Tomatoes: it’s always worth growing yourself, No other vegetable tastes like summer like tomatoes. This is especially true for freshly harvested, sun-warmed tomatoes. Of course, you can only enjoy this luxury if you grow tomatoes yourself. This is easier than you might think and even if you only have a balcony available for gardening. We will tell you how it works and what you have to pay attention to when growing tomatoes. It’s worth it, I promise!
How to harvest your own tomatoes
Tomatoes are a popular vegetable. The plants do require a bit of care, but they will provide new fruit over and over again over a long period of time. For many gardeners, there is a special appeal in the many different tomato varieties that exist. But you can also grow tomatoes in small gardens or even on the balcony and harvest your own fruits in summer.
As much sun and nutrients as possible
Tomatoes like to have lots of everything: sun, water, nutrients, and shelter too. You should ensure that there are sufficient nutrients in the garden before planting. It is ideal if you loosen the soil thoroughly and enrich it with compost . (Learn your own compost .) If you don’t have compost, consider supplementing the soil with some fertilizer. Long-term fertilizers that supply your plants with nutrients over a long period of time are ideal. Because the nutritional needs of tomatoes are a bit specific, it’s worth using a tomato fertilizer . This provides your tomatoes with the nutrients they need. It is usually also suitable for many other vegetables such as cucumbers, peppers or zucchini.
Plant tomatoes: wait for the last frost!
Passionate gardeners grow their tomato plants themselves from seeds. It’s fun and has a bit to do with gardener’s honor. If you want to grow special tomato varieties, you can’t avoid growing them yourself. Until then, you can stock up on young plants from the garden centre, hardware store or nursery for your first attempts at cultivation.
Tomatoes absolutely do not tolerate frost! You should therefore wait with planting until no more frost is to be expected. This is the case in most regions from mid-May, after the so-called Ice Saints . If you want to plant earlier, you should be able to provide adequate protection when there is a risk of frost.
When planting, always plan enough space between the individual plants. Depending on the variety, 50 to 80 centimeters between the individual plants in the row and even 80 to 100 centimeters between two rows.
Proceed as follows when planting:
- Dig a small hole – it can be deep
- Stick a bamboo or tomato stick into the soil right next to the planting hole
- You can and should plant tomatoes deep . Put the young plants in the ground at a slight angle and just below the first leaves. It is best so that they are inclined towards the support rod. That gives them stability. In addition, they form new roots on the trunk and grow better.
- Water the plant vigorously – in professional circles one also speaks of sludge. You should take that literally
Plant tomatoes on the balcony
You don’t necessarily have to grow tomatoes in a large vegetable patch. Because they mainly grow tall and you can harvest for a long time, tomatoes are well suited for growing on the balcony. For this you need a large bucket with a volume of 20 to 40 liters. There are even extra small varieties for growing on the balcony. You can also use smaller vessels. Otherwise, you proceed with the planting exactly as described above. more information about growing vegetables on the balcony You can find Regular care of the plants
If your tomato plants are well established, they mainly need water and nutrients. especially in summer regularly, . Always water directly onto the soil in the root area. If possible, avoid watering the leaves. Also, fertilize your tomatoes regularly from July to September. The easiest way to do this is with the tomato fertilizer already mentioned .
An important care measure for many tomato varieties is ” deprecation “. You break out all side shoots that grow from the leaf axils. These shoots rob the plant of its strength. It also makes them rather bushy. This makes further maintenance more difficult. Bush tomatoes are an exception. Here it is desirable that the plant branches out a little.
The first own tomato harvest
Depending on the weather and variety, the time has finally come from the beginning of July : you can harvest the first fruits. You can tell whether tomatoes are ripe by their color. They should be fully colored. You can tell if they are really ripe when you harvest them. Ripe tomatoes are easy to harvest. You can easily snap them off just above the base of the stem . Often this spot is a bit thickened and therefore easy to recognize. Fruits that are difficult to remove should be left hanging for a few more days.
Avoid diseases on tomato plants
Tomatoes have an enemy. It goes by the name late blight . That doesn’t sound nice and it isn’t. This is a fungal disease. It spreads especially when it is wet. You should therefore carefully keep the planting distance between tomatoes so that they can dry quickly after a rain. For this reason, you should not pour on the leaves, but always directly on the soil .
Most often, the disease first affects the leaves. They then begin to wilt heavily at the edge. You should remove suspicious leaves immediately and generously and dispose of them in the organic waste bin . This is how you prevent it from spreading. As a further measure, you can completely remove the lowest leaves from your plants. Balcony gardeners have an advantage because their plants are usually much more protected than in the open bed.
To protect their tomatoes, many gardeners only grow their plants in greenhouses or under protective films. There are also suitable plant protection products against fungal diseases. If you would like to use such preparations, get good advice from a specialist shop. After all, you still want to eat the fruit.
Tomato cultivation for advanced users
There are over 2000 different tomato varieties . They all differ in color, shape and taste. In comparison, only very few varieties are offered as pre-grown young plants. Most of the time, you have to grow the plants yourself from seeds, which you can easily order online. In many cities, allotment garden or environmental protection associations also offer plant and seed exchanges. You need to start growing your own plants in early spring.
Compared to many other vegetables, tomatoes require a little more care. But the effort is worth it. Make sure your plants lack for nothing. Then you will be rewarded with incomparable taste experiences!