When it comes to growing your own produce, tomatoes are a firm favorite for many households. Tomatoes are incredibly versatile and can be used to create many delicious dishes. From a spicy salsa dip to rich pasta sauce, there are many different ways to enjoy tomatoes. Here is a short guide to help you grow tomatoes in your garden.
Different Types of Tomatoes
Walk into any grocery store, and you will find at least two varieties of tomatoes on offer. From beautifully colored heirloom tomatoes to sweet and tangy cherry tomatoes, adding this plant to your produce patch will diversify your garden. Happy Valley Seeds are an online vendor that delivers all over Australia. They have over 100 tomato seed varieties on offer, and all their seeds are horticulture grade, open-pollinated and Non-GMO. To view their impressive selection, visit www.happyvalleyseeds.com.au.
Check the pH Levels
It is important to test your soil to check the pH levels before gardening. For tomatoes, the optimum pH is around 6. More acidity can be beneficial for tomatoes, but this could affect other plants that are growing around your tomatoes. Check your soil by using an at-home tomato testing kit, or by sending it to a local lab.
Prepare Your Soil
Tomatoes will thrive in soil that has been prepared at least one week in advance. Soil can be improved with compost, rock minerals, coconut coir, and manure mix, with the added addition of banana skins at the base where you plan to plant your tomatoes. Make sure you keep the soil moist and mulch the top throughout the preparation week.
Plant Your Tomatoes
Add a support structure before planting your tomatoes so that you don’t disturb the roots of your plants later on. Efficient support structures for tomatoes include tall stakes, wire fences, and cone-shaped cages. Once your preparation week is up, and your support structure is in place, it is time to begin planting.
First things first, place your plant in each prepared hole. Half of the plant should be buried in the ground to enable more roots to grow for support and sustenance. Once planted, mulch away.
Begin by placing two seeds in each hole, making sure that they are around 1cm below the surface. Try not to fill the hole completely; simply mound up the soil around the stem as the plant grows. Mulch as soon as you have planted the seed, but avoid covering the top of the seed with mulch. Once a seedling appears, mulch again with a layer that’s at least 3cm thick.
Tomatoes are thirsty plants that need a lot of water to thrive. Make sure you water your tomato plants on a daily basis and ensure the water is able to reach the roots through the mulch.
In order for tomato plants to develop healthy leaves, roots, and fruit, make sure you fertilize properly. Keep your soil healthy with tomato fertilizer. Tomatoes require essential nutrients, such as phosphorus and nitrogen, to grow. A high-quality fertilizer, added at key moments during your tomato plant’s life cycle, will help your plant stay healthy right from the initial stages of planting until the point it is ready for harvesting.