Growing your own crops is very satisfying; it’s much more fulfilling if you are able to harvest the fruits of your labour. Tomatoes are one of the more popular plants that are readily grown in backyard gardens or if you have limited space you can grow them in planter boxes or pots. They are extremely easy to grow and don’t need a lot of time and effort. Tomatoes love the summer air and warm sun rays so it’s better to plant them during the summer time.
First step in planting tomatoes is creating a suitable environment for the plant to grow well. Pick a desirable location where the tomato plant can get 8 hours of direct heat from the sun. Water it and keep the soil evenly moist. It’s a good idea to add compost or well-rotten manure to the soil. Once, tomatoes gets bigger it needs some support for it not to break its stem; you can use canes or sticks to support it. Lastly, give the tomatoes small amounts water frequently; remember to water the soil as opposed to the plant; tomatoes don’t take too well to direct contact with the water.
When picking, tomatoes, snap them off so that part of the stalk is still attached to the fruit. This will keep them fresh longer. Fully ripe tomatoes can be kept in the crisper part of the fridge for up to seven days. To enrich the flavour, store them in a cool but not refrigerated environment.
Queensland; the Sunshine State is the main tomato producer of our beloved country. It provides the markets of Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney with plentiful stock. Queensland is blessed with an all year round sunny and warm climate so it’s no wonder it produces tomatoes regardless the month. There are plenty of tomato varieties you can find in the market. However, consumers are showing more favourablilty towards the smaller of the varieties for one reason or another.
Vine tomatoes are picked slightly riper than the traditional tomatoes. It is because the longer the tomato left in the vine the sweeter it becomes. Vine tomatoes have a longer shelf life and remain in good quality after harvest. They are rich in dietary fibre, vitamin C, lycopene and folate. It is high in Vitamin A and low in sodium. You can keep the tomatoes at room temperature, just be sure that they are not getting direct heat of the sun. Or you can make it as a feature on your kitchen bench or even the dining table. The vilifying red colour is pleasing to the eyes.
Cherry tomatoes are commonly used in soups, salads, sauces and pizzas. The rush of flavour adds instant taste and colour to meals. You can add the cherry tomatoes otherwise known as “flavour bursts” to your pasta dishes or why not toss them through your salad. Cherry tomatoes are sweet, and the brightness of the colours are both appetizing and appealing within themselves.
There are numerous varieties of cherry tomatoes to look out for.
It is believed that cherry tomatoes may contain certain properties that can assist in the prevention of various illnesses including cancer and heart diseases.
Do you grow your own tomatoes?
Image thanks to Ben Ostrowsky