If you are like me who considers tomatoes as one of the best garden produce, then learning how to grow organic tomatoes in your home garden should be your goal. Of course, you don’t really have to. Tomatoes of any kind are always available in the produce section of supermarkets. But if you want to get the best tasting tomatoes, then you have to go for the organic ones.
Why learn how to grow organic tomatoes?
Learning how to grow organic tomatoes could be one of the most rewarding gardening endeavors you will learn. Tomatoes are considered one of the best garden varieties to grow because it can be used in various recipes and it is a rich source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Although tomatoes are easily available, the growing concern for GMOs and unsafe food has spurred a lot of us grow our own fruit and vegetables. This way, we take full control of our plants and we are sure that they are safe and free from chemical residue if we practice organic methods.
Studies have shown that organic tomatoes, although they come in smaller sizes than their conventionally grown counterparts, contain with higher amounts of vitamins and minerals that helps us fight chronic diseases. One reason for this is because the plants are exposed to tougher conditions, making them develop higher concentrations of health-beneficial chemicals, such as flavonoids, according to experts. Hence, when you know how to grow organic tomatoes in your backyard, you are not only giving yourself the freshest and best tasting tomatoes, you are also helping yourself stay healthy by eating safe and chemical-free food.
Tomatoes are easy to grow. I love growing them on raised beds, in pots, and even in upside down containers. They are not only fresh, juicy and succulent; their red and green fruit are attractive and add beauty to my home garden.
Here are some easy steps to remember on how to grow organic tomatoes:
- Plant your tomatoes where there is plenty of sunshine and where air is free to circulate.
- Practice crop rotation. Like most plants, tomatoes do not thrive as well for consecutive cropping seasons. Let your soil recover to prevent soil borne diseases from developing.
- Always study the root system when buying tomato seedlings. Do not be deceived with lush leaves. If the roots have not grown deep, they may die in a matter of weeks.
- When planting your tomato seedling, bury it up to its first true leaves. New root systems will develop quickly on its stems.
- Water directly to the soil and not on the leaves. Tomatoes needs deep and less frequent watering so it is better to give them a good soak.
- Cut off non-fruiting branches. This will help your plant produce bigger and better fruit.
- If you are planting the indeterminate varieties (these are the varieties that grow into vines), make sure to use 6-foot stakes upon transplanting to keep them away from the ground and prevent damaging the roots.
Encourage new growth by trimming the upper leaves. You can do this when the first fruits are about to be harvested. Then, add compost around the stem to provide the necessary nutrients needed to recover from the pruning.
- Do not plant all your plants at the same time. Put an interval of three weeks so that your tomatoes do not ripen all together.
- Pick your tomatoes at the right time – when it has reached its full size and the colors are apparent. Do not wait for it to fully ripen, your tomatoes will become grainy.
Home garden made beautiful with tomatoes
As I have said earlier, tomatoes are great decorations too. Try planting them in upside down planters and hang them where they get enough sunlight. You can also put them in a pedestal in a sunny part of your patio. They look lovely in baskets too. Use your creativity to maximize the effect. Your tomatoes will be a gorgeous shower of red and green.
Growing bigger, better vegetables in your home garden is easy if you are willing to learn. And, one of the easiest and most fulfilling vegetables to grow are tomatoes. Everyone loves its succulent fruit and they can be used in a variety of salads, sauces, and main courses. If you don’t have a tomato garden yet, it is high time that you learn how to grow organic tomatoes.