Tomato (Botanical name:Solanum Lycopersicum, Family:Solanaceous)
Common names in different language: Kannada-Tomato Hannu, Hindi- Tameta, Tamil-Takkali, Telugu Tametokai / Ramamulaga (Pandu/Kaya)
Plant Morphology:Tomato plants are dicots, they produce series of brunch stems with a terminal bud at the tip that does the actual growing. If the tips are pruned lateral buds take over and grow into other fully functioned vein. Tomato plants covered with fine short hair turning to root whenever plant in contact with ground and moisture especially when roots are damaged. And these are annual vegetables.
In gardening varieties chosen based on growth habit. There are two types of tomato plant based on growth habit.
Determinate Type: Is also called as bush type tomatoes, This means determinate types sets fruits over about a two-three week period and then stop. It grow only 1 or 3 ft long, and the mainstem and side stem produce about three flowers clusters each. Which makes them excellent choice for canning.
Indeterminate Type: Is sprawling vines that grow 6to 20 ft long, at every second leaf produce 3 flowers cluster, they keep growing and producing unless stopped by pest and diseases, lack of nutrient or frost. Which means whole season can pick the tomatoes. But Pruning is necessary practice to maintain plant, how ever it put more energy in building veins.
Tomato varieties: In world around 7000 tomato varieties are grown for different purpose, out of that Garden guru have 19 different varieties which is suitable for vegetable gardening.
Our collection are suitable for both container gardening and also for raised beds on ground.
If outdoor container - Determinate, small varieties work best.
Soil and Climatic requirement: Tomato crop tolerate acidic soil, It prefers well drained, fertile soil and also rich in organic matter. Clay loam produce high yields. And tomato Required 6-6.8 pH for better uptake of nutrient.
Fruit plants require minimum 8 hrs of direct sunlight for better yield. Select site with full sun, for northern region it is very important it receive at least 6 hr sunlight for southern region light afternoon shade will help tomatoes thrive well.
Ideal temperature for germination 75-95 F in cooler temperature germination is very slow.
Planting and its care:
Right season for planting: Tomato can sow in all round the year. For rainy season crop June -July is right time for sowing, As winter crop Oct-nov and for summer crop Jan-feb.
a) Planting using seeds:
Sow the seeds in beds about 0.5-1.25 cm depth,
Treat tomato seeds in hot water about 50 degree celcius for 25 minutes, not stand up too hot water it affects germination percentage.
seeds will germinate within 5-6 days after sowing if soil temperature is poor it will take 12 days to germination.
Transplant to the main bed or container after 20-25 days after sowing.
While planting tomato seedlings maintain plant spacing for better establishment of tomato crop. Row to row spacing 90 cm and plant to plant 45 cm.
b) Watering: Generously do watering for the first few days, water well throughout the season, mulching can be done after 5 weeks to retain soil moisture during summer season.
c) Fertilizer: Apply nutrient two week prior to first picking. For better crop establishment use garden guru Tomato special mix nutrient.
d) Harvesting: Fruit will slightly change its colour to red from bottom. Those fruits are ready for harvest. Ripen fruits are soft when compared to other fruits.
e) Companion crop: Lettuce, Basil, Pepper, Carrot, onion, garlic are companion crop for tomato.
Varietal description: San Marzano is variety of plum tomato, it is a heirloom collection, This is an indeterminate variety of tomato. This comes well in rich organic soil. It is grown for its sweet flavour and low acidity. fruits are oval shaped.