Background: this is where the tomato comes from
Tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum) are fruit vegetables and originally come from Central and South America. The tomato only came to Europe with the discovery of America in the 15th and 16th centuries. At that time they were still considered poisonous and were therefore only used as an ornamental plant until it was found out that the ripe tomatoes are very consumable. In the meantime, they have become an integral part of the traditional cuisines of many cultures.
Tomato cultivation made easy: when to plant tomatoes?
Planting the tomatoes at the right time is a prerequisite for healthy growth of the fruit. In our article "Planting tomatoes: The right time for a delicious harvest" we have summarized the most important information for you. Here you can find out everything about growing indoors, or planting on the balcony or greenhouse.
What happens after sowing or transplanting?
After about two to three weeks, the first tomato leaves will appear. Now you should carefully lift each seedling out with its root system (pricking out) and plant it in a pot. There, the tomatoes can continue to develop optimally. If you have a garden, you can plant them outside from mid-May or put them outside in a larger pot, for example on the balcony.
How to care for a tomato plant: balcony
When caring for tomato plants on the balcony you should pay attention to a few things. Like other plants, tomatoes have certain requirements that you need to meet to grow healthily. After all, you want your tomato plants to bear large, aromatic fruit. Basically, you can grow any type of tomato on your balcony. Low-growing varieties such as bush tomatoes are particularly suitable due to their low height.
Basic requirement: the right location, the right soil and an optimal pot
Since your tomatoes need a lot of sun and warmth, you should only put them outside on the balcony from mid-May, then the last frost will definitely be over. Locations to the south are very suitable.
Tip: In the beginning, only place the tomato plants outside on the balcony for a few hours to prevent the young plants from being exposed to too much sunlight at the beginning.
What do I have to consider during maintenance?
Tomatoes are made up of more than 90% water. For this reason, you must also ensure that they are always watered regularly. Since tomato plants do not like to feel water from above, it is best to water them early in the morning and only on the ground. Whether you need to water your plant regularly depends on the tomato variety. Nevertheless, there is a rule of thumb: As a rule, you can water your plants every morning.
How to take care of a tomato plant: Greenhouse
As with caring for tomato plants on the balcony, there are also a few rules for caring for them in the greenhouse that you should follow. So you will be able to harvest numerous tomatoes at the end:
Basic requirement: the right location and the right soil
As soon as you recognize the first blossoms, you can transplant your tomato plants into the greenhouse. Always make sure that the flowers are facing towards the inside of the greenhouse. Your (young) plants in the greenhouse also need a lot of sun for their growth. Therefore, it should also be in a sunny location.
Tip: To ensure good ventilation inside the greenhouse, open the side windows at regular intervals or leave the greenhouse completely open on very hot days
In addition, the greenhouse should always be above soil that has loose, permeable and nutrient-rich properties. If you want, you can also enrich it with a little compost. This gives your tomato plants good conditions for their growth.
What do I have to consider during maintenance?
You should also not make any mistakes in the care of the tomato plants in your greenhouse, especially when watering them, since damp leaves, for example, can promote fungal spores on the plant. Basically, the same applies here: Always water from below, preferably with rainwater or stagnant tap water. Make sure that the soil is never completely dry or waterlogged. A healthy middle ground is optimal.
Tip: When caring for tomato plants in the greenhouse, you should make sure that your plant is regularly pinched. This means that you break out the superfluous shoots on vegetable plants, the so-called stingy shoots.
Because the young shoots of the tomato plants grow very quickly and extensively with the right care, these branches should be removed. This has the advantage that the plant can put more energy into its fruits. In addition, the air inside the plant leaves can circulate better because they are less bushy.
When should tomato plants be fertilized?
Tomatoes can be classified as one of the heavy consumers in the plant kingdom and they therefore need many important nutrients or nutrient-rich soil for healthy growth. It is very important to provide your plants with nutrients, especially during the growth and maturity phase. Here, too, there are of course many different ways of fertilizing your tomatoes, e.g. with fertilizer sticks and drops.
Oxheart tomatoes: the right care for beefsteak tomatoes
The late-ripening ox heart tomato (French: coeur de boeuf tomate) is a beefsteak tomato and can weigh up to half a kilo. Their color spectrum goes from red to orange to yellow and white. As soon as the oxheart tomatoes are four to five centimeters tall, they are transplanted into pots or outdoors (after the last frost). Don't let the hanging leaves unsettle you. These are typical of this variety and less of a sign of water shortage.
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