Tomato

From WikiGarden

Tomato

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Growing tomatoes is simple and just a few plants yield plenty of delicious tomatoes. Remember, tomato plants can grow almost anywhere, that is warm and a little damp.

If you are looking forward to experiment with new varieties of tomatoes, growing tomatoes plants from seed is a great way. You can start growing tomatoes indoors by using a propagator while keeping it on the windowsill. Sow tomato seed just before the start of spring season. You can also grow tomatoes in greenhouse, but ensure to sow seeds earlier – from late February to mid-March.

Planting

After sowing the seeds, sprinkle your tomato seeds thinly on the surface of good quality seed compost. Now cover the see carefully with about 1.5 mm of compost and water it with a fine-rose watering can. The seeds starts germinating in about 7 to 14 days at a temperature of around 21C (70F). Do not over water as the wet conditions can encourage damping off disease.

Tomatoes absorb nutrients best when the soil pH ranges from 6.2 to 6.8. They also demand constant supply of major and minor plant nutrients. The seeds germinate in about 7 to 14 days and plant takes a long time to grow. During this growth process, make sure that these plants are not exposed to frost, cold winds and draughts. In addition, feed every 10-14 days with balanced liquid fertilizers, one with high potash, especially once the first fruits start to set,

Problems and troubleshooting:

• Blossom end rot: Lack of calcium in the fruits causes darken and sunken areas in tomatoes. As the patch increases, the fruit have flattened appearance. You can resolve this problem by watering the plant regularly while never allowing the soil to dry out. • Splitting and cracking of tomatoes: Though this disease does not affect the taste of tomatoes, the split fruit will be infected by fungus. Controlling the temperature and sunlight levels can serve as a solution to tackle the problem. • Blights: This is one of the most common diseases in the wet condition. The disease causes fruit and foliage rot. To prevent this use protect sprays such as Bordeaux mixture and dithane, if the weather proves to be damp even during summer.

Other diseases that tomato plants easily suffer from is leaf mould disease and the leaf problems. Leaf mould develops rapidly and cause significant yield loss in greenhouse-grown tomatoes. However, it is rarely seen in outdoor crops. Providing ample ventilation to the indoor crops can cure the disease. Another condition is also related to leaves. Inappropriate levels of water, nutrients, light and temperature can cause problems with leaves in tomatoes. To prevent this condition, you must avoid erratic watering and keep the soil constantly moist.

Health benefits of tomatoes:

  • As tomatoes contain a high level of lycopene, they are rich in antioxidant content.
  • The considerable amount of calcium and vitamin K present tomatoes help in strengthening the bones.
  • Tomatoes can also reduce the amount of damage done to the body caused by smoking cigarettes. The content of coumaric acid and chlorogenic acid in tomatoes works towards this.
  • Tomatoes are rich in Vitamin A and works perfectly in keeping the hair strong and healthy. Besides, they also work towards improving your vision and helps in preventing the development of night blindness.