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Growing Organic Tomatoes From Seeds – At Home, In Balcony, Outdoors, Indoors, Terrace, Backyard

Growing Organic Tomatoes from Seeds in India

Hello gardeners, today we are here with a topic called growing organic tomatoes from seeds in India. In this article, we also cover the related topics.

Introduction to Growing Organic Tomatoes from Seeds

Planting or growing organic tomatoes are becoming popular as no one wants to consume chemically grown. Tomatoes are a pretty easy plant overall, but there are some things you can do to ensure excellent plant health and strong production of the tomato plant.

A Step By Step Guide for Growing Organic Tomatoes from Seeds in India

Tomatoes belong to the Solanaceae family. Tomatoes are an intensely nutritious plant. There are different types and sizes of tomatoes available, and they can even be prepared in different ways. Tomatoes have an excellent source of vitamin C in them and they even have other antioxidants. One of the best things about growing tomatoes, especially if you grow tomatoes from seed, is that you have a much wider selection of varieties available to grow or to plant. Now, let us get into detailed information on growing organic tomatoes from seeds.

Soil for Growing Organic Tomatoes from Seeds

Tomatoes are not so super fussy about what type of soil they require to grow in. As with most garden vegetables, tomatoes do very well in well-drained, fertile loam soil. A pH of 5.8 to 7.0 is required. On the upper 4 to 8 inches of soil mix several inches of organic compost or aged animal manure before planting.

Sunlight Requirement for Growing Organic Tomatoes from Seeds

Tomato plant needs full sun to survive well. So, provide full sun to your tomato plant, and then it will produce heavily. So always choose the sunny spot which gets an excellent amount of sunlight for about 8 to 10 hours.

Suitable Container for Growing Organic Tomatoes from Seeds

Those seedlings may look small in the beginning, but a full-grown tomato plant needs a lot of space or room for a strong root system. For maximum production, the ideal pot size is 18-24 inches in diameter.

Growing Organic Tomatoes from Seeds and Seedlings

Tomato Seedlings
Tomato Seedlings (Image credit: Pixabay)

Tomatoes require a long warm and hot growing season. Therefore, when it comes time to plant tomato seeds outside, it is best to plant seedlings rather than sowing the seeds directly outdoors. This may give them a great head start, and means you can be harvesting fresh tomatoes sooner. You can plant tomato seedlings that you raised indoors from seed, or you can pick up some seedlings from a local nursery nearby you.

Plant the seeds in clean and neat containers full of seed-starting soil mix, provide your plant ample light, consistent moisture, and watch your seeds sprout and grow.

How To Germinate Organic Tomato Seeds In Paper Towels?

Get a single paper towel damp but not soaking it wet, and then next sprinkle your tomato seeds onto the paper towel, but you should not let the seeds touch one another. Roll the paper towel into a loose cylinder shape with the seeds on the inside, and then place the towel into a plastic zipper bag, then close it. Keep the zipper bag in a warm spot that is free from drafts, such as on top of the refrigerator or the top of a seedling heat mat. Unroll the paper towel after few days and observe seed germination.

You can be able to see the root sprouting out of the germinated seeds after some days. Some seeds germinate as quickly as 24 to 48 hours, while other seeds can take 10 to 14 days. It just depends on the variety or type of tomato you choose or select. Plant the germinated seeds in seed cell trays or the container.

If you wait for too long to plant the tomato seedlings, then the root of the tomato will have worked its way into the paper towel, and then it may be very difficult to remove without damaging the young roots. If the root of the seed is broken, the seed may not grow.

When to Plant Organic Tomato Seeds?

Generally, the correct time to start your tomato seeds is about 6- 8 weeks before the last expected spring frost date in your area, planting the seedlings outdoors about 2 weeks after that date is better.

In case if you miss this: Growing Fruits And Vegetables In Hanging Baskets.

Tomato Plants
Tomato Plants (Pic Source: Pixabay)

Supporting Cages for Growing Organic Tomatoes from Seeds

Cages, stakes, and trellises can be used very well to support tomato plants. Providing support to plants will keep leaves and fruits off the ground. Tomatoes that sprawl across the ground will be susceptible to disease and insect pests due to support.

Stakes are being used to train tomatoes upwards. The staked tomato plant is pruned to one or two main stems they are called leaders.

Trellises are also used to support tomatoes. Adjust a trellis out of 6 by 6 inch (15cm) galvanized mesh. Then stretch the mesh between two stakes set about 2.4m apart. After that tie off the vines of tomatoes as they grow up, similar to staked plants.

How to Grow Organic Tomatoes Indoors

The basic tools you’ll need to grow tomatoes indoors are listed below:

  • A spot in your house
  • Water
  • A large pot or container and make sure that it has good drainage
  • Fertilizer
  • Plant stakes (For bigger tomato plants, upgrade to a cage or trellis.)

Once you pick a consistently sunny, warm, and hot spot for your plant to grow, then you’re ready to get started.

Plant the tomato seeds. You need to put a layer of soilless planting mix in a starting tray and dampen it. Plant the seeds nearly three or less per hole ¼ inch deep and then place the tray on the heat mat. If you don’t have a heat mat, place your seed tray in a consistently warm place, like the top of the fridge. Wait for the seeds to sprout out. This process is called germination.

After about one month, you need to separate and transplant the seedlings into the large pot. Use the same soilless planting mix to surround the seedlings in the pot. Move them into the sunlight and set up the LED light for them and extra warmth in cold months. Be careful you should not harm any of the roots when moving the seedlings.

Water your plant every few days or when the soil is dry. You should also fertilize your plants every two weeks after first moving them to the big pot, and then weekly once after few days.

Place plant stakes in the pots to hold up the vines of tomato plants as they grow. If the plants outgrow the pot, then move them to a bigger one.

Growing Organic Tomatoes from Seeds on the Terrace

1. Choose a sunny spot: Tomatoes love to survive well in sun. So always you need to choose that sunny spot which gets a good amount of sunshine for about 8 to 10 hours for your plant.

2. Sowing: Always start with healthy tomato seeds. Fill the complete seedling tray with an organic potting mix and then sow the seeds. Sow one seed per cup and cover with a polythene sheet or cover to ensure proper germination of seeds. The tomato seedlings will be ready for transplanting into the pots or containers by 3- 4 weeks after sowing. Select large size containers as tomato plants are very huge feeders of nutrients with large root areas and they need the room. Also, ensure that the potting mix should be well-draining and very rich in nutrients content.

3. Staking: Provide stakes they may be wooden, metal, bamboo cane to the plants after transplantation as they require support to grow well. Once the plant needs support, loosely tie the main stem of the plant to the stake with a soft thick cord. So, that it will not cut into the stem over time.

4. Watering: After transplantation, water the plant daily to keep an optimum moisture level that means not too dry or wet at the roots instead of foliage as moisture on foliage invites diseases.

5. Pruning: Prune out the suckers. Suckers mean shoots that rise between two preexisting main stems. They simply consume the nutrients thus this may low the fruit yield.

6. Nutrition: Tomato plants are heavy feeders when it comes to nutrition. So the potting mix you choose should support the plants with good nutrition. Flowering and fruiting stages are very critical; hence it is very important to provide nutrition in these growing stages. Use the organic potting mix to the plant always. So that it can provide all the necessary nutrients to the plant.

7. Companion plants: Here are few companion plants for tomatoes include:

  • Basil: It is well known to enhance the flavor of tomatoes
  • Marigolds: Marigolds are the best pest deterrents, and they enhance the beauty of the garden
  • Carrots: Plant your carrot plant 2 weeks before you plant the tomatoes, to give them a chance, and then plant your tomato plant around them
  • Lettuce: The tomatoes can shade the lettuce in the hot summer months, by making it easier to grow lettuce all year
  • Beans: Bean plants provide nitrogen to the soil and tomatoes love nitrogen

8. Pests and their management: The most common pests on tomatoes are leaf miners that prey on the leaf tissue, plant sap-sucking pests like whiteflies, thrips, aphids, and fruit borers that prey on the fruits by penetrating them. The plant sap-sucking insects are often most of the time managed with proper nutrition since the weak and undernourished plants become more vulnerable to their attack. If there’s an infestation, one can choose organic pest control like Neem oil.

9. Diseases and their management: Leaf curl/ Murda complex is that the most vital disease in tomatoes growing in the vegetable garden caused by leaf curl virus that’s transmitted by sap-sucking insects; thrips and whiteflies. Physiological Disorder: Blossom End Rot is yet one more common problem observed in tomato once the fruits start to develop which is thanks to calcium deficiency or acidic soil.

10. Harvesting: Tomatoes can be harvested from the plant when the color changes from green to yellow or red.

Growing Organic Tomatoes from Seeds in the Backyard

Growing Organic Tomatoes in the Backyard
Growing Organic Tomatoes in the Backyard (Image source: Pixabay)
  1. Pick a sunny growing location, hottest part of the yard. The best locations or areas are on the south or west sides of the home or place in direct full sun with exposure. You need to dig the soil up with a help of a shovel to the depth of 12 inches. Work 3 inches of well-rotted manure or organic compost into the top 6 inches of the soil.
  2. Dig a hole 18 inches across and about 12 inches deep in your backyard. Remove the tomato transplant from its container, and then place it in the hole so that half the stem is underground.
  3. Place your tomato cages over the top of the young plants. As the tomato plants grow, you need to lay the branches on the wires of the cage. The cage keeps the fruit off the ground and also supports the weight of the heavy branches. Other options include tying the branches to a trellis or nearby any fence. Tie the branches loosely with pieces of soft cloth to prevent breaking issues of the stems.
  4. Feed tomato plants with an organic fertilizer designed for tomato plants or mild fish fertilizer. Neither of these fertilizers contains a lot of nitrogen, which helps in stimulating leaf growth but not fruit development.
  5. Water the tomato plants twice a week when there is no rainfall. Tomato plants need about 2 inches of water per week.
  6. You need to spread a thick layer of organic mulch like straw around the tomato plants for five weeks after transplanting them. Mulching keeps the expansion of weeds down and can reduce the quantity of soil moisture lost through evaporation.

Water Requirement for Growing Organic Tomatoes from Seeds

Water regularly newly planted tomato plants and make sure that soil is moist and ideal for growing. Early in the growing season, you need to water the plants daily in the morning. As temperatures increase, you need to water tomato plants twice a day. Garden growing tomato plants typically require 1-2 inches of water a week.

Organic Fertilizers for Growing Organic Tomatoes from Seeds

1. Compost

A compost pile will produce very rich, pure organic matter loaded with essential nutrients and beneficial microbes to the plant.

This compost releases the nutrients gradually, thereby providing long-lasting nutrition to the plant.

Compost not only helps in fertilizing tomato plants but also helps the soil to retain nutrients and water and even adds beneficial microorganism to the soil.

You need to add a significant amount to the bottom of each hole during transplanting the seeds. During the growing season make a tea compost with some humic acid and apply regularly.

2. Epsom Salt

While growing tomatoes use lots of magnesium; Epsom salt can provide tomatoes with sufficient magnesium.

You can see more blooms, stronger plants, more fruit production, deeper green color, along with taster, sweeter tomatoes by using Epsom salt.

3. Fish Emulsion

This is another natural or organic tomato fertilizer that gives your plant an extra boost, both at transplanting and even in the growing season.

It is very rich in phosphorous, nitrogen, and potassium, as well as other important minerals such as magnesium, calcium, which helps to prevent blossom-end rot.

Fish emulsion is also available in a concentrated water-soluble liquid fertilizer. It is made by blending various parts of the fish including bones.

4. Organic Cottonseed Meal

This is an ideal natural and organic fertilizer that can be added as a soil amendment at the time of transplanting seedlings. Cottonseed meal is very rich in potassium, nitrogen, and phosphorus in a ratio of 6-2-1.

5. Animal Manures

Animal manure or cow manure is classic plant food for tomatoes, but before applying it, you need to keep several things in your mind.

You should never use pet manures; cat and dog manures are highly toxic, they are very dangerous to humans, and they are full of pathogens.

use only manure from vegetarian animals such as horses and cattle.

Manure must be aged or composted before using it and it can be too strong for the tomato plants. You need to apply manure at the time of planting your tomato seedling.

Benefits of Using Organic Fertilizers for Growing Tomatoes from Seeds

  • Using organic fertilizers to the plant may improve the soil texture
  • Organic fertilizers are very safe to use
  • Using organic fertilizer will reduce pests and diseases of plant
  • Organic fertilizers are very easy to apply because they don’t contain chemicals
  • Plant damage threat is avoided by using organic fertilizer

Pests and Diseases of the Tomato Plant

The diseases are listed below:

  • Anthracnose
  • Black mold
  • Early blight
  • Fusarium wilt
  • Gray mold
  • Leaf Mold
  • Septoria leaf spot
  • Target Spot
  • Verticillium wilt
  • The above-mentioned diseases are fungal diseases of a tomato plant.
  • Bacterial canker
  • Bacterial speck
  • Bacterial spot
  • Bacterial wilt
  • The above-mentioned diseases are bacterial diseases of a tomato plant.
  • Blossom-end rot
  • Edema
  • Little leaf

The pests are listed below:

  • Aphids
  • Beet armyworm
  • Colorado potato beetle
  • Cutworms
  • Leaf miners
  • Thrips
  • Spider mites

Harvesting Organic Tomatoes

It takes nearly 70 days to harvest. After transplanting the plant, you will start to see the fruit appear within 65 to 70 days. A fully ripe tomato will be much softer than the unripe ones.

Tomatoes can be harvested from the plant when the color changes from green to yellow or red.


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