Tomatoes are a popular greenhouse crop and one that provides an excellent harvest. With good lighting and proper temperature control in your greenhouse kit, you can easily have multiple harvests yearly. Note that proper handling of these indoor conditions facilitates two of the most important processes: successful pollination and disease prevention.
1. Setting up the greenhouse kit
The first step involves checking the temperature, selecting the right tomato variety, choosing a medium to grow the crop and, installing the recommended irrigation system.
- Tomato plants provide better yields if day temperatures range from 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit and night temperatures range from 60 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit respectively.
- When selecting a variety, choose seeds that are marked 'greenhouse varieties’ since these are tolerant to the conditions inside a greenhouse. If you are doubtful about the seeds to buy then it may be wise to talk to local growers; their wealth of information will easily lead you in the right direction.
- Generally, tomatoes thrive in a well-draining medium such as soil-less medium, rock wool slabs or perlite bags, vermiculite and sphagnum peat moss mixed in the ratio 1:1.
- It is recommended to use a Drip Irrigation System because it provides a steady supply of water directly to the root system and you can also use it to automate the fertilizer application.
- Fill a disinfected seeding tray with sterile soil. You may also use a soil-less tray and seed nutrient solution. Get the tray ready by making it moist using water or nutrient solution. Water is apt for moisturizing soil while the nutrient solution is meant for a soil-less tray.
- Plant your seeds and ensure you expose the trays to ample lighting.
- Two weeks after the seeds sprout, transplant them into small pots; then again into bigger pots when they attain a height between 4 and 6 inches. Ensure that the calcium and pH levels are appropriate in the greenhouse before this last transplantation.
Proper care for tomato plants involves:
- applying nitrogen- and potassium-rich fertilizer regularly
- removing suckers(off-shoots every week
- staking the plants so they do not crumble under their own weight
- You may also need to use a Mechanical Pollinator on the tomato plants to help pollinate the flowers and prune the leaves when the plants begin to fruit.
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If you are ready to start growing purchase your tomato seeds here.