run the risk of getting hungry again – no matter what economic status your country will succumb to.
One thing to remember and one thing you need to remind yourself time and time again is that to grow tomatoes successfully, it doesn’t happen overnight. Tomatoes also don’t fall from the sky when you wish for them. It takes patience, time and more knowledge about the do’s and don’t of planting tomatoes.
First things first, don’t crowd the seedlings. This is especially important of you want to grow tomatoes from seed. They need room to branch out. If they’re placed closer together, it can inhibit their growth. This means, you need to transplant them when you see their first true leaves coming out. You need to move them in 4-inch pots about 2 weeks afterwards.
Next, tomatoes need lots of light. If you can’t provide them with direct sunlight, you can just give them around 14 to 18 hours of grow light. Just place the young plants a few inches from your fluorescent grow lights. Then, plant the tomatoes outside right in your vegetable plot’s sunniest portion.
Then, Put fans over your seedlings. In order to develop strong stems, these tomato plants require movement and swaying. You can provide a breeze just by turning on the fan for about 5 to 10 minutes 2x a day.
Next, Preheat your garden soil. This is very important since tomatoes love the heat. Make sure you cover the planting areas using red or black plastic. This should be done a few weeks before planting. The extra warmth can give way to earlier tomatoes.
Afterwards, bury the tomato plants deeper than their position in the pot. It is best to bury them until only the top leaves are visible. This is since tomatoes are capable of developing roots from their stems. You can dig a deep hole or even a shallow tunnel just so you can dig the plant sideways. Eventually, it will straighten out and grow towards the sun. Just be careful you don’t drive your cage or pole in the stem.
Mulching is the next important step, especially after the ground has warmed up. This is good for water retention and for preventing soil born diseases. Plastic mulch is highly advisable for tomatoes.
To grow tomatoes, you also need to take out the bottom leaves, particularly when they reach 3 inches tall. You can also spray compost tea to ward off fungus diseases.
Start pinching and pruning. This is a good way to take out the suckers developing in the crotch joints of any two tomato branches. Aside from being unable to bear fruit, they can take away the energy from the plant. Just thin the leaves to let the sun reach into the ripening of the fruit. The leaves are still necessary in creating sugars for tomato flavor.
Regularly water the tomato plants. Unable to do so will result to blossom end rotting and cracking. Also lessen the water when the fruit starts to ripen.
Get the plant to set tomatoes. Depending on the type of tomato, set them to ripen fruit at the same time. You can do this by pinching the tips of the main stems during early summer season.