Harvesting tomatoes: what should I watch out for?
How do you actually recognize that tomatoes are ripe? If you plant your own fruit and want to harvest your tomatoes on time, then of course it makes sense to know how you can recognize ripe fruit. Depending on the temperatures at the location, they will ripen faster or slower: if it is very sunny and warm, you can benefit from your plant early on. Unfortunately, if it rains for a longer period of time, the harvest will take a little longer.
Tip: There are also differences in the time of harvest: the aromatic taste of the tomatoes actually comes into its own better if they are harvested early in the morning or in the late afternoon.
How can I tell if my tomatoes are ripe?
There is actually a very simple trick you can use to tell when your tomatoes are perfectly ripe. Every plant has small so-called predetermined breaking points at the base of the fruit stalk. You can recognize a ripe fruit by the fact that the fruit stalk comes loose when you gently press the predetermined breaking point. If the tomato is really ripe, it can be easily detached at its predetermined breaking point.
Tip: If you see green parts at the base of the stem of your picked fruit, you should cut them out for health reasons (and also for reasons of taste). According to studies, the solanine it contains is harmful to health.
How do I harvest my tomatoes without damaging the bush?
You are welcome to pull a tool aside for your harvest. Clean scissors are best for this. With this you can carefully cut off each tomato individually. You should not consider twisting off the fruit, as the wounds that may result can negatively affect the shelf life if you proceed roughly.
Tip: Always clean your scissors thoroughly to avoid pathogens attaching to the plant.
Harvesting tomatoes: And after that?
After you've harvested your ripe tomatoes, it's time to store them well. Always make sure that the temperature where you store it is around 16 degrees Celsius. To avoid pressure points, you should also store them next to each other and not on top of each other.
Caution: Never put your harvested tomatoes in the fridge. This is because they lose their aromatically delicious taste.
Fertilize tomatoes properly
Since tomatoes are one of the heavy consumers in the plant kingdom, they also need a corresponding number of nutrients for healthy growth. It is very important to provide your plants with nutrients, especially during the growth and maturity phase. Of course, there are also a wide variety of ways to fertilize your tomatoes.
The right fertilization: When/ how often to fertilize tomatoes
The timing of fertilization should also be well chosen. You can definitely remember one rule: When sowing tomatoes you should never fertilize.
In general, young plants should only be fertilized about two to four weeks after they have been exposed. After a month you can fertilize again.
If you already know that you want to grow tomatoes in your plant bed next spring, you can start fertilizing the soil with compost in the previous fall. This will make it nice and nutritious for the spring crop to come.
Tip: It is best to fertilize the tomatoes very early in the morning or late in the evening.
The number of fertilizer inputs always depends on the respective tomato variety.The type of fertilizer also has an influence. You can still remember a rough rule of thumb:
After planting the young plants, you should fertilize your tomatoes about every two weeks if possible. In the event of a deficiency, you will of course have to use fertilizer more often.
The same applies to an excess of nutrients: Here you should of course reduce fertilization. Mineral long-term fertilizers or organic fertilizers such as horn shavings or coffee grounds are suitable as fertilizers.
When can you harvest tomatoes? The best harvest time
Unfortunately there is no general rule here and for each variety you have to check when the right harvest time is. Basically, the riper your tomato is, the sweeter it tastes. But if it's too ripe, it tastes bland and has a mealy consistency.
You can recognize the best harvest time when your fruits have developed their colors (red, orange, green, mackerel, etc.) intensively and shine beautifully in the sun. If they can also be pressed in very easily, then they should be very aromatic in terms of taste.
Tip: The fruits that grow closest to the stem are often the fastest to ripen. Accordingly, you can usually harvest them first.
Of course, tomato plant care also influences the harvest time of the fruit. Above all, regular watering is very important for the plants, because tomatoes consist of about 90% water. But fertilizing and the sunny location also have a (positive) influence on the ripening process.
So: With the right care, you can harvest your tomatoes and get fruit with a distinctive taste.
Getting seeds from tomatoes: Child's play!
You are probably very enthusiastic about harvesting tomatoes now and would like to benefit from a wide variety of tomato varieties next year. Then it's time to win your own tomato seeds and use them to grow small plants at home. Fortunately, this is not as difficult as you might think. Here's a little guide to harvesting tomato seeds:
- Choose very ripe fruit for the seeds.
- First you have to remove the seeds and the pulp from the shell.
- Then you put the gelatinous mass in a glass of water and leave it for about two days. The seeds now have time to free themselves from their shells and sink to the bottom of the jar.
- If the pulp is still attached to the seeds, you can easily remove it under running water.
- Now it's time to let the wet tomato seeds dry: This works best on kitchen paper.
- You can store the dry and dark seeds in special seed bags. This gives them a shelf life of up to five years.
You see, with just a little effort, you can harvest your own tomato seeds and grow your favorite tomato varieties at home!.
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