Tomatoes are one of the most popular home grown vegetables. It is quite easy to grow and gives a good yield. It is a short day plant and is grouped with herbs. Tomatoes are usually 1-3m long.
Tomatoes work well with most soil types. The optimal soil type is with a pH of 6.0-6.8. Tomatoes do not grow so well in clay soils. These soils retain a lot of moisture. Tomatoes prefer sandy to loamy soils.
It is important to prepare the soil with green manure, compost and some minerals as well.
One of the key points of organic farming. Tomatoes work well when grown with legumes. Legumes are known for their nitrogen-fixing properties. This will also help in avoiding pests.
This depends on the climate, soil type and plant size. Tomatoes usually need 1-1.2 inches of water every week. It is important to distribute water evenly.
Regular irrigation with 5-7 days gap in summers and 10-11 days in winter is ideal. Long durations of drought followed by heavy water supply will lead to cracking of fruit.
Organic Fertilizer recommendations
For good and healthy tomatoes, organic fertilizers are a must. Locally sourced seeds often respond well to organic inputs. Following are some options to consider:
Phosphorous bone meal
Works best during transplanting. This is will help strong root development and speed up growth.
Compost contains both micro and macro nutrients. This should be used throughout the growing period. This also adds good microbes to the soil.
Tomatoes need a lot of magnesium while growing. Sprinkle a bit on the surface of your tomatoes. This will ensure good and healthy fruit production.
Organic cottonseed meal
This is rich in potassium, nitrogen and phosphorous. Tomatoes need good amounts of nitrogen for their foliage growth.
Other vegetable fertilizers can also be used for tomatoes. These are organic and eco friendly as well. Check out the previous article for the list. Link is given below.