Health and Fitness

Caring for Tomatoes Made Easy

Whether in a pot on the windowsill or in a bucket on the balcony: tomatoes from your own cultivation taste twice as good. So that you can enjoy your harvest well into autumn, our 10 tips will turn you into a real tomato professional. Plant online

Tip # 1: Choosing a suitable strain

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Depending on where you want to plant your tomato and how much space you have available, different varieties are suitable. If you have limited space or if you want to grow your tomato in your apartment, you should use small bush tomatoes. They tend to grow in width and not so much in height. If there is space on your balcony for a larger bucket or even a raised bed, you can choose stick tomatoes. As the name suggests, they grow up on a stick or a climbing aid and, with some varieties, can reach a height of two meters. Buy plants online in Karachi

Tip no. 2: prick out when sowing

If you sow your tomatoes yourself and do not want to buy a young plant, pricking is very important. What does prick mean? When sowing, several seeds are often sown in a seed tray. After a few days the seeds germinate, growth and thus competition among the individual plants begins. The first growth phase costs the plants a lot of strength and they compete for light and water. When pricking out, after the first pair of leaves has formed, you choose the strongest plants and place them in their own pot.

Tip # 3: The best time to move

The ice saints are often spoken of as the time to move to the balcony. The ice saints are every year in mid-May and mark the point in time from which there will be no more frost at night. Because appearances are often deceptive and we want to start the balcony season with the first rays of sunshine. But the plants you laboriously pull out cannot stand the cold nights and should therefore stay on the warm windowsill in April.
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Apart from the right temperature, your tomato plant should be around 15-30 cm tall (small varieties, of course, correspondingly smaller) and the first umbellate should already have developed. A good location for your tomato plant is a sunny corner on your balcony, preferably right next to the warm house wall. You can find out more about the best location for your tomatoes in this profile:

Tip # 4: Choosing the right pot

The size of the pot is very important for the healthy growth of your tomato plant: If the pot is too narrow, your tomato will not be able to develop enough roots. If the pot is too big, only very fine roots will form and, in the worst case, the enormous amount of moist soil can lead to root rot. You can determine the correct pot size by the height of your tomato variety:

For large stake tomatoes, the pot should hold at least 15-20 liters and be as heavy as possible so that it does not fall over because of the large plant. All pots should have holes for good water drainage to prevent waterlogging.

In addition to the correct pot, you should support your tomatoes with a climbing aid. It prevents the plant from bending over due to the weight of the growing fruits. You can use sticks made of plastic, wood or bamboo or small grids and trellises as a climbing aid. You should also thoroughly clean any climbing aids that have already been used.

Tip # 5: Pollinate the flowers

In order for fruit to form on your tomato plant, the flowers must be pollinated. The tomato is one of the self-fertilizers. This means that the pollen from one plant can pollinate the flowers of the same plant. You don’t necessarily need several tomato plants. Pollination occurs mainly by bumblebees and wild bees. You attract insects with the right flowers on your balcony. Here you can find out how your balcony becomes an insect paradise.

If your tomato is in the kitchen or you don’t get enough visits from insects, you can also help yourself: Either you shake the tomato plant a little or you use a brush to apply the pollen to the flowers. It is best to repeat this every two to three days until all the flowers have opened.

Tip # 6: Water enough

Your tomatoes should have a continuous supply of water. If the tomato is not watered enough, the leaves roll up. If you water too much after a very hot day, the fruits could burst. Therefore, make sure that the soil around the tomato is well moistened and always water at the bottom of the plant – not on the leaves. It’s best to water your plants in the morning or early evening, not in the midday heat. In addition, it is better to water regularly with little water than rarely with a lot of water.

Tip no. 7: Ensure the supply of nutrients

Tomatoes are heavy eaters and need a lot of nutrients. You can recognize a lack of nutrients in tomatoes by the leaves: If they are yellow and only the leaf tissue on the main vein is green, this indicates a deficiency. It is best to fertilize your tomato plant once a week with a liquid fertilizer that you add directly to the irrigation water. A special organic quality vegetable fertilizer is best:

If you want to plant several plants together in a tub or raised bed, the supply of nutrients among the plants plays an important role. Several heavy eaters in one bed do not get along well because they take away the nutrients from each other. Therefore, plant high eaters together with low or medium eaters. You can find a more detailed description of good neighbors in the bed here.

Tip no. 8: exhaust the tomatoes

So that your plant puts its strength into the formation of the fruit and does not form too many shoots, you should prune the plant regularly. This process is called pruning, as the small shoots in the leaf axils are called stinging shoots. It is important that you do not remove the shoots with the flowers because this is where the fruits form! If the shoots are still soft and young, you can remove them with your fingernails; older shoots can be cut off with a sharp, clean knife.

Tip no. 9: prevent illnesses at an early stage

Tomatoes often have to struggle with the so-called late blight and brown rot (Phytophthora), especially in damp summers. The fungus is often caused by damp leaves. Protect your plant from rain and only ever water the soil. In addition, you can remove the lower leaves of your plant so that they do not lie on the damp soil.

If your plant is infested, it is important to be quick! At the beginning gray-green, later brown spots appear on the leaves and then even on the fruits. They spread quickly, so it is advisable to remove all infected leaves and branches early. If the infection is already too strong, you should use an appropriate pesticide.

Tip no. 10: the right time to harvest

Your tomatoes are ripe when the skin has reached its bright red color. In the case of yellow or orange varieties, the degree of ripeness is difficult to recognize by the color. If the fruits give slightly when pressed gently and can easily be detached from the style, then they are definitely ripe. You can find out more about the vegetable harvest here . thepostcity

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