Tomatoes which are one of the most popular vegetables in the market are healthy and nutritious fruit that contributes to the top ten vegetables sold in the market. Though tomatoes are generally known as fruits they can also be prepared and eaten as vegetables which can be eaten raw or cooked.
They are highly nutritious and provide the body with a lot of nutrients. Tomatoes are an excellent source of Vitamins, folates, and other antioxidants. The unique thing about tomatoes is that they contain lycopene. This lycopene is notably known for what gives tomatoes their red color.
Although most tomatoes are often red, however, they also have other varieties of color aside from the common red most people are used to which includes orange, green, yellow, and purple.
Tomatoes contain about 95% water and the remaining 5% consists of fiber. Aside from this, some of their health benefits include: reducing the risk of cancer and heart disease and they also improve skin health. Adding tomatoes to your daily diet is not a bad idea because they are not only juicy and sweet but also helps your heart function well and prevents cancer.
Tomatoes can be planted in different ways such as planting in containers, however, our main focus is how they are planted in the ground. Before they are planted in the ground, we must note that tomato seedlings emerge fast and cannot be started too early in the ground.
This is because tomatoes are some of the plants that are first planted from seed. They have a long growing season, therefore it is normally advised to start the tomatoes seeds early in a greenhouse or indoors and later transplant them when the season starts.
This does not mean that tomatoes cannot be planted from seeds. Tomatoes also grow from seeds. Starting seeds early gives you a head start on the season. Before planting the tomatoes in the ground, there are some underlying precautions to be taken which are:
You need to locate and find a good planting ground for the tomatoes with well-draining soil. The next thing is to clear all surrounding areas and remove all unwanted objects from the soil. Learn more on how to choose and prepare a good garden spot from here and here.
You can also test for the soil fertility and also prepare some compost ahead into the soil to boost the soil fertility because tomatoes require fertile soil.
Watch out for the weather because tomatoes are not frost-friendly. Since they are warm weather-loving plants you can allow the soil to heat up or preheat the ground before planting because they love and thrive well in warm ground. You also need to locate a sunny spot for your tomatoes when choosing your planting ground.
HOW TO GO ABOUT PLANTING THE TOMATOES IN GROUND
1) You need to make your choice of tomato plant that is most suitable for you. You can select young and fresh tomatoes from the nursery or plant seedlings.
2) Dig a deep hole about 1/8 inch into the ground, then place each ball of the root of the tomato plant into the soil and ensure that the leaves are above the surface of the soil, and then cover the hole with soil. This will allow the tomatoes to grow roots along their stems invariably making stronger roots.
3) You can set each planting hole about 18-24 inches apart to avoid overcrowding and about 1-2m space between rows. This is necessary in order to avoid each plant not getting sufficient sunlight, and they will get enough space to spread out.
4) Ensure that the frost weather dangers have passed before you transplant your seedlings or tomatoes bought from the nursery into the ground.
5) Mulching helps the soil to retain its moisture and prevents soil disease. So this can be introduced.
6) When planting into the soil, as you dig the hole for each plant, you can add fertilizers that are suitable for the plants into the planting hole. You can also add fertilizer every 2weeks to help facilitate the growth of the plants.
7) Tomato plants should be watered daily and in the early hours of the morning and this should be done consistently for the first few days that the transplants or seedlings are first set into the ground.
8) Tomatoes are warm weather lovers that need at least 6-8 hours of sunlight which is to say that they need direct sunlight in order for them to grow well. They must be planted in a site with full direct sunlight.
8) As your tomato plants grow, watch out for pests and diseases because pests are prone to tomato plants. Make adequate preparation on how to curb pests by using pesticides that are suitable for the tomato plants.
The last step is preparing for the harvest. You can begin to harvest them as soon as the fruits are ripe. Learn about harvesting tomatoes here.
I hope this guide helps you understand how to grow tomatoes in the ground. I would like to hear from you. Let me know if you have any questions about growing tomatoes in the ground.