Tomatoes are the most popular vegetable for home gardeners. No other vegetable comes close to their popularity and, it is no wonder, as there is nothing better than a ripe tomato straight out of the garden. Growing tomatoe plants is easy. They produce an abundance of globe shape fruits which are yellow, orange or red when ripe, smooth and of varying shapes and sizes. The plants typically grow to 1-3 meters in height with a weak stem that often sprawls over the ground and vines over other plants. The best tomato is one that ripens on the vine. The ever popular tomatoe is a must have ingredient in tomatoe pasta sauce, they help lend a sour tang to various cuisines around the world. Tomatoe is a fruit but is commonly mistaken for a vegetable as it is used among other vegetables in the culinary sense. It is high in fiber and contains 18% protein. Tomatoes are loaded with lycopene, which research has shown help protect cells and are reportedly able to prevent heart disease and also cancers. Vitaminss C, A, niacin and potassium are also present in tomatoes and they also help to stimulate the body’s immune system, thus reduce blood clots and lower cholesterol. Tomatoes can be eaten raw, in salads or in sandwiches. Alternatively, stir fry, steam or boil, making it a main meal or as a side dish. The fruit is also consumed in many ways and can be, roasted, fried, sautéed, added to soups and also used in drinks and as garnishing in a lot of dishes. Unlike other fruits and vegetables, tomatoes have greater potency after they are cooked.
Type of vegetable: Fleshy fruited
Direction of Use:
Best soil: The best soil is slightly acid, organically enriched sand or clay loam; will also grow well in bags of peat or peat-like components. Fruits will ripen faster in sandy soil.
How to plant: Tomatoe plants are usually started indoors in small containers or individual pots of multipurpose potting mix, and cover with sifted potting mix. As soon as the seedlings emerge, they need full sunlight to grow sturdy. Erect supports and plant out in the final positions after hardened off. To minimize transplant shock, avoid disturbing the roots. Normal spacing is 24 " apart, in rows 30" to 36" apart.
When to harvest: The fruits can be harvested 3 months after planting. Pick when fruits are still green or orange and have reached the desired size. The plant continues to bear fruits for another 3-4 months.
How to harvest: Twist the fruits from the stemor cut off the fruit with a sharp knife.
Care: Deep watering is preferable. Keep water off the leaves. Tomatoes are susceptible to plant disease that grows in wet, humid conditions. Do not water at night if possible. Tomatoes need to be pruned and trained to keep their rampant growth in bounds. Fertilise on a regular basis.. As blossoming occurs, switch to fertilisers which are higher in Phosphorus and Potassium. Too much Nitrogen fertiliser results in lots of lush green leaves, and little fruit.
Keep away from children and pets.
Store in cool and dry place away from direct sunlight.