Tomatoes are one of the most widely grown vegetables (or fruits, you decide) in home garden. As they are pretty easy to be grown from seeds and doesn’t require a lot of expertise.
So, How to grow tomatoes at home in India?
To grow tomatoes at home in India, sow tomato seeds in small pots indoors place it in a warm place away from sunlight. Keep misting it & once the sapling grows around 4-5 inches long, transplant them to a bigger pot & keep it in direct sunlight. Best time to grow tomatoes in India is Mar – May.
In this easy to follow guide, you will learn to grow tomatoes at home step by step.
Growing Tomatoes At Home In India (Step By Step)
Table of content
- Best Season to Grow Tomatoes in India
- Things Required To Grow Tomatoes
- Preparing Potting Soil
- Sowing Seeds
- How to water tomato plant
Best Time To Grow Tomatoes In India
The best time to grow tomatoes in India is from Mar-May.
As Tomato plants are sun loving plant, so when you start with sowing seeds in March or April, they get big enough to be transplanted outside in full sun just at the right time when there is lot of sun available.
Tomato plant cannot handle cold weather and thus cannot grow during winter season. So never grow tomato near winter season.
Things Required To Grow Tomatoes At Home
- Container ( 1 pot for seedling and grow bags for the tomato plant)
- Potting Soil
- Garden sprayer
- Neem oil (Pesticide)
Preparing Potting Soil For Growing Tomatoes At Home In India
Tomato plant doesn’t have much demand when it comes to potting soil, any soil which is not too sticky will work.
But it do require nutrition rich soil.
To prepare potting soil for tomato use the following ingredients and ratio:
For compost you can always use rotted cow dung.
But one extra thing that is needed for tomato plant is Calcium, so to provide it with calcium you can add egg shell after crushing them in powered form once a month.
Sowing Seeds & Germination of Tomato Seeds
Steps to sow seeds of tomato
- Take a small pot fill it with potting soil leaving a few inches from above.
- Now sprinkle the seeds of tomato all over it, don’t overcrowd (provide some gap between them).
- Cover these seeds with a light layer of coco peat.
- Now use a garden sprayer to lightly mist it and make the soil moist.
- Keep this pot in a warm and dark place (no sunlight).
How long does it take for tomato seeds to germinate?
Tomato seeds take 5-7 days to germinate, if everything goes well.
Once they start to germinate, move the pot to a location which gets bright but indirect sunlight.
And keep the soil moist at all time, otherwise the saplings can dry and won’t grow.
Transplanting Sapling to the Final Container
Once these saplings grow at least 4-5 inches long, it is time to transplant them into their final container.
Get a good quality medium sized grow bag and fill it with potting soil. (Grow bags are preferred over pots to grow vegetables as they are light in weight, economical and has more space for plant to grow freely)
Now, take the saplings out of the potting soil carefully without damaging its root.
Make a small hole in the potting soil and bury the roots inside it and then gently press the soil around it.
Plant only one sapling per grow bag to avoid overcrowding, otherwise they will start to fight for nutrition.
Keep this grow bag in a location where it can receive direct sunlight for 5-6 hours daily.
How to Water Tomato Plants?
This is a very important part of growing tomatoes as tomato plants are very sensitive to water.
Both overwatering and underwatering will cause serious damage to your plant.
So, make sure that the pots you are using is having 4-5 holes at the bottom for proper drainage of water.
And while watering it make sure that the soil is evenly moist but not wet and soggy.
The game is to keep the soil moist all the time, so watering them early morning is the best practice as the temperature is not that high and the water won’t evaporate easily.
If the temperature is very high, then you might need to water it twice to keep the soil moist.
Soon, the plant will start to produce flowers.
Fertilizing The Tomato Plant
Once the plant starts to make flower it is in the beginning process of producing Tomato and this is the time it should be given proper nutrition so that it can bear healthy tomatoes for you.
The best fertilizer for Tomato plants are Seaweed Fertilizer (you can always go for cow dung and vermicompost).
All you have to do is mix 20 ml of seaweed fertilizer in 5 liters of water and spray them every 7-10 days after your plant starts to blossom flowers this will ensure proper growth of tomatoes.
You can also add manure or compost instead of seaweed solution. It totally depends on you. Just make sure it is providing right amount of nutrition to the plant.
Fertilizers low in nitrogen but high in phosphorus are good for tomatoes also egg shells in powdered form helps a lot.
After doing all the hard work, when can you expect to harvest your home grown tomatoes?
It will take around 60-70 days after transplanting to see full grown tomatoes on your plant.
Harvest the one that you feel are ripe enough.
Just like us small insects also love juicy tomatoes and loves to feed on them and its leaves.
But you haven’t grown these plants for these insects it’s for you.
So how do you get rid of these little bugs?
It is simple just get neem oil and add 5 ml of neem oil in 1 liter of water and spray it on the plant and it will keep the pests away.
Never spray neem oil in the morning or afternoon because if exposed to sunlight it will burn the leaves. Always spray neem oil once the sun is set and let it tackle with the bugs all night.
Keep checking behind leaves for any bugs, if you can get rid off them in early stage that will save you from a lot of damage.
If you see single leaf attacked by them get rid off that leaf.
Signs that your tomato plant is in trouble
The leaves will turn yellowish or brownish in color or will start to crumble this is the time you should look if you are underwatering your plant or if it needs more nutrition.
Blossom end rot:
It is one of the common problems with tomato plants when it starts to rot from the bottom, it is believed that it is due to lack of calcium in the soil or it can be also due to less watering.
So, if you are watering it properly and keeping the soil moist then you can get some egg shells and crush them finely and sprinkle the powder in the soil to fulfil its calcium need.
So this how you grow tomatoes at home in India easily.
The main problem with tomato plants that people face is while watering it. So make sure you follow the tips I have told you.
If you follow this guide and start growing tomatoes at home, do share your experience with us all.
Also, share this article with your family members and ask them to grow chemical free tomatoes at home.