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Tomato’s – The Lady in Red

February 21, 2023

Tomatoes are a popular vegetable that are easy to grow and provide delicious, juicy fruit. Whether you’re growing them in a garden or in containers, here’s a step-by-step guide on how to care for tomato plants from seeds until harvest.

Step 1: Starting from Seeds

  1. Fill a seed tray with seed compost and water it thoroughly.
  2. Sow the tomato seeds on the surface of the compost, covering them with a light sprinkle of compost.
  3. Cover the tray with a sheet of clear plastic and place it in a warm, light place. The seeds will germinate in 7-10 days.

Step 2: Transplanting

  1. When the seedlings have grown their first set of true leaves, they’re ready to be transplanted into individual pots.
  2. Fill a pot with compost, making a small hole in the middle and gently inserting the seedling into the hole.
  3. Firm the compost around the base of the seedling and water it in.

Step 3: Hardening Off

  1. Once the seedlings are about 10 cm tall, it’s time to start the process of hardening them off.
  2. Place the pots outside in a sheltered spot for a few hours each day, gradually increasing the amount of time they spend outside.
  3. This process helps the seedlings to gradually adjust to outdoor conditions and will help them to establish more quickly once they are planted in the garden.

Step 4: Planting Out

  1. Choose a sunny spot in the garden with well-drained soil.
  2. Make a hole in the soil big enough to accommodate the rootball of the seedling.
  3. Gently remove the seedling from its pot, holding it by the leaves rather than the stem, and place it into the hole.
  4. Fill the hole with soil, firming it down gently around the base of the plant.
  5. Water the seedling in well.

Step 5: Caring for your Tomato Plants

  1. Water regularly, especially during dry spells, to keep the soil evenly moist.
  2. Feed the plants every two weeks with a tomato fertiliser.
  3. Support the plants with stakes or canes to prevent them from falling over as they grow taller.
  4. Pinch out the side shoots that develop in the crook between the main stem and the leaves.
  5. Remove any yellowing leaves, as they could be a sign of a disease or pest infestation.

Step 6: Harvesting

  1. Tomatoes will usually be ready to harvest about 8-10 weeks after planting.
  2. Pick the fruits when they are fully ripe and have turned a deep red colour.
  3. Store the tomatoes in a cool, dry place and use them within a few days for the best flavor.

Tomatoes are a nutrient-rich food that is low in calories and high in many essential vitamins and minerals.

-Calories: A medium-sized tomato contains only around 25 calories.

-Vitamins: Tomatoes are an excellent source of vitamin C, with a medium-sized tomato providing around 28% of the recommended daily intake. They’re also a good source of vitamin K, vitamin A, and folate.

-Minerals: Tomatoes contain potassium, manganese, and magnesium.

-Antioxidants: Tomatoes contain high levels of antioxidants, including lycopene, which is a powerful carotenoid known for its antioxidant properties.

-Fiber: Tomatoes are a good source of fiber, with around 1.5 grams in a medium-sized tomato.

-Low in fat and sodium: Tomatoes are naturally low in fat and sodium, making them a healthy food choice for individuals watching their intake of these nutrients.

It’s important to note that the nutritional content of tomatoes can vary based on a number of factors, such as growing conditions, storage, and cooking method. However, in general, tomatoes are a nutritious and flavorful addition to a balanced diet.