How to - Gardening with Kids

Kids and tomatoes

Plant these easy-to-grow favourites with your family for a bountiful harvest

Fertilizing your plants
Tomato plants are heavy feeders; add fertilizer high in potassium, such as 5-10-10, 5-20-20, or 8-16-16. Too much nitrogen encourages vigorous vine growth but produces little fruit.

Plant care
Keep the soil damp. Pull any weeds by hand. Once the tomato plants are established, apply mulch to conserve moisture and suppress weeds. Soil that dries out can cause blossom-end rot. Over-watering may cause ripening fruit to split.

Extreme temperatures also affect tomatoes. In spring, blossom drop can occur when daytime temperatures are warm, but night temperatures fall below 13°C. Plants can also suffer from blossom drop in summer, when days and nights are more than 32°C.

Harvest your crop
Harvest tomatoes when they are ripe but still firm. To speed up the ripening process, you can place a few tomatoes in a brown paper bag. For best flavour, store them at room temperature; refrigerate only if fully ripe, and then only for a few days.


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