How your food is grown has a major impact on your physical and mental health. Growing vegetables organically is the first step towards being healthy.
In this write-up, you’ll know how to grow organic tomatoes in containers or pots. Believe me, you’ll love these delicious red tomatoes grown in your own home garden.
If you’re planning to grow organic tomatoes for profit, then this isn’t for you. Here we’re just discussing planting tomatoes for your home use.
The key to growing surplus amount of tomatoes in your backyard includes managing environment for the plant and to fight pests to protect your vegetable garden.
Without any much ado let’s now jump to the core part of this article.
Read to Know: What Does Epsom Salt Do for Tomato Plants?
9 Simple Steps to Grow Organic Tomatoes Indoors
Planting tomatoes is super simple, the hard part is to preserve or protect them. Following simple steps will ensure a good amount of tasty and healthy tomatoes.
Remember these 3 tips
- Most gardeners grow companion plants with tomatoes. Choosing the right plant will improve taste and growth. For example, mint, parsley, dill, and basil are companion plants that you can grow with tomatoes. These plants will repel insects and improve growth.
- If you’re to plant organic tomatoes in a container, then it’s recommended that you choose a large plastic container that ensures good drainage. Also, plant your tomato seedling in peat soil for a surplus amount of tomatoes.
- Pruning the tomato plant will ensure more growth. However, this is not the same with all tomato plants. Make sure you go for the variety that could benefit from pruning.
#1 Choosing the Tomato Variety & Collect Seeds
Depending upon location and purpose, there are different types of tomatoes differing from size, color and time to harvest.
Some take like 2 months to harvest while others may take 3 months. Consult an expert farmer in your locality to choose the best variety.
You can purchase or just borrow organic tomato seeds from a local store/gardening friend.
#2 Start by Preparing the Container
Tomatoes are hungry, they need manure or compost. Also, your container must be placed at a spot with a minimum of 5 hours of sunlight.
Take a large container with a drainage hole. After dumping soil in it add some compost or rotten manure. This will add calcium to the soil and avoid blossoms end rot to some extent.
Add eggshells or diatomaceous earth to your organic tomato plant.
Check this article: How to Grow Cauliflower in Containers?
#3 Buy Tomato Plant or Grow Your Own
Visit a local organic garden to purchase a tomato plant of your variety. Avoid placing the tomato plant in a small container, as too many roots will stress the plant. Go for the large container as mentioned above.
If you’re inclined to grow tomatoes from seed, then get tomato seeds from the store and prepare the soil to plant. It’s recommended that you dig 3 times as deep as the width of the seed.
Excess watering will rotten the tomato seeds, so make sure you just sprinkle the water gently.
#4 Plant Deep to Protect the Plant from Frost
Gently remove the tomato seedling from its pot and loosen any tangled roots.
To protect the plant from wind and frost, lay it into a trench in such a way that only 4 inches of the plant can be seen above the ground.
Growing tomatoes organically in your backyard can’t be easy without trellising. Putting trellis will protect your plant from wind and improve light exposure.
However, it’s not mandatory if you’re just starting with few tomato plants. But, remember not bothering about trellis will leave your tomatoes dirty and may rotten if not harvested on time.
Many gardeners go with their own trellis; you can plan your own tomato cage or a stake. (Check out tomato trellis ideas in this article.)
#5 Enough Watering
After laying tomato seedling, water gently for a few days. Regular watering is essential for deep root development. Early hours of the day is the best time to serve your plant with enough water.
Along with sunlight and manure tomato plants need water, but this doesn’t mean that you water excess and it may damage the plant.
Irregular or too much watering will result in blossom end rot. Don’t freak out, just remove the damage tomato and pay attention.
Mulching is necessary to avoid weeds and retain moisture. This will also protect your tomatoes from rot
Some people prefer red plastic mulch, which is proven to be good. Read about it here.
#7 Pruning Tomato Plant Increase Yield
Gently trim limbs that are dry to produce new limbs in place. Side stems or suckers take a lot of energy from the plant and reduce its ability to produce tomatoes. Trim suckers too to increase the yield.
Removing unwanted stems will increase airflow and reduce fungal disease. Reducing the number of leaves will easy your work to fight pests.
#8 Control Weeds
Nutrients and fertilizers that you’re adding to your tomato garden will be absorbed by weeds if you don’t pay attention.
I recommend spending some time early in the morning to take out weeds when they are tiny. Or just dig the soil around the plant to avoid weeds.
No need to freak about one here and there. But, make sure they don’t oppose growing your organic tomato plant.
#9 Avoid Pests and Diseases
Whitefly is the most common pest that affects your tomato plants. You must look underneath the leaf for eggs of whiteflies. I tried garlic mixed with water as a spray to fight these white patches.
Tomato blight is another disease that results in brown marks on leaves and blossoms turn brown and then rot. Spraying baking soda will help to fight this fungal infection.
Plant marigolds around the tomato plant to attract insects that will eat aphids that damage the tomato plant.
You can try natural pesticides like neem oil, soapy water, and diatomaceous earth to fight the mosaic virus.
When to Harvest Organic Tomatoes
Here comes the most interesting part, harvesting. By seeing its color and size, you can easily determine that it’s time to enjoy your home garden fruit.
Don’t wait; immediately picking ripe tomatoes will encourage more tomatoes.
Note: Avoid using chemical fertilizers to grow organic tomatoes. Instead, go for compost or rotted manure as mentioned above.