Tomatoes are among the most widely grown vegetables in the world. We cook them, eat them raw or juice them up.
Tomatoes are excellent sources of antioxidants, dietary fiber, minerals, and vitamins.
Lycopene, an antioxidant present in tomatoes is scientifically found to be protective against cancers including colon, prostate, breast, endometrial, lung, and pancreatic tumors. Fresh tomatoes are a good source of vitamin C and potassium.
Farming Tomatoes has high returns on investment if done right, making it suitable for farming business. Good quality tomatoes which have been carefully handled command good market prices.
Here are 5 easy tips for growing plump and juicy tomatoes: –
START WITH GREAT SOIL
Juicy tomatoes start with great soil and a healthy plant. Eliminate most of your tomato growing challenges by starting with well-drained soil, full of rich compost and other organic material There is no substitute for good old-fashioned compost.
DON’T PLANT TOMATOES TOO CLOSE
Tomatoes are such little plants when you transplant them, it’s easy to forget what a jungle they will grow to be in a couple of months. Tomatoes need proper air circulation, not to mention that pruning and staking a jungle is difficult. The exact spacing will vary with variety, but as a general rule, put at least half a meter between plants.
Soak your tomato bed once a week, or every five days at the height of hot weather. Be sure to water the tomato directly on the soil, not on the leaves. It is also better to not water the from above if you can help it and be careful to prevent water from splashing up on the stems.
Pruning often gets missed because some believe that the more leaves the plant has, the more energy the plant will receive. Too many leaves will actually drain energy away from the plant. All the water and nutrients that the roots soak up must be distributed to those extra leaves, instead of the fruit. Eliminate all suckers, i.e. the little shoots that appear in the elbow between the stem and a branch. Just bend it over and snap it right off.
PICK BEFORE TOMATOES ARE RIPE
By the time the tomato starts to turn that green-orange color, it already has all of it’s goodness in it. And it’s actually the seeds inside that make the tomato ripen. As the seeds release ethylene (the gas applied to green bananas to make them turn yellow), the tomato ripens. Picking tomatoes before they fully ripen also allows you to get them to market ate desirable ripeness and lengthens their shelf-life which is also a way of improving profits.
What are your tips for growing plump, juicy tomatoes? Feel free to share your tried and tested tips.