How To Grow Tomatoes Indoors And Year Round
Gone are the days when people cultivated tomatoes only on big open fields. Now people are increasingly using the tiny plots available in front or back of their houses or nearer to their houses for indoor cultivation of tomatoes. Some progressive farmers are practicing tomato cultivation in specifically designed enclosed plots. You can even grow it on your roof top, on your veranda and near your main gate. Just purchase small pots or you can prepare carefully designed pots out of concrete and fill it with high quality soil rich in humus. Your first step for growing tomatoes indoor is over. Improved techniques of cultivation, short duration HYV (High Yielding Varieties) seeds and sprinkler type of irrigation have revolutionized the techniques of indoor tomatoes cultivation.
Growing tomatoes is no longer a winter crop. The fact that it can be grown throughout the year has attracted more and more farmers and individual house owners also to go for indoor cultivation of tomatoes in a big scale.
Let us consider how to grow tomatoes indoors in pots. The smallest pot size should be at least 6 inch wide and 6 inch long with a depth of at least 18 inches. A depth of12 inch can also be used but a greater depth will hold more soil that in turn will provide a well aerated soft atmosphere for growth of the plant. Add compost and fertilizer to the soil, mix it thoroughly and fill the pot. The compost should comprise of animal waste, well decomposed plant residue and vegetable waste. These will produce humus that keeps the soil soft, smooth and provides the plant nutrients. Soil rich in humus promotes robust growth of tomato plants and produces excellent quality tomatoes. The fertilizer should be NPK (Nitrogen, Phosphorous and Potassium) dominant. Nitrogen ensures growth, Phosphorous makes the plant strong and Potassium makes the plant disease resistant. One plant is planted in one pot. Bigger sized pots may be procured to accommodate more plants per pot. The same procedure is to be followed in case one uses tiny plots in or around the house premises. Increasing density of plants makes plants lean and thin due to low availability of per plant nutrients and sun light.
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How To Grow Tomatoes Indoors. Being Prepared.
High quality seedlings of high yielding varieties of tomato are readily available. One can also raise seedlings from established varieties of seeds. Dwarf and semi dwarf varieties should be preferred. Once seedlings are planted the agronomic practices start. Half of the fertilizer has already been mixed in the soil before planting. Half of the rest is applied when the plant becomes one month old and the rest is to be applied when flowering starts. If water is scarce adopt sprinkler method of irrigation. Irrigation at regular intervals is a must to prevent wilting and drying. Regular weeding is essential for removing unwanted plants and weeds or else those will eat up the important nutrients and minerals very quickly. Since the growing area is small the soil becomes compact and forms a lump. That creates problems in plant nutrition as absorption becomes difficult. Therefore, the soil is to be kept aerated and ventilated by softly digging the soil at regular intervals. That helps in profuse and robust growth of the plant. Tapping the plants slowly occasionally stimulates it. Turning the pots sideways for sun light from time to time helps in uniform and healthy growth of the plant. One can expect some 30 to 40 fruits per plant under normal circumstances.
Wilt, root rot, leaf spot and Mosaic viruses create problems for tomatoes and treatment in time is essential failing which not only the plant may die but also diminishes the yield significantly.
Tomatoes are liked by all and are a rich source of Vitamin A, vitamin B, Vitamin C, Iron and plenty of fibre. It has enough demand and so grown all the year round.