TOMATO GROWING FACTS:
Tomatoes are one of the most widely grown vegetables in the garden. They are versatile and delicious and can be used in salads, soups, sauces and for garnishing. This delicious veggie is easy to grow with our easy-to-follow instructions and adds a great colour and flavour to your garden.
GIY KIT CONTENTS:
A biodegradable pot
HOW TO PLANT:
Unpack the kit. Use the coco peat coin to make growing medium (soil). Follow the steps:
• Place the coco peat coin in a container and add 200 mls of water
• Let the coin soak up all the water and watch it expand into growing medium
• Put the growing medium in the GIY pot and level surface
Sprinkle seeds on the surface. Cover them with growing medium. Keep it moist by spraying water daily.
Seedlings will germinate with seed leaves within 5-7 days. True leaves of the plants will show in another 10-14 days. Make sure that the growing medium stays moist throughout.
Water whenever the soil begins to feel dry. A seed that has become wet and begun germinating will die if it dries out. Water twice a day in summer months. You might have to water 100 mls twice a day, if necessary.
TRANSPLANTING AND GROWTH:
When the seedlings start showing their true leaves and have 4-6 set of leaves or are 4 inches tall, it is time to transplant your biodegradable coir pot.
If planting in your garden, find a sunny spot. Remove mud and make a hole of about 12 inches in diameter and 9 inches deep. Place you biodegradable coir pot in the bottom. Cover hole with good quality organic manure or compost mixed with soil.
If planting in a container, find one which is about 15 inches deep and 12 inches in diameter. Make a mix of half volume organic compost or manure with good quality garden soil and fill it up. Then dig a hole from the top and place your biodegradable coir pot inside it.
This step is very important to allow the plant’s roots to develop.
30 days after planting, support your plant with 1 – 1.5 m long stakes. Add tomato cages or wooden trellis, so that the vines of tomato can climb and latch on to them. You can remove the side branches up to 20 cm from ground level, if needed.
In order for plants to grow well, it’s important to provide the right nutrients. Every GIY kit contains organic micronutrients. Add 1 teaspoon of our micronutrients, every 20 days after sprouts first appear for a healthy plant growth. If necessary keep topping your container with organic compost every 20 days.
Tomato plant should flower within 35-45 days of planting and tomatoes should appear within 60-70 days of planting.
Leave your tomatoes on the vine as long as possible. Pick the tomatoes that are red and soft. They should not be pulled from vines, but should be picked with a twisting motion of hand to separate them from the stem. Never place tomatoes on a windowsill to ripen, they may rot before they are ripe.
INSECTS AND DISEASES:
Insects such as leaf miner, tobacco caterpillar, white fly and sucking insects can affect your plant growth. Planting a Marigold plant near tomatoes can help deter these pests. You can also use a mixture of Neem Oil (2-3 ml) and water (1 lit.) and spray the plant weekly to avoid diseases.
Common diseases for tomatoes are anthracnose, bacterial spot and bacterial blight. Providing better drainage and root aeration is important to prevent these. If your plant gets infected, uproot it to prevent infecting surrounding seedlings. You can also use the Neem Oil mixture as mentioned above to prevent them.
Tomatoes are a great dietary source of antioxidant lycophene, which has been linked to many health benefits, including reduced risk of heart disease and cancer. They are also a rich source of Vitamin C, Vitamin K, potassium and folate. The pulp and juice of tomatoes can help relieve constipation and indigestion and purify blood. Tomatoes also have antiseptic properties against intestinal infections. Tomatoes are considered one of the best vegetables for your stomach and intestine health.
TIPS FOR TOMATO PRESERVATION:
Never refrigerate fresh tomatoes, because it spoils their fresh flavour and texture. To freeze, core fresh, unblemished tomatoes and them whole in freezer bags or containers. The skins will slip off when they defrost.