Tomatoes are an essential part of the Pakistani cuisine and are used in almost all the dishes that are cooked in this area. Therefore, it is highly desirable to plant tomatoes when you think of doing some vegetable gardening. We have compiled a list of ten tips which will help you in getting your tomatoes off to a healthy start.
Use Biodegradable pots
Peat pots are a good choice for planting tomatoes as they are easy to use and good for the environment as well. All you need to do is dig a hole, put in the plant and fill the hole with soil. There is no need to take the plant out of the peat pot. Remember that it is essential to cut off any extra peat pot sides that stick out of the soil. If you don’t, the peat pots will dry up faster than the surrounding soil, leaving the plant under nourished.
Provide good nutrition
Tomato plants are heavy feeders so add compost to the soil to make sure it is rich in organic matter. Also, mix some fertilizer in the soil at planting time to ensure the plant gets maximum nutrition.
Tomato plants grow roots all the way along the stems so you should plant them on their sides to ensure a strong root system. Make sure that any leaves on the stems are removed since buried leaves will almost certainly rot and encourage disease.
It is a good idea to water the tomato plants well a week or two after planting them to help them get established. They are most prone to drying out when they are young.
Two types of tomato plants can be found. Determinate tomatoes put in their maximum growth before they start to bloom and produce fruit while indeterminate tomato plants grow and produce fruits at the same time. It is important to stake indeterminate tomato plants to ensure their health and keep them standing. It will also make it easier to harvest the fruits.
If you are planting tomatoes for the first time, plant them in containers. It is easy to grow them in high quality potting mix in containers and they are also protected from fungal diseases. Also, choose a big pot so you will have to water less.
Try Red Mulch
It is a known fact that mulch is good for plants. However, research suggests red plastic mulch is especially good for the health of tomato plants. A study shows that yields increase by more than twenty percent when red mulch is used. It helps to conserve moisture during long, dry periods and inhibits weeds.
Look out for cutworms
Cutworms prey on vegetables. Keep them away from your tomato plants by giving them a newspaper collar or cut the top or bottom of a tin can and sink it into the soil around the plant. This creates a barrier against the cutworms and keeps them out.
Protect them from the cold
It is crucial to protect your tomato plants from the cold. An easy way to do this is to cut the bottom of a milk jug and simply put it over the tomato plant. Ensure the top is left open so it does not get hot inside the jug.
Keep the foliage dry.
Tomato plants are susceptible to a wide variety of diseases. To keep your plants healthy, use a soaker hose for watering as this keeps the foliage dry. It may be easier for many fungal diseases like blight to develop when the foliage is wet.