Tomato plant grow and care – herbaceous of the genus Solanum also known as Tomato, Tomato plant short perennial evergreen or mostly grown as annual plant, can grows as vine or shrub, can grow in tropic, subtropical, mediterranean, temperate or desert climate and growing in hardiness zone 11+ as perennial and with the right overwinter care and the right cultivars in hardiness zone 10b and as annual in hardiness zone 2+ as annual, instead of annual plant possible to take indoor overwinter cutting and plant it in the spring after the last frost.
Leaves color green, there are two types of leaves: RL (regular leaves) / PL – (potato leaves), Regular leaf: a leaf with serrated edges. Potato leaf: large and wide oval leaves with no serrated edges, there are claims that potato leaf plants more resistant to pests and disease than regular leaves and tomatoes.
Determinate tomato – is a bush tomato is annual. Tomatoes which grow in a restricted form of bush usually require less work of trellising, a cage to trellising them, and more wide space for growth, producing the fruit at the same time.
Indeterminate Tomato plant – is vine climbing and grow to heights, indeterminate growing and producing fruit throughout most of the season and even can be produce in the winter, there isn’t a clear growth form. Require work of trellising
Semideterminate Tomato plant – is a combination of the two previous species, their growth determinate but later. Are vines but a bit less height and more to the width, generally fruits yielding in two stages.
Fruit shape can be: round shapes of forms and sizes. Cherry tomatoes, Regular round tomatoes, Beefsteak tomatoes, Campari tomatoes, Plum tomatoes, Pear tomatoes, Ox heart tomatoes.
Fruit color can be:: Red tomato – there are the most common and popular, Green tomato, Purple tomato, Yellow tomato, Blue tomato, Pink tomato, White tomato, Colorful tomato that can appear without form, can be striped in different colors and can appear different colored dots.
How to grow Tomato plant growing conditions and care information:
Warm weather, rich soil (soil full of nutrients), trellising, for determinate should trellising like cage, mulch to keep the soil moist
How to care: Put fertilizer with small content of nitrogen (delay bloom), add mulch especially in the summer and winter, and in hardiness zone 10b as perennial the plant suffer or die due to the cold of the winter, better to protect the plants and there are varieties that can survive the winter and will bear some fruits in the winter, vegetative reproduction can maintain high quality of cultivar indoor or greenhouse to next season, trellising and support for the plant (sometimes the fruit are heavy and without support the fruits will touch the soil and will be damaged).
Tips: Rotten base – When the base of the plant rotten, usually happened in mature plant, better to cover the base with soil until the health part plus 2cm (1 inch) and cover it with soil and even better release the plant from the attachment and make it lay down and reduce 10cm (4 inches) bury and cover it with soil keep it moist and cover with mulch, possible to bury until the green leaves (possible more but no need), in this method the plant will survive more time with new roots.
Problem that the fruits don’t get enough sun – main problem that the fruits grow inside the leaves and because of the weight of the fruits and gravity the fruits will grow down possible to cut the leaves that hide the fruits, but better not to cut the leaves, another option to grow the plant with angel of 30-45° in this method the leaves won’t prevent from the fruits to get sun, be aware that in hot climate with strong sun the fruits will be burn by sun.
What is the best way to start growing?
Plant / Seedling / Seed / Vegetative Reproduction – by cutting possible by water or by soil (explanation bellow) or bending a branch over and covering it with soil
Is it necessary to graft or use vegetative reproduction? No, but it’s possible to use in vegetative reproduction and it’s easy the same as to start by seeds, when start by cutting its ensure the quality of the fruits and from seeds not always can ensure what kind of fruits will be
Possible to start overwinter from seeds use fertilizer with nitrogen (to prevent bloom and increase the growth of the stems) and use the plant to make cutting and in this method can get few plants from one seeds
Keep the stems for next year indoor and take them out in the spring after the last frost by this method possible to grow in hardiness zone 2-10 as perennial by using the cutting over winter.
Difficulties or problems when growing: A lot of pests for the fruits
Planting season: Spring after the last frost in hardiness zone 2-10a and better as perennial plant in the spring, spring to summer in hardiness zone 10b-11a, spring to autumn in hardiness zone 11b, all year in hardiness zone 12+
How to plant: Dig a bigger hole than the root ball, add to the hole organic matter, dead leaves and humus put back some soil and mix it, after this put the plant cover lightly but strong enough that won’t fall put support for the plant and give it place to trellising on it, consider to prune week branches, water it twice in the first day and every day for two weeks, better to plant them few centimeters (inches) under the soil level in order that if there are problem in the base of the plant easy to cover the base and create new root for the plant and not lose all the fruits
Pruning season: All the season and as perennial after the fruits
How to prune:
Rotten stems and leaves, week stems, blooming season stems without flowers possible to cut and use them for cutting
Size of the plant: 0.5-3 m 20-120 inches (depend the cultivar can be smaller)
Growth speed in optimal condition: Fast growing / Medium growing, when the plant grow slowly as annual plant better to add fertilizer and organic matter to increase the growth speed
Water requirement: Average amount of water / Big amount of water
Light conditions in optimal condition for growing: Full Sun (possible to grow in less than full sun but will bear less fruits
Is it possible to grow indoor as houseplant? No, but small plants (need to choose the right cultivars) possible to grow on hedge of window and in this method the plants and the fruits will get enough sun
Growing is also possible in pots, planter, flowerpot or containers: Yes, when grow in container, size 10-30 liter (2-6 gallon) depend the cultivar, average amount of water that needed, it’s to keep the soil moist and the water go out of the pot, better not to use bottom for the pot, when it’s grow as perennial every two years to switch soil, and prune part of the roots and the plants, soil need to be well ventilated with good drainage, rich with organic matter, can us in potting mix or peat soil with perlite or vermiculite.
Tip when grow in container: When grow in container better to fill the container with 10% of soil when the roots fill the soil increase the amount of the soil until the container is full
Bloom season: Start in 15-80 days
General information about the flower: Little yellow flower
Thinning the bloom:
If thinning happening should check the root, watering and try to hand pollinate
Pollination is done by: Bees and other pollinator, pollinate by hand, some of the species self-pollinator
Fruit harvest season: 55-160 days from sowing
Fruits pests or diseases: Slugs, worms, birds
What can be done with big quantities of Tomato plant fruits? Eat fresh, cooked, sauce, juice and much more
Work requirements on the fruit: Clean the rotten leaves
How long does it take for a bear fruit? 1-2.5 month from planting
Ripening of fruit: If there is massive attack on the fruit should pick them before fully ready and let them be ripening at home
How to grow Tomato plant from seeds
Sowing requirement: Easy to sow, brown-yellowish seeds, full sun, moist soil, high humidity, better 21-26C (70-79F) and possible 10-32C (50-90F)
Saving seeds until sowing: Dark and dry location and better in the refrigerator if keep the seeds more than one year
Sowing season: End of the winter indoor, start of the spring will be better, possible all year as perennial depend the temperature
Planting spacing: 20*40 cm (8*16 inches) depend the cultivars, for transplant 2*3cm (1*1 inch)
Depth of Sowing: 5-10 mm (0.25-0.5 inch)
Conditions for seeds germinate: Full sun, better 21-26C (70-79F), moist soil, high humidity
Watering requires for Seeds: Average amount of water, the soil should be moist
Germination time: 5-16 days, might be longer
Condition of seedling: Full sun, more than 10C (50F), the sprout is very delightful to bug need protection in the beginning
There are thousands species of tomatoes, Here are listed only a number of cultivars “family”
Normal tomato – tomatoes that sold in the supermarket, round tomato relatively large, often red Plum tomato – elliptical shape tomato appears in red or yellow Pear tomato – Pear-shaped tomato usually appears in red and yellow colors Cherry tomato – small tomatoes, relatively strong and fast growing and appear in yellow, red, purple, blue, white or orange colors Heart tomato – decorative tomato the most beautiful, fruit color red and perfectly heart shaped, excellent for sauces. Beafsteak tomato – is considered as largest tomatoes and can reach even to 1 Kg, appears in a round shape to shapeless, exist in all colors except blue. Oxheart tomato – shape like arrow in the end and round on the top, the size is mostly big Stuffer tomato –round shape build from 3-5 lobes and hollow inside, tomato appears in red or yellow Tomato tree – vine that grow 4-7 m with round red tomatoes
Tomatoes by colors
Red tomato appears in all forms. Possible to find red tomatoes with potato leaves. Pink tomato – appears in Species: Beef steak tomato. Colors: pink, pink with green or orange spots Green tomato – listed species: Beef steak tomato Ordinary date, tomato. Colora: Green, dark green stripes / light green yellowish-green with a little touch of pink Blue tomato – listed species: Ordinary tomato Campari tomato. Color: Blue, Black, Red White tomato – listed species: Beef steak tomato, Colors: white, white with some green or yellow Purple tomato – listed species: Campari tomato, beef steak tomato plum tomatoes, Colors: red color with a of black and purple cover, shades of red Bordeaux with extra bright purple variety purple to black or black Colored Tomato – appear in: Beef steak tomatoes, colored Tomato plant – appears in colorful hybrids and exist in a variety of colors two or more color varieties: green, purple, orange, yellow, red, blue, pink, color, or white Yellow tomato – appears in species: cherry tomatoes, beef steak tomato, pear tomato Color: yellow, yellow-green, yellow and white.
Vegetative Reproduction Method: Cutting, Stems
Preferred time for vegetative reproduction: Spring – beginning of the summer
Time to grow roots in vegetative reproduction: 1-2 weeks
Treatment for vegetative reproduction: Warm, Moist, and should put the cuttings in glass of water and change the water every 2 days