If you are looking for how to grow tomatoes in your backyard, then look no further, in this article, we are going to look at the 10 basics steps on how to grow tomatoes in your backyard.
Gardening is essentially an act of passion, starting a garden for a beginner can be daunting. But not to worry, after a while the reward will make you forget the rough start. Gardening is about finding the right combination of sunlight, humorous soil and water; these are the elements that make a garden to thrive.
There are essential tools you need to start a garden. They are: gloves, pruning shears, loppers, garden fork, hand towel, spade, rake, hoe, and garden hose with adjustable nozzle, watering wand, watering can, and wheelbarrow.
You may ask or wonder, why tomato plant? Yes tomato is one of the most consumed vegetables, we use it virtually for everything we cook and eat. It can be grown in the ground, raised garden beds, in containers etc. There are different varieties of tomatoes; you can try different ones to choose the one you prefer. I know every one prefers fast growing tomatoes check out these varieties-
- Early Cascade – 55 days
- Early Girl – 57 days
- Bloody Butcher – 55 days
- Sun Gold – 57 days
- Yellow Nugget – 56 days
Tomatoes thrive in warm area; they don’t like cold weather and very hot weather as well.
10 basic steps on how to grow tomatoes in your backyard
Prepare your soil
First of all till and analyze the soil, there are kits to help you analyze the soil; this is important as well, it will help determine the nutrient of the soil if is in abundance or lacking. If the soil lacks nutrient compost or composted manure can be mixed in. Fertilizer can be used as well in the course of the gardening; it can be done once or twice. Lack of nutrients makes tomato leaves to turn yellow, especially lack of nitrogen.
Preparing the soil
Check for Water Availability
Is there stable water supply? How will the water get to the garden? how many times will watering be done? and how will it be sprayed on the tomato garden? all these should be looked into before starting a garden. There should be stable water supply, hose can be used or watering can to water the tomato plant. It should be watered early in the morning for sufficient moisture throughout the day. Avoid overhead and afternoon watering. More water is needed immediately after planting; reduce the amount when the plant starts growing.
Check for Sunshine Coverage
The location of the garden is a very important avoid shade, tomato is sun-loving. Tomatoes need full sun of six hours and more. Plant directly under the sun for it to thrive well.
Timing is important
It is essential to know when to plant or begin seedling. Essentially for tomatoes, it is more appropriate to plant when the weather is not cold and too hot. To care for the plant, time is required as well. Tomato plant should be checked daily, check under leaves, fruit and the soil as well. This will help to detect disease early and keep away pests.
The first step in planting tomato is to know how deep it has to be. Plant seeds 3-4 inches deep in order to develop strong and healthy roots. Also 3 feet(1meter) apart this is because staking will require about 2feet between the plants. You can buy seedling or seed to plant. Seeds watered twice daily and kept in room temperature will sprout in a week.
Weeding is very crucial
Be ready to weed, this is taking out the unwanted plants. This is done by pulling out the unwanted plants with your hands. Mulching can also help to keep away weeds and as well keep the soil moisture level and temperature. Mulching also release nutrients into the soil which is good for tomato plant. It should not be too thick though.
Pruning and staking
Tomato plant requires pruning, especially if your choice of tomato is indeterminate tomatoes. Pruning is of essence to avoid having more vegetation than fruits. Keeping the plant pruned will allow the plant to put its energy into producing more and larger tomatoes. Gently tie the stems to stakes with rags or strings.
Tomatoes need a lot of nutrients to grow well, that is why it is termed a “heavy feeder”. Phosphorous will promote blossoming and fruiting. Nitrogen increases vegetation. Nitrogen is one nutrient that is commonly lacking in the garden. Companion planting with legume crops such as peas or beans will add nitrogen to the soil. Adding chicken manure to the compost bins, if you have any is a natural source of nitrogen.
Avoid tomato pests and diseases
This can be done by distracting pest like birds by hanging cloths, scare crows and CD plates etc. Companion planting is also another method; this is planting herbs that the scent will keep away insects, for example garlic, basil, marigolds and chives.
Tomato pests and diseases
There are many pests and diseases that can impact a tomato plant, it is highly susceptible to pests. The most common pests include flea beetle, snails, aphids, stinkbug, leafhoppers etc.
Apply insecticidal soap directly on the insects, neem oil or spray diluted in water can be used as well.
Diseases that can affect tomato plant are gray leaf spot, anthracnose, tomato bilight , fusarium wilt and tomato spotted wilt virus etc.
Tomato blight disease
Harvesting – After the hard work, the reward is finally here. It is special having tomato plant garden in the backyard, what is more special and rewarding is when the fruits are ripe. When fully mature, use scissors or hand pruners to cut them off gently, Yummy!
Red ripe tomato; ready to be harvested.
My final advice- for beginners
Start your tomato garden anywhere- in a pot or garden and start small. If want to grow tomatoes in your backyard, follow the steps above. Finally:
- Grow what you love and it will be of great benefit.
- Keep it simple and have fun.
- Take it easy; don’t let it stress you out.
- Enjoy and let others join in to enjoy the fruits of your labor!
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