I don’t know about you guys, but in my home, we use tomatoes almost every day. We used tomatoes in curries, in a salad or just eat them like apples.
Tomatoes are not a very cheap product in the market. They are costly and not organic (in markets). That’s why, we should all grow our own organic, chemical-free tomatoes at home.
You wanted to grow your own tomatoes at home, but you don’t have enough space in your kitchen garden? Don’t worry about that, I will share some tips to grow them in containers.
Health Benefits Of Tomatoes
1: Prevent Cancer
Tomatoes cannot cure cancer, but they can help our body to reduce the risk of stomach cancer and prostate cancer. Tomatoes contain tons of “Lycopene” which is very effective against tumor cells. Cooked tomatoes contain more Lycopene than uncooked.
2: Skin Care
If you want clean and smooth skin, you can use tomatoes as cream. Again Lycopene will do the trick because Lycopene is used in hundreds of very costly face creams. Just peel a few tomatoes and put that on your face (inside touching your skin) for several minutes. After 5 to 10 minutes, wash your face and you will have nice smooth skin.
3: Bone Health
Tomatoes contain vitamin K and calcium. Both these components are great for bones and bone tissues. If you have a minor fracture in any of your bones, tomatoes will help you to heal that fracture.
4: Repair Damage By Smoking
If you quit smoking recently, tomatoes can help you clean carcinogens in your body but if you are still smoking nothing can help you. Quit smoking and then repair your body. Tomatoes contain coumaric acid and chlorogenic acid, both will help your body against deadly carcinogens.
5: Heart Health By Lowering Cholesterol
Tomatoes have potassium and vitamin B in them. Both of these components are great to reduce the amount of bad LDL cholesterol in your blood. Low blood cholesterol means no high blood pressure. Normal blood pressure is great for heart health.
6: Vitamin A
Vitamin A in tomatoes can do wonders for your body. Vitamin A is great for your eyes, your skin, your hairs and for your teeth.
Follow these steps to grow your own tomatoes from seeds in containers.
What Kind Of Container You Should Use To Grow Tomatoes?
In the case of growing crops like tomatoes, the bigger the better. The container of yours should be 15 to 20 inches deep. For your requirement, you can use 5-gallon buckets, bio-degradable or non-bio-degradable grow bags, wine barrel containers, ceramic pots and raised bed planters on legs.
All of these are an excellent choice to grow tomatoes in a low space kitchen garden. You can place these containers outdoors, indoors, at your balcony or rooftop. You can also change the location of these Containers according to the needs of your tomato plants.
Here are few too rated containers on Amazon that you can use to grow tomatoes.
Seasons Of Planting Seeds Of Tomatoes.
Tomato plants are very sun-loving plants. They grow best in full sunlight. If you are living in a cold climate, you should sow the seeds of tomatoes in March – April.
If the night temperature is 10 degrees Celsius, your plants will grow greatly. But you can always use a small greenhouse and a heat source for better germination.
If there is still a chance of the last frost in your area, or you wanted to sow seeds a little early, you should start seeds indoors and use grows light. Grow lights are an excellent tool for indoor gardeners.
If you are living in a hot climate area, you can sow the seeds of tomatoes in June-July for autumn-winter crop and for the spring-summer crop, sow seeds in September.
How To Collect Seeds Of Tomatoes
There are hundreds of varieties of tomatoes, you can grow in your home kitchen garden. Here are a few guides for you in the selection of varieties:
After the selection of your variety, you can either buy seeds from the market or you can start to grow from store-bought tomatoes.
Just pick some healthy tomatoes, cut them in slices and sow them in soil.
How To Sow The Seeds Of Tomatoes?
After cutting the slices of healthy-looking tomatoes or buying seeds from the market, you should make your soil mix to sow them. You can use multiple purpose compost (special to sow seeds) or you can make your own soil recipe at home.
If your garden soil is very fertile, then use 60% garden soil and 40% organic compost. Or use 60% coco coir or coco peat and 40% organic compost.
After making your soil mix, use small containers like seed trays, disposable glass or small ceramic pots for slices. Drainage hole in containers is a must.
Fill your container with your soil mix recipe, sow seeds or slices and cover it with a very thin layer of the same soil. Give them water and place them in a shady place (with indirect sunlight) or place them under grow light.
When Will Seeds Germinate?
Keep your container in a partially shady area. Seeds should start germination in just 10 days. When the germination starts, move the container to a sunny location.
Keep watering them at the seedling stage. The moisture level should be a little high during the seedling stage. In 20 to 25 days, seedlings will grow up to 6-7 inches in height. It’s time to transplant them at their final destination.
Before the transplant, you should make your potting mix, which is necessary to grow tomatoes in containers. Normal garden soil can not do the trick.
You can either buy potting soil from Amazon here. or you can also make your own DIY potting soil, which is very easy. Here are a few guides for you to make your own DIY potting soil. First, learn to make compost and then potting soil.
- How To Make Compost At Home Using Kitchen And Garden Wastes
- How To Make Potting Soil At Home For Container Gardening
After buying or making soil, it’s time to transplant seedlings in grow bags, wine containers, buckets or raised bed planters. Fill your container with potting mix, pull the seedlings very carefully along with root balls to save them from transplant shock.
Make a hole in potting soil, slightly bigger than the root ball. Plant your seedlings in that hole, fill the hole with potting soil. Before planting them, remove all the lower leaves from seedlings.
These points on seedlings will produce extra roots. Only the top few inches of seedlings should remain above the surface of the soil.
Keep the distance of 6 to 8 inches between each plant in containers. Give them water thoroughly and keep the container in a partially shady location for a few days.
When the plant starts to grow, give them full sunlight which means 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight.
When To Water Tomato Plants In Containers?
There are a number of factors that affect in watering needs of plants like the intensity of sunlight, soil drainage, etc.
You should always check the moisture level of the soil before watering. Use the fingertip method. Stick your finger at the top few inches of soil, if 1-2 inches of soil feels dry, give them water.
Always give water, close to the roots (close to the surface of the soil). Do not sprinkle water on the leaves of plants, it can cause pests attack and fungal infections.
Pollination is the work of bees and wind. But if you have less number of bees or lack of air movements in your kitchen garden, you should help your plants in pollination.
A gentle tap on the flowers of tomatoes will help them a lot. Shake the flowers of tomato plants, that will spread the pollen. This is called hand germination.
Here are a few extra tips to grow tomatoes in containers:
- As your plants are growing in height, you should provide them support. You can use simple sticks and small ropes or you can use these special trellises to provide them support.
- Trellis or supports are necessary, or your plants will fall, and the leaves will touch the soil, which can cause different diseases or pests attacks.
- Tomato plants are heavy feeders. They are fruit-producing plants. These kinds of plants always need extra fertilizer at some stage. You can use organic manure or organic fertilizers like all-purpose plant food.
- If you saw any weed growing in your containers, pick them by your hands or any garden tool. Use organic mulch like dead dried leaves, grass clippings, and wood chips.
- Organic mulch will stop the growth of weeds, save water from evaporation and will add extra nutrients in the soil after decomposing.
This is a very exciting time for everyone. Growth time is very different for different varieties. Some produce and mature their fruits in 60 days after planting, some take more than 60 days.
But you can easily check the color of tomatoes and harvest them. Few have different colors than red. For those varieties, just pick one fruit and take a bite.
That’s how you can check and harvest tomatoes. Harvest only fully mature fruits. Fully mature fruits are always full of juices and other nutrients and vitamins.