How To Grow Tomatoes At Home?
Everyone loves tomatoes. It is an indispensable part of our Kitchen. Tomato is one of the popular vegetables that is used around the globe for salads, sandwiches, sauces, ketchups and for many other recipes.
Everyday we need to go to the market and buy Tomatoes. We are unaware about some things like:-
✓How were those tomatoes grown?
✓Are they organic?
✓Are they fresh?
Due to this type of confusion, Many of us want to grow tomatoes at home. However, We don’t know how to start. So, If you are one of them, Then Don’t Worry, This is a detailed guide on how to grow tomatoes at home. Read till the end and produce tomatoes as much as you want.
Tomato Growing Conditions
The first step in growing tomatoes at home is, You need to know the growing conditions for this plant.
For the successful harvest of homegrown tomatoes, all the conditions required for the better growth and development of tomato plants should be well maintained. You should consider following conditions for homegrown tomatoes:-
Tomatoes grow better in moist but not waterlogged soil. So, well drained soil with high organic matter content can be used as growing media. The compost, rotted sawdust, rotted manure can be tilled into your home backyards. So that the soil after a certain time can be used for tomato culture. Tomatoes prefer soil with pH 6.2 to 6.8. It is better to test soil before using it as media. Soil with low pH can be treated with dolomitic limestone as per recommendation from the soil testing agency. Dolomitic limestone also provides calcium and magnesium which are the important components for plant growth and development.
Use of chemicals is too harmful inside the house. So one can go for organic production using the available materials in the house.
Watering should be done once in a two days interval for ensuring sufficient moisture. Watering should be done after each fertilizer application. Make sure that containers are not water logged.
Tomatoes are medium feeders. So they require relatively less amount of fertilizers. Fertilizer should be applied at following stage:
✓ Preparing media
✓Add a few inches of compost or aged manure during the media preparation.
✓ At seedling stage
✓ After transplanting
✓Add slow release fertilizer like osmocote to your container while transplanting.
✓After fruit start to develop
Tomato plants require three primary nutrients Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium and other micronutrients like boron and zinc. Soil with abundant organic material should not be fertilized with nitrogen fertilizers.
These are the conditions that you need to maintain to grow tomatoes at home. Now, Let’s move towards the steps that guide on how to grow tomatoes at home.
5 Steps Of Growing Tomatoes At Home
#Step 1: Varietal Selection
The first step in growing tomatoes at home is to select the right variety. It is a crucial step because if we choose wrong, then – Our all work will go in vain and we will not get any harvest.
On the basis of growth habit, tomato varieties can be divided into two types viz. Determinate and indeterminate type.
Determinate type variety grows upto certain height and then stops. They flower and set fruit within a relatively short period of time whereas the indeterminate type varieties grow, flower and set fruit throughout the growing season and they grow tall. Therefore, indeterminate varieties need to be staked.
In short, indeterminate types are more difficult to manage than determinate types. Therefore, Determinate types are considered the best tomatoes to grow at home in a container. Also the selected variety must be disease and stress tolerant.
Growing tomatoes at home means we grow them in pots, containers or in the kitchen garden, right? In the kitchen garden, We can grow any type of variety. However, The case is different for the tomatoes grown in containers/Pots.
To make easy for you to grow tomatoes at home, We have divided the Varieties suitable for small containers and large containers:-
For small container
For Large container
| 1. Patio F
✓ Determinate type
✓Matures in 70 days
| 1. Sweet baby girl tomato
✓Matures in 65 days
✓ Determinate type
✓Matures in 55 -70 day
| 2. Sweet 100 Tomato
✓Matures in 65 days
| 3. Micro Tom
✓ Determinate type
✓Matures in 85 -88 day
| 3. Early Girl Bush Tomato
✓Matures in 60 days
| 4. Red robin
✓Matures in 55 day
| 4. Celebrity tomato
✓Matures in 70-72 days
| 5. Totem
✓Matures in 70 day
| 5. Big boy bush tomato
✓Matures in 72 days
| 6. Elfin
✓Matures in 55 day
| 6. Husky cherry red tomato
✓Semi Determinate type
✓Matures in 65 days
#Step 2: Selection Of Best Location
Since tomatoes are a warm season plant and grow well in temperatures of 70 to 80°F and they require 6 to 8 hours of daily sunlight. So, a sunny location receiving at least eight hours of sunlight daily should be selected. For homegrown tomatoes, south facing windows are considered best. Artificial lighting can be used in areas receiving lower sunlight per day than requirement. We can grow tomatoes at home in rooftop.
#Step 3: Preparing A Potting Mix
If you are planning to grow tomatoes in the kitchen garden, then – there is no need for a potting mix. You just need to add FYM in soil during land preparation. However, While growing tomatoes at home in Pots, It is important to make the best potting mix. Potting Mix will be the source of food for your tomatoes. You can use either of following mix:-
- Mix one part by volume of Sphagnum peat, perlite and vermiculite in a sterilized tray.
- Mix two parts peat moss, one part perlite, one part vermiculite by volume. Also add one teaspoon lime, one teaspoon 0-20-0 fertilizers and two teaspoons of 19-6-12 slow release fertilizer.
#Step 4: Sowing Of Tomato Seed
After the preparation of Potting Mix, Now is the time to sow seeds. It is another important step to grow tomatoes at home.
Tomatoes must be started growing indoors during March-June. Following are the tips for growing tomato seedlings in pots.
- Select the small pot of depth 3 to 4 inch.
- Moderately fertile soil from your garden with PH ranging from 6-7 can be used as growing media. Generally light soil mix can be used as growing media. Do not use clay soil as it is not considered good.
- Plant the tomato seed in these pots.
- The pot should be placed in a warm and dark place as the best germination temperature is 21-27℃. The seedling will appear in 10-15 days.
- Very little water is required for germination, so do not water frequently.
- Hardening of plants should be done one week before transplanting. It can be done by exposing them to more light hours daily.
- The seedlings become ready to transplant after 6 to 8 weeks of sowing.
#Step 5: Transplanting Seedlings
Considering the mentioned point, you can carry out the transplanting:
- Accesses whether the seedlings are thrice the length of pot or not. If they are three times the pot length, you can transplant them.
- Use a large clean pot and put well draining soil in it as growing media.
- Loose the soil round root and lift up them gently.
- Place the seedling in the potting media with great care.
- Watering is essential for seedling establishment and so watering should be done immediately after planting and watering should be in a two day interval.
- Timely application is of paramount importance. So it should also be carried out with a timely interval.
Problems In Growing Tomatoes At Home
Home grown tomatoes may experience many disappointing problems. Some common problems faced by tomato plants are illustrated below:
1. Abiotic Disorders
- Leaf roll
The older leaves of the plant roll upward and inward.
✓ Some varieties are highly susceptible to leaf roll. It is mainly caused by high light intensity and high soil moisture.
✓ Prevent the plant from intense sunlight
✓Choose less susceptible variety
✓Maintain the required soil moisture
- Blossom end rot
At first the water soaked spots are seen in the blossom end of the fruit. They enlarge and become sunken and leathery.
✓ Calcium deficiency in growing media with fluctuating soil moisture.
✓ Amend the soil with gypsum
✓Add adequate organic matter in soil
- Fruit crack
✓ High temperature coincided with high soil moisture during growing period
✓High difference between day night temperature
✓Some varieties are more susceptible to cracking
✓Choose less susceptible varieties
✓Prevent the plant from high light intensities during day time
✓Temperature above 90oF or below 55oF
✓Low light condition
✓Application excessive nitrogen fertilizer
✓Avoid the application of excessive nitrogen fertilizer
Sunscald generally occurs in tomato fruits exposed to intense sunlight. Slightly sunken areas that become pale yellowish and wrinkled as fruit ripens are the characteristic symptoms.
✓Exposure of the plant to intense sunlight for long duration
✓ Provide partial shade to plant
✓Avoid excessive pruning
They are misshapen tomatoes having enlarged scars and holes in the blossom end of the fruit.
✓Cold weather at the time of fruit set
✓Prevent the plant from cold weather
- Flower drop
Flower drops before the fruit set.
✓Plant exposed to too much shade
✓Day temperature above 90oF and night temperature below 55oF
✓Excessive smog during flowering period
✓Spray of hormone result in better fruit set at low temperature condition
✓Choose appropriate variety
Here, We have listed some common pest that you might see while growing tomatoes at home:-
- Fruit fly
Fruit fly infested fruits of tomato plants develop discoloured spots and rots. Eggs hatch into maggots and destroy the soft interior of the fruit.
There is no chemical method to control the pest. So careful monitoring is essential. However, Fruit fly trappers can be used to control the pest.
Aphids generally gather at the soft growing tips and can explode in numbers if not controlled. Searles Bug Beater Natural Pyrethrum spray is effective to control the aphids. They can also be washed with a jet of water.
Methods Of Controlling Pests In Homegrown Tomatoes
Following are the some methods to control the pest while growing tomatoes at home:-
- Washing the tomato plant with strong jet of water
- Some insects can also be hand picked but proper care should be taken as they may harm mankind.
- Plant oil can also be sprayed
Another best way to control pests and insects in homegrown tomatoes is to use Sticky Traps of different colours.
Diseases In Homegrown Tomatoes
We have listed some common diseases that you might find while growing tomatoes at home.
- Wilt of tomato
Wilt in tomatoes may be caused by fungus like verticillium and fusarium. Wilting with yellowing and death of lower leaves are specific symptoms.
- Mildews of tomato
White or greyish fury on the leaves and fruit. Spraying wettable sulfur is best control.
Harvesting And Storage
Harvesting is the result of growing tomatoes at home. This is the best feeling. Fruits begin to start after 65-70 days of transplanting. With maturity the fruit turns red and also becomes softer. The matured fruits were harvested manually by grasping and gently pulling the fruit from the vine. Fresh fruits can be utilized as salads or any other recipe. Harvested fruits can be stored at 13- 20℃.
Tomatoes are really good vegetative. As it is most used in our kitchen, We should grow it ourselves in our garden. Thus, This is whole information on How To Grow Tomatoes At Home.
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Jump To Sections
- 1 How To Grow Tomatoes At Home?
- 2 Tomato Growing Conditions
- 3 5 Steps Of Growing Tomatoes At Home
- 4 Problems In Growing Tomatoes At Home
- 5 Common Pest
- 6 Methods Of Controlling Pests In Homegrown Tomatoes
- 7 Diseases In Homegrown Tomatoes
- 8 Harvesting And Storage
- 9 Conclusion