One of the sprawling plants that belong to the family of Solanaceae, tomato is scientifically known as Solanum lycopersicum. This plant originated in South America and is considered close to other plants like chili peppers, eggplant, tobacco and potato. The plant is very popular for its fruits. The fruits of tomatoes are rich in lycopene and antioxidants that can help reduce the risk of developing cancer.
Cultivating tomato is very easy. If you are new to planting the plant, it is best to start with learning the basic steps in growing tomatoes. It is also beneficial if you follow some of the helpful tomato growing tips.
Planting the Seeds
If you want to plant tomato seeds, it is important that you choose an area that has sufficient supply of sunlight. Make sure that the seeds are not crowded. Do not forget to allot enough space in between seeds to allow the seedlings to branch out. If you want to transfer the plants in a closed area, you can transplant tomatoes two weeks after the first true leaves of the plants grew.
If you prefer to plant the seedlings in a closed area, it is important that the plants be exposed to light 14 to 18 hours a day. In this case, it is best that you put florescent grow lights a couple of inches away from the plants. Additionally, to provide breeze to the plants, you can put a fan in the room and be sure that the fan is turned on twice a day for 10 minutes.
Preheating the Soil
Another important tip when planting tomatoes that you need to know is preheating the soil. These plants grow well when cultivated in a heated soil. To improve the growth of tomatoes, you can preheat the soil several weeks before planting the seedlings. To do so, you need to cover the soil with red or black plastic.
To prevent the soil from drying up and to avoid the development of soil born plant diseases, it is necessary to mulch the soil. This approach is important to retain the moist and nutritional contents of the soil. In addition, do not forget to cut the leaves at the bottom part of the plant. Moreover, always check fungi on the leaves of the plant. Make it a habit to pinch and prune the leaves of tomatoes because this is very helpful in eliminating the source of plant diseases that can hinder the growth and development of tomatoes.