Native to America, tomato is a perennial plant, but in temperate climates, it grows but can last less time, as it sometimes dies from the cold. Therefore, the warmer and drier the climate in your region, the greater the chances that your tomato will last for more than a year.
Demanding, the tomato plant needs three months of warm weather, with plenty of sunshine. Tomato plants can be planted with seeds or seedlings. If you have good fruit from an organic tomato, just put the seeds directly in the soil, taking care not to bury them too much. The depth should not be greater than twice the size of the seed. If you want to save them for another time, they can be stored with the juice itself in a glass for eight days and after fermentation, they should be washed and dried in sieves or fabrics, protected from light.
In general, tomatoes purchased in the conventional trade, such as in the supermarket, may have been chilled, harvested green or gas-treated to ripen, and this may decrease the chances of seed germination.
Cherry tomatoes (the sweetest little one)
The most resistant to cultivation. When well fertilized, it gives tomatoes the size of a golf ball, but needs a lot of light and takes about three months to flower in the sunny season. After flowering, in two months, the tomatoes start to redden. It’s worth waiting for them to ripen before harvesting, as the taste is unparalleled.
The Italian tomato
on the other hand, is more suitable for producing sauces and takes a little longer to bear fruit, from four to five months. Also, it takes a little more work, because it needs to be monitored to prevent its fruits from touching the ground.
tomatoes can be planted at any time of the year, but during the winter, the use of protectors (greenhouses, bottles, plastic boxes, canvas) is important. Tomatoes planted at the end of winter can take a little longer to bear fruit in summer, if this is the period of the greatest concentration of rainfall, where you live, as in the Southeast and Center-West region. For this reason, diversifying the planting places is a good idea: to have seedlings in protected pots and seedlings in the soil, in full sun, and seedlings semi-shaded between crops, like lettuce and parsley and basil and tagetes.
If you live at home and have a backyard or a garden, you can plant the tomato seeds directly in the soil. But don’t be discouraged! Do you live in an apartment? You can also grow your tomato. Use pots and planting trays (seedlings). I’ve already planted on the balcony and picked many tomatoes! But don’t forget, this is a plant that needs direct sunlight, at least four hours a day, that is, your balcony or balcony needs to be sunny.
In addition to light, the tomato requires a lot of water. You should water it almost every day, but avoid wetting the leaves and fruit. The soil should have good drainage, covered with gravel or straw to maintain moisture and nutrients. To know if the soil is well-drained, water and let the water flow and check if puddles will not form in the soil. This is the sign that the water has been well absorbed and the plant will have the necessary humidity.
After five months
The tomato plant will begin to put on its weight. You will have to shore it up with sticks (wooden sticks). This is also good to increase the light penetration in the tomatoes. When left on the ground, the tomatoes seem to suffer less wear and tear from the climate, and pruning, in addition to emitting adventitious roots in the branches that are in contact with the ground, improves the absorption of nutrients throughout the plant. Unsupported tomatoes spread all over the land, very common to see in wastelands, seem to be the plants in their natural state and more resistant, but this hinders the cultivation of other vegetables and the control of invasive weeds.
Now comes the hard part: tomatoes are very sensitive to fungi. For this reason, this is one of the vegetables that receives the most pesticides in the field. But in your home, you will be growing a pesticide-free tomato: organic and very healthy. The prevention of pests can be done with correct fertilization and the sprinkling of Bach flowers – Go back to shock and moments of crisis (very low temperatures) and the floral Olive for strengthening moments (30 drops in a litre of mineral water). Neem extract (a medicinal tree) has antifungal and repellent properties to prevent caterpillars and fungi.
To grow companion plants next to the tomato tree, great to scare away unwanted visitors: mint, basil, garlic, carob beetle and mastruço are some of the ones I recommend.
Tomatoes can be harvested as soon as the first ripe fruits appear. They can even be harvested green, although the taste of the fruit and the maturity of the seeds for further germination will be impaired.
In nature, it is necessary to respect the time of each one. Certainly, the tomato tree has its own. What’s the rush, right? After all, there is nothing more pleasurable than picking your tomatoes and then savouring them in a delicious salad made at home. Even better, when everything was done in the family – from cultivation to recipe preparation. How about trying?