Mkulima today tomatoes are one of the best selling farm produce. Today we cover ten tips for growing tomatoes in abundance. This is a result of the high demand rates in both households and businesses.
Though a profitable venture, it comes with loads of challenges.
Tips for growing tomatoes
These are tips from a farmer with over 30 years of experience. The farmer has made and perfected the art of homemade fertilizer during this period.
There is nothing as satisfying as having quality tomatoes both for the market and home consumption. Tomatoes are a staple in every home and garden.
To ensure your smile all the way to the bank makes sure you take good care of your tomatoes
Tomatoes are very heavy feeders meaning they require close attention and quality feeding to guarantee a good harvest.
When feeding tomatoes both the plant and fruit health must be taken into consideration.
The main nutrients that tomatoes require are phosphorus, calcium, and nitrogen.
Phosphorus helps the tomato plants make big and beautiful flowers and fruits. Calcium will help in the prevention of blossom end rot.
To notice if the plants have calcium deficiency check for sunken holes on the flowers.
Blossom end rot
Blossom end rot will mostly be visible on plants with calcium deficiency. In addition to this tomato plants also require nitrogen to ensure optimum growth and fruit production. Tips for growing tomatoes heavily rely on your ability to control tomato pests and diseases.
With poor pests and disease control, there is no way you will be able to harvest and sell your products.
Though nitrogen is required make sure you only apply the required amount since a lot of nitrogen can lead to losses in the farm.
The effect of too much nitrogen is the plant grows big, bushy, and very green but with little or no flowers leading to no fruits to harvest.
Here is how to show some tender, love, and care for your plants.
Prepare your beds
Before you even think of starting out in production make sure the soil or growth media in hydroponics farming has the right nutrients.
Make sure you make your beds prior to planting any plants. You can use compost manure either from chicken or cows.
But make sure the compost is well prepared before you use them on the farm.
You can also add worm casting that you can retrieve from your home vermicomposter.
Here is the guide to starting your own worm bin at home.
It is perhaps the best way of home composting so you should seriously consider starting one.
If you don’t have your own worm bin at home you can either build your own or buy from online stores like amazon.
Worm castings from homemade vermicomposter are loaded with nutrients as well as a wide variety of microscopic organisms that help tomatoes use up the nutrients with ease while keeping pests at bay.
Another exceptional and easily available additive is eggshells.
First, you have to clean your eggshells then grind them into a powder that can blend easily with the soil.
The eggshells give your soil a boost of calcium that ensures the tomatoes are protected from blossom end rot.
Check your beds for proper drainage and ensure that there is no compacted soil that will get in the way of proper drainage if farming on soil but if using hydroponics this is not necessary.
In hydroponics farming ensure the pump is working as required and the nutrient reservoir is filled with the right nutrients and the right level.
To know if you are on the right track you should be able to push your fingers into the soil with ease.
If there is difficulty during this process your soil might be compacted and you will need to break it up.
Use of fertilizers
When thinking of using fertilizers on your farm the best way to do it is by ensuring that you apply during planting and wait until the plants have settled in the soil before adding fertilizers again.
For this homemade farming guide, you should add items like fish head into the plant hole as a result of its quick decay process. The fish head will ensure the young tomato plant has nitrogen, phosphorous, calcium, and trace minerals to the newly planted tomatoes.
Where fish heads are not readily available you can easily replace them with fish bones, fish guts, and shrimp shells.
Talk to the local restaurant they might be able to help you source for these at no extra costs.
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