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Tomatensorte Mila im unreifen Zustand

Tomato cultivation

A short guide from start to finish

Growing tomatoes can be a rewarding experience, and there are a few steps to keep in mind to grow healthy tomato plants. Here is a step-by-step guide from sowing to harvesting - also available to download

Tomato Growing Guide

1. Selection of tomato varieties

  • You should choose tomato varieties that are suitable for your own climate. Please inform in advance whether youdetermined orindeterminate tomatoes (Explanation - Click here) preferred. 
     

  • Depending on the space available, the types of tomatoes also vary. An overview can be found here:

2. Sow seeds

  • Sowing the seeds can start around 6-8 weeks before the last expected frost in the respective region. This is usually around early to mid-March. Sowing earlier does not really give a later harvest advantage.
     

  • Procedure: see step by step sowing instructions.

3. Seedling care

  • When the seedlings have reached a height of around 5 cm, they are carefully transplanted into larger pots or straight into the garden if there is no longer any risk of frost.
     

  • Provide sufficient light and keep the soil evenly moist.
     

  • See also the sowing instructions under point 2.

4. Preparation of the garden soil

  • Starts from autumn/spring
     

  • Loosen the soil and remove weeds.
     

  • Mix compost or well-rotted manure into the soil to improve the nutrients in the soil.

5. Plant out

  • Plant the plants in the bed only after the last frost. Usually this is after the Ice Saints, i.e. after May 15th
     

  • Plant spacing about 60 cm to 90 cm in rows and about 90 cm to 120 cm between rows.

6. Irrigation

  • Keep the soil evenly moist, but definitely avoid waterlogging. The best times to water are early in the morning or late in the evening. 

7. Fertilize

  • Plants should be fertilized during the growing season with a balanced fertilizer rich in nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. You can find detailed information about fertilizer here:

8. Mulch

Mulch the soil around the plants with straw or other organic material. This helps retain moisture and suppress weeds as well as increase soil fertility. 
 

Here are some commonly used organic mulching materials:
 

  1. straw: Straw is a popular mulching material made from dried stems of grain plants such as wheat, barley or oats. It is light and easy to distribute.
     

  2. leaves: Fall leaves that have fallen from trees can be shredded and used as mulch. It is a cost-effective option and offers good coverage.
     

  3. wood chips: Wood chips or bark mulch are made from shredded wood and last longer than some other mulches. They are particularly useful for suppressing weeds.
     

  4. compost: Mature compost is an excellent way to enrich the soil with nutrients. It can be used as mulch to promote soil life and improve soil structure.
     

  5. hay: Hay is similar to straw, but often contains seeds from grass plants that can cause weed problems later.
     

  6. Grass clippings: Freshly cut grass clippings can be used as mulch, but are most effective when dried first to prevent heat damage to plants.
     

  7. coffee grounds: Coffee grounds are rich in nitrogen and work well as mulch for nitrogen-loving plants like tomatoes.
     

  8. Corn on the cob: Dried corn cobs can be shredded and used as mulch. They are particularly useful for suppressing weeds.
     

  9. Ground leaves: The leaves can be shredded with a shredder and then used as mulch.
     

  10. wood chips: Wood chips, which come from thicker branches or pieces of wood, can be used as mulch, but they are slower to decompose and should not be incorporated into the soil in large quantities.
     

  11. Paper or cardboard: Shredded newspaper, cardboard or cardboard can be used as a temporary mulch under a layer of other mulching materials to smother weeds.

 

Choosing the best organic mulching material depends on your specific needs and the plants in the garden. One can also use a combination of different types of mulch to achieve the desired results. Care should be taken to apply the mulch in a sufficient layer thickness to achieve the desired benefits.

9. Supports

There are several ways to support tomato plants to help them grow and produce fruit and to protect the plants from disease. 

Choosing the best method depends on the tomato variety, available space, climatic conditions and personal preferences. It is important that the chosen method provides sufficient support and enables the plants to be cared for and the fruits to be harvested. 

Some common methods are listed here:

 

  1. Tomato cages: Tomato cages are cage-shaped metal or wire mesh structures that are placed around the tomato plants. They provide support by surrounding the plants and preventing them from falling or spreading. They are easy to install and ideal for smaller tomato varieties.
     

  2. Rods: Individual poles or stakes are placed next to each tomato plant. The plants are then tied to the poles with string or rubber bands as they grow. This method works well for larger tomato varieties and requires regular care to keep the plants upright.
     

  3. Trellis or trellis: Trellis or trellis is often a latticework of wood or wire that is stretched horizontally across rows of tomato plants. The plants are directed onto the trellis or trellis and allowed to grow along the structure. This method saves space and makes harvesting easier.
     

  4. Tomato strings: In this method, the tomato plants are attached to vertical strings or wires that are attached to a sturdy frame or wall. The plants are then pulled up along the strings, saving space and promoting good air circulation.
     

  5. Hanging baskets: For bush tomatoes or hanging tomato varieties, you can grow tomatoes in hanging baskets. This method is particularly space-saving and can work well in small gardens or on balconies.
     

  6. Natural supports: Some gardeners use natural supports such as twigs, branches or bamboo poles to support their tomato plants. These are simply stuck into the ground and the tomato plants are tied to them.
     

  7. Combined methods: It is also possible to combine the above methods to optimize the stability and growth of tomato plants.

10. Protection against diseases and pests

Look for signs of disease and pests and take appropriate control measures, such as removing diseased leaves or using biological agents when necessary. 

There are various biological agents and methods that can help keep tomato plants healthy such as: B. 

 

  • Crop rotation: Good crop rotation is crucial to prevent the spread of diseases and pests. Tomato plants should not be planted in the same location year after year. You should change the growing area regularly and try to grow other plants in between.

 

  • Healthy Earth: Healthy soil is the key to healthy plants. Garden soil can be improved by adding compost and other organic materials. This also increases soil fertility.

 

  • Mulch: Mulching around tomato plants with organic materials such as straw or wood chips helps retain moisture, suppress weeds and protect the soil from extreme temperatures.

 

  • Water correctly: Tomatoes require regular but not excessive watering. Care should be taken to water the plants at the base and not the leaves to prevent the spread of fungal diseases.

 

  • Choose disease-resistant varieties: When choosing tomato varieties, preference should be given to those varieties that are resistant to common diseases such as tomato mosaic virus, brown rot and late blight. This is especially important if the tomato plants are planted outdoors without a roof.

 

  • Encourage natural enemy insects: Certain beneficial insects such as ladybugs and parasitic wasps are natural enemies of pests. Their populations can be encouraged by creating suitable plants and habitats for them in the garden.

 

  • Handwork: Inspect tomato plants regularly for signs of disease or pests. If problems are identified early, you can react more quickly and minimize damage.

 

 

  • Biological pest control: If pests are a problem, resort to biological pesticides such as neem oil or Bacillus thuringiensis (BT). These are less harmful to beneficial insects and the environment compared to chemical pesticides.

 

  • Copper sprays: Copper sprays can help prevent fungal diseases such as brown rot and late blight. However, they should be used sparingly and according to instructions.

 

It is important to note that a combination of these methods is often most effective. Organic farming practices promote soil health and minimize the need for chemical pesticides and fertilizers, resulting in healthier tomato plants.

11. Harvesting

Tomatoes can be harvested 60 to 85 days after sowing, depending on the variety and climatic conditions. Only harvest fully ripe tomatoes. 

With careful care and attention, tomato plants should
produce healthy fruits. It is important to remember that the local
Climate and the specific conditions of your own garden
can have an influence on success! Therefore, the cultivation methods should be adjusted accordingly. 

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