Tomatoes are essential component of every recipe in a kitchen and monsoon calls for a perfect season for its cultivation . Tomatoes are easy to grow at home , this also makes you fit and healthy and a sense of assurance , as the tomatoes you take up is organic and free from any type of contamination and chemical . Also tomatoes are high in vitamin A, C, iron, and lycopene making them an ideal ingredient for a healthy diet that boosts immunity against cancer, heart disease, and high blood pressure. Growing tomatoes from seeds have got some advantages as a single tomato seed packet is filled with dozens of little seeds and costs a lot less than one tomato seedling from your local plant nursery Here are some easy steps to grow your juicy and fresh tomatoes on your terrace .
- Item Checklist – Before you start growing tomatoes in your terrace or kitchen garden here is a list of thing you must have –
- Organic tomato seeds
- Organic potting soil
- Growing trays or small containers
- Essential gardening tools ( watering can , gardening gloves , trowel etc )
Step – 1 –Selection of right variety - If you are planning to grow tomatoes for your kitchen then selection of right varieties of seeds is the most important thing this mainly depends upon the amount of space you have on your terrace or balcony . If you have less space then go for varieties like sugar plum or cherry tomatoes seeds . For bigger space you can opt for beefsteak or roma . It takes around 60 days for a tomato plant to start bearing fruits .
Step – 2 – Seed sowing and germination - To Start plant the tomato seeds in small pots 3 to 4 inch deep or in trays about ¼ inches deep in moderately fertile soil however choose large size containers as tomatoes plants are huge feeders of nutrients with large root area , also the potting mix should be well drained and rich in nutrients . Tomatoes grow best in all kinds of soil except in heavy clay soil .
- Ideal temperature required for germination of tomato seeds are 21-27°c . For best germination keep the pots in a warm place the seedlings should start appearing in 10-14 days . The plant should receive excellent amount of sunshine for about 8 to 10 hours .
- Maintaining optimum soil moisture is essential for successful tomato growth however seeds requires very less water demand till germination , use of spray bottles to mist the seedlings to keep the soil moist is recommended .
- Seeds must be treated with trichoderma at the rate of 1g per 150 g of seeds .
Step – 3 – Watering requirement for growing tomatoes – Insert a finger into tomato potting soil if its dry then its time to water .
Step – 4 – Manuring – In order to maintain the organic matter must be added to it regularly , compost or FYM must be added to enrich the soil .
Step – 5 Transplanting and Plant care - The seeds must be sown at least 6 to 8 weeks before you plan to transplant them outside. For example, if you plan to transplant the seedlings by early June, the seeds must be planted indoors in mid-April. Once your tomato seedlings are five to six inches in length, it’s time to take them out of their small indoor pot to deeper and spacious pots or your home garden outdoors that receives 6 to 8 hours of good sunlight. This is also called hardening off the plant. Follow these steps to easily transplant young tomato seedlings outside.