Growing tomatoes is our yearly task. And this year we have chosen Moneymaker (Lycopersicon lycopetsicum) tomatoes.
Generally, all tomatoes love plentiful of moderate sunlight, moist ground and good drainage rich light soil. General seedling temperature for tomato is 20°C (Celsius) or 68°F (Fahrenheit).
Growing tomatoes required a long period of time. So, sowing tomato seeds in late winter to early spring in your greenhouse or indoor may have a higher chance to harvest ripe tomatoes before the frost set in.
1. Deep Potting Soil: Tomato plants have plenty of deep roots; therefore they need a deep container of organic soil.
2. Deep Watering: Every day at least feeding one inch of water on the top soil and let it go through all the ground in the container and drain out. Soil must be moist at all times.
3. Transplanting: Young plants should be transfer together with their existing pot ground; and must be staked immediately. The plants will produce fast with flower buds; when they feel stable and secured.
4. Stakes: Give the plant first a toothpick to lean on when first transplant; and follow by a short bamboo stick. Later support the plant with a longer stick when it grows taller. The final support you can provide is a 2 meter long stick when the plant is taller than one meter; so that the plant can focus on its flowers shoots and stays straight and steady.
a. Growing tomatoes must prune off the side shoots which stay at 45° between the stem and the branch as soon as they appear. They are known as "Suckers". This way the plant will concentrate all its energies on the fruit buds.
b. Top the plant when 3 to 4 clusters of tomatoes are shown; if the warm season is short.
6. Fertiliser: Stir 1/8 scoop of Rock Minerals Powder in 500ml of rain water or clean water; and feed it to the plants twice (maximum) throughout the growing season.
7. Harvest: Collect tomatoes when they are ripe. Ripened tomatoes should be firm. If the day temperature is too high, the tomatoes may turn soft but not red. If it happens, remove them as early as possible; so that they have enough warm days to continue their colouring work indoor.
*On 16-3-2020 started soaking 10 seeds in a plastic container in house (picture 1-2).
*On 19-3-2020 (day 3) 6 seeds were sprouted (picture 3).
*On 24-3-2020 (day 8) split 9 plants into 2 containers (picture 4).
*On 29-3-2020 (day 13) 8 young plants came with 2 leaves and long roots (picture 5).
*On 4-4-2020 (day 19) transferred 8 young plants to a greenhouse black plastic tray (picture 6) of coconut fibre and covered with a plastic sheet for cold protection (picture 7).
*On 12-4-2020 (day 27) transferred 2 young plants to a transparent container of natural soil (picture 8).
*On 26-4-2020 (day 41) two plants grew taller and stronger (picture 9).
*On 2-5-2020 (day 47) both young tomato plants were carrying 4 leaves each (picture 10).
*On 6-5-2020 (day 51) transplanted one to another transparent pot (picture 11).
*On 19-5-2020 (day 64) moved both transparent pots to outdoor; under a shade cloth for further development (picture 12).
The transparent pot's size is 20cm in height; top across is 23cm; bottom across is 18cm.
*On 26-5-2020 (day 71) both plant 1 & plant 2 were bigger (picture 13&14).
*On 31-5-2020 (day 76) gave them both a longer stake and tie them loose with a string (picture 15).
*On 4-6-2020 (day 80) the first sucker appeared on plant 1 (picture 16). Trim it off immediately.
*On 13-6-2020 (day 89) plant 1 requested for earth-up (picture 17); plant 2 starting flower buds (picture 18).
*On 16-6-2020 (day 92) Two plants were growing steady (picture 19).
*On 18-6-2020 (day 94) Two plants (picture 20&21) were showing flower buds and expanding at the same time.
Growing tomatoes must watch out the temperature. When the heat weave arrived; the sun power is too strong for the plants; we must move them under a bigger shade cloth (picture 22).
*On 20-6-2020 (day 96) plant 1 came with plenty of flower buds (picture 23).
First feed about 100ml rock mineral powder water (picture 24) to both plants as fertiliser.
*On 21-6-2020 Moved both plants back to their original place (picture 25).
*On 24-6-2020 (day 100) both plants flowers buds were turning down (picture 26&27).
*On 26-6-2020 (day 102) plant 1 was 40cm tall (above ground); and plant 2 was 48cm tall (picture 28).
*On 28-6-2020 (day 104) both plants showed second clusters of buds (picture 29&30).
*On 3-7-2020 (day 109) both started flowering; and we added a plastic coated iron stick to each plant (picture 31).
*On 12-7-2020 (day 118) added a longer bamboo stick. Plant 1 was 50cm in height; and plant 2 was 55cm tall (picture 32).
4 tomato plants from greenhouse were transferred outdoor; tie to a trellis; and sheltered under the shade cloth (picture 33).
Second feed about 100ml rock mineral powder water to both tomato plants.
*On 15-7-2020 (day 121) plant 1 showed 3rd cluster of buds (picture 34); and both plants started to fruit (picture 35&36).
*Plant one was topped on 17-7-2020 after the 4th cluster of buds appeared.
*On 22-7-2020 (day 128) plant 1 was 78cm tall; plant 2 was 84cm in height. Plant 2 was given another bamboo stick for support (picture 37); and it showed its 3rd cluster of buds.
*On 24-7-2020 (day 130) plant 1 was showing its first cluster of 5 small green tomatoes (picture 38); and plant 2 was showing a cluster of 2 bigger plus one small tomatoes (picture 39).
*On 6-8-2020 (day 143) both plants showed bigger fruits (picture 40&41).
*On 11-8-2020 (day 148) both plants were showing more fruits (picture 42). Plant 1 was 102cm tall; and plant 2 was 103cm.
*On 17-8-2020 (day 154) both plants were given an extra stick (picture 43). Because the plants were taller and the fruits were heavier.
*On 23-8-2020 (day 160) moved both plants to get more top space (picture 44). Because they were taller.
*On 25-8-2020 (day 162) plant one's first cluster of tomatoes changed to yellowish (picture 45).
*On 28-8-2020 (day 165) Some of plant one's first cluster of fruits were changing to orange colour (picture 46).
*On 30-8-2020 (day 167) plant two's first cluster of tomatoes were starting to change colour (picture 47).
*On 1-9-2020 (day 169) plant one's tomatoes were changed to a deeper orange colour (picture 48).
*On 2-9-2020 (day 170) both plants were transferred to center of the garden (picture 49) when the day temperature went below 30°C.
*On 6-9-2020 (day 174) both plants tomatoes were in very attractive colour (picture 50&51).
*On 8-9-2020 (day 176) harvested 2 large (22cm around; height 6cm) and one small from plant 2; 3 medium and 2 small from plant 1 (picture 52).
First harvest for plant one was 430g; and plant two was 320g.
*On 22-9-2020 (day 190) all home grown tomato plants moved to back of the garden (North edge) to catch the sunlight (picture 53).
The tallest plant among all was about 190cm. Plant one and plant two's height was about 120cm.
*On 30-9-2020 (day 198) second harvest was 176g (picture 54).
*On 4-10-2020 (day 202) the final harvest was 645g (picture 55); including fruits from those 4 plants stood behind the plant one and plant 2.
Unripe tomatoes were placed next to the window for colouring (picture 56).
*Moneymaker (Heirloom) tomato plant can produce 7 to 8 clusters of bright red tomatoes; if you have a longer warm season for it to develop.
* It has no pest attack.
*Fertilisers must feed at the right time; otherwise; the plant will keep growing leaves and not flowers.
*If the plant is growing very tall; the flowering is late; and it bears less or no fruits.
*It belongs to the Beefsteak variety. You can eat fresh; use it for salads. It is great for sandwiches and sauces too.