Grow tomatoes - succeed with tomato plants
There's hardly any scent that's as good as that of home-grown tomatoes and their leaves. And then the taste of the freshly harvested tomatoes, heavenly! Here are our best tips for succeeding in growing tomatoes at home.
How to grow your own tomatoes!
Growing tomatoes doesn't have to take up much space. When you choose the right variety for the space you have, you can harvest whether it's on the windowsill, on a balcony, in a pallet collar, in a greenhouse or in the open field.
Grow in a pot
Choose potted tomatoes or bush tomatoes if you are short of space but still want to be able to harvest home-grown tomatoes. Both of these varieties can be grown in pots on a windowsill. In order for the tomatoes to have as good conditions as possible, it's good if the pot holds 5-10 liters.
If you lack space to set pots, there are also hanging varieties of tomatoes.
Grow on a balcony
Potted tomatoes, hanging tomatoes and bush tomatoes can be grown on the balcony. They don't require a large area and you can look forward to nice harvests for the breakfast sandwich and salad.
Choose as large a pot as possible, preferably at least 10 liters, depending on the variety, so that the roots have enough space and that the soil doesn't dry out too quickly.
Grow in a pallet collar
If you have a slightly larger area to grow on, a pallet collar is a good alternative. Here you can grow tall tomato varieties and there are many different ones to choose from. Tall-growing tomato plants need to be staked to cope with the weight as the tomatoes grow.
It's a good idea to plan and prepare the staking right from the start so you can easily and quickly help when the plants get bigger and the harvest rich.
Grow in a greenhouse
If you have a greenhouse you have optimal conditions for tomato cultivation. Choose the varieties for the space you have available. Keep in mind that some tomato varieties require plenty of space, both in the ground and at height. In greenhouses, you often have the advantage of being able to tie up the tomatoes from above.
Remember to ventilate so that it doesn't become too stuffy and damp. The moisture can cause fungal diseases and your plants to can get leaf mold.
Keep the temperature below 30 degrees centigrade in the greenhouse. You can bring down the high temperature with the help of shade fabric or by liming the inside of the glass.
Grow in the open field
Choose a warm and sheltered location in the sun if you have the opportunity to grow tomatoes in the open field. For best results, spread out a little and plant at 50 cm intervals and 80–100 cm between the rows.
Prepare from the start how you will support and stake your plants so that they're not damaged by heavy rain and wind as they get taller and the harvest heavier.
How to grow tomatoes from seed
Sow indoors, about 8-10 weeks before planting. You can sow from the end of February to the beginning of April, depending on where in the country you live and whether your tomatoes are to be outdoors or protected inside or on a glazed balcony.
You don't need advanced equipment when you sow. Anything from small recycled plastic containers to more advanced pots from garden center will do.
Use so-called sowing soil, it is nutrient-poor and porous and often consists of peat and a little sand and is adapted for sowing.
Choose to sow a few seeds in smaller vessels or more in larger ones, the important thing is that your seed doesn't dry out and that you are able to thin out or divide when the plants have started to grow. A small tent made of a plastic bag over the seed helps to keep them moist. Make sure to leave a small gap or a few air holes so that it doesn't get too stuffy inside and also ventilate every day by lifting the tent and letting in oxygen properly.
Before germination, your sowing should be fairly warm, eg on a windowsill above a radiator. During this period, no light is required, but in addition to warmth and oxygen, water is also needed.
When germination starts, light is required, so place your crop on a sunny windowsill, under a fluorescent lamp or under special plant lighting. Light is important to get sturdy plants.
When you see the first pairs of leaves it's time to replant your tomatoes in separate pots.
5 tips for good tomatoes
Choose quality soil when planting. It should be nutritious and porous.
A warm, sunny and wind-protected location gives your tomatoes the best conditions.
Manure is excellent as a basic fertilizer in the open field. Add compost or planting soil.
Water your tomato plants in the mornings so that the leaves have time to dry up during the day.
Pinch your plants so that all the energy goes to forming nice tomatoes and not to excess leaves.
How to repot your tomatoes
In May, when the roots have grown on your seedlings, it's time to repot them in separate pots. Look out for the first real pair of leaves indicating that it's time.
Now your little plants want more nutritious planting soil in each pot. Carefully lift them so that the roots are not damaged and lower them all the way up to the leaves in the soil.
Make sure that the soil is constantly moist after transplanting.
After a couple of weeks, you can give a first batch of fertilizer with liquid plant food according to the instructions on the bottle.
When the plant is bigger, it's time for repotting again. This time it can be the end station if you're keeping it in a pot or the next step, after two repottings, is transplanting it outdoors.
Continue to fertilize your plants regularly.
Our gardener Erika advises to snip the tomato plants so they become less rickety and branch out instead. And as a bonus, you can plant the top in another pot and get second plant!
How to pinch
You may have heard of pinching tomatoes, but what does it mean? Pinching means that you remove the shoots that appear in the folds of the branches. Not all tomato varieties need to be pinched. You don't need to pinch bush tomatoes, while tall tomato plants must be pinched so that the shoots don't steal the energy needed for the tomatoes.