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The perfect trick to keep your tomatoes longer

Tomatoes spoil quickly if not stored properly. And it is not in the refrigerator that they feel best, contrary to what one might think. So h...

Tomatoes spoil quickly if not stored properly. And it is not in the refrigerator that they feel best, contrary to what one might think. So here's the trick to keeping them longer.

If you thought that tomatoes would keep better in your fridge, think again! Yes, they do fit in there, but the best way to keep them even longer is to place your tomatoes in the air, in a basket or a salad bowl. Preferably, leave the stalk to prevent air from infiltrating into the heart of the tomato. If it no longer has it, then place it upside down (where the stalk was at the bottom) to prevent air from getting through. 

The perfect trick to keep your tomatoes longer

Also remember to place your tomato basket away from light and temperature changes. Avoid exposing them near windows. Also good to know: tomatoes don't like to be next to certain fruits such as apples, bananas or avocados. They release gases that may reduce their longevity. Finally, it is better to wash your tomatoes just before eating them. They will thus preserve all their nutritional qualities and their flavors. 

How to increase your flowerpot tomato harvest without cutting the greedy ones!

If you think that in order to increase your tomato harvest you have to cut the greedy ones, we will see that this is not necessarily the first thing to do!

All those who one day wanted to start a vegetable garden on their balcony started with the cherry tomato! It is the mascot, we find it in all the aperitifs and salads of the summer! Easy to grow, it is the ideal plant to start!

Of the solanaceous family and native to South America, the tomato is particularly popular on riverbanks, ponds or wasteland. It is a frosty plant, that is to say that it does not hold below 0°C. Already, below 15-20°C it stops its growth!

Lots of heat, moist and well-drained soil provide ideal conditions for a tomato plant!

The tomato is very good in a tub or a flowerpot. It is sufficient that it is sufficiently deep (>30 cm) and well drained.

It particularly appreciates cultivation in lasagne which is naturally rich in nitrogen, well drained and has a high water retention (if it is well done).

By using lasagne culture in your flower pots and tubs you are sure to have a better tomato harvest!

Most of the time, it is said that in order to promote the fruiting of tomatoes, you have to cut the famous "gourmands".

Greedy people? What's that?

A foot of tomato starts to grow on a stem. Do you agree?

  • From time to time, this stem forms a branch with the leaves and sometimes a bunch with the fruit.
  • And very often above a branch, another stem forms and this new stem is called the gourmand.
  • It is often said that the greedy ones exhaust the plant and cutting them would make it possible to have bigger tomatoes. Moreover, it would stimulate the plant which, through a self-defense mechanism, would start to make more fruit...

Wouldn't it be better to let the plant develop at its own pace?

Well yes! In any case it is what I decided to do this year! We know very well that all the scars left by cutting the greedy ones are doors of entry for parasites and diseases.

In permaculture we advocate the least effort and autonomy!

So here are the good tricks which, in my opinion, will allow you to increase the harvest of your tomatoes without having to cut the greedy ones!

  • Before planting your plant, you should make sure to prepare your soil.
  • It is just as important, even more so in flower pots!

They have difficulty to regenerate themselves autonomously. It is up to you to feed your soil and your plant. The ideal is to add compost or vermicompost to the surface from the beginning of spring. Then mulch (e.g. with hay) just before planting.

Finally, you should add another layer of compost or vermicompost (still on the surface) at the time of planting.

Then, the ideal would be to water with nettle liquid manure or vermicompost juice diluted one for ten (i.e. 10%) about every 3 weeks from June to August.

If you can do everything to the letter, you are sure to increase your harvest!

Another technique if you have less time would be to plant plants of the legume family such as clover, alfalfa or beans.

  • But the ideal in my opinion is the bean. Sow it as early as late fall. It will take its place in the tray or flower pot all spring, then you will harvest a few edible pods and once your tomatoes are ready to be planted you will only have to cut the bean at the base and make a mulch for your future tomato plantations!
  • Plants of the legume family are the only plants capable of recovering nitrogen from the air and storing it in their roots.
  • Once its roots begin to decompose, your tomato plant will draw all the nitrogen it needs.

And tomatoes love nitrogen!

Something else to try to set up is tutoring!

It will allow you to colonize a little more vertical space. And, on a terrace or a balcony it is not luxury!

By raising your tomato foot, you free space at the foot which will allow you to plant some lettuce, basil or bell pepper! In addition, staking will support your plant and limit breakage when there is a lot of wind or heavy rain.

Make a mulch of mowing or fresh grass.

  • Decomposition will bring a lot of nitrogen to your foot.
  • Be careful not to mulch fresh grass too thick at once. Make thin layers of 1 to 2 centimeters maximum!
  • Mowing quickly tends to heat up and ferment which is not very good for the plant.

Last piece of advice, a little contradictory with what I told you at the beginning of the article but it will be necessary sometimes to shade them from the sun.
Even if the tomato loves the sun, you will see that as a general rule, during strong heat waves it suffers from full sun. Especially on terraces or balconies where reverberation is very important.

Indeed the heat and the radiation of the sun can literally burn the foliage of your plant! And not that, even the root can burn if you cultivate in plastic pots for example. Plastic accumulates heat and becomes too hot for the roots.

So for all the terraces and balconies where the sun hits hard, bring a maximum of shade with a tree, bamboos, a climbing plant on a trellis or a parasol for example!

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