Cultivation of tomatoes

Easy to grow, decorative, varied and so tasty when picking it: the tomato is essential to the vegetable garden or … on a simple corner of balcony! Coming from Central America, it is easy to grow if it is provided with a rich soil and a good dose of sunlight.

1. Where to plant the tomato?
The tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum) lends itself easily to the cultivation in pot or ferry. A simple planter is enough for example to grow cherry tomatoes on a window sill or better, against the grating of a balcony that will serve you then to pile the stalks vigorous! If you planted in the ground, choose the best exposed spot in the garden. Exposure: warm and sunny; sheltered from the wind. Soil: fertile and well drained
2. Sowing seeds or buying tomato plants?
The lucky ones with a heated greenhouse know that they can start their tomato sowing in January, transplant at the end of February and harvest … at the approach of summer.
Under unheated greenhouse, the seeds will be sown in March, for a harvest from July to October.
If you buy your tomatoes in garden centers or at plant festivals, choose seedlings in containers about fifteen centimeters high, with stems with the diameter of a pencil. Taller plants, leaner plants or even flowers do not have a better chance of recovery.
Tomato sowing is easy: sow well in buckets filled with a mixture of potting soil and sand, and place the buckets in your mini-greenhouse or inside the house, behind a window. When the leaves appear, replace each foot in an individual bucket. As you grow, do not neglect fertilizer inputs.
3. Tomato planting
The tomato is a plant of warm climates: it is useless to install it outside too early in the season. Exposure to temperatures below 5 ° C would cause growth retardation … The bucket plants can be put in place from mid-May when the famous ice saints passed and the frosts are no longer to fear.
Place your feet in an ideal soil smoked in autumn or winter, then enriched before planting by contributions of special fertilizer tomato (not too rich in nitrogen).
The base of the stem can be buried on a few centimeters: this promotes the formation of a good root system.
Do not bring the feet too close (count 50 cm between 2 feet for normal size varieties). Immediately plan solid tents, 1m to 1m50 in height, to disinfect carefully, between which you can stretch wires and attach the stems. If you plant in line, leave 80 cm between rows.
Tips for growing tomatoes:
Water regularly to ensure a good development of the fruits (tomatoes grown in pot have even more need to be watered! To your watering cans …). A micro-porous hose and a good mulch (read: Botanic pellets) are recommendable. Avoid wetting the foliage: this favors the appearance of diseases.
Think of removing the lateral shoots (the “greedy”) that develop in the axils of the leaves, when they exceed 5cm in length. This operation makes it possible to concentrate the sap in the fruits: it is called pinching of the tomato.
When the fruit blush, do not water the plants any more: this will enhance the perfume of the fruits! Enjoy a morning picnic …

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