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Tag along with a tomato

What I really like about tomatoes is their taste and versatility. There are so many recipes including tomatoes. If you ever have tasted a tomato from the Mediterranean countries, you know it’s a different experience than anything you can buy in the store. The taste is different. The only taste that equals those tomatoes, in my opinion, is your own home grown tomatoes. So, let’s get started!

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How to go tomato with Markus

Get the ingredients
To start cultivating tomatoes you need this: tomato seeds (Markus is using the tomato seed “Bronzy”, sowing soil, small pots (a rootmaster works too!), grow lights, and vermiculite (helps to air the soil and simultaneously retain moisture and nutrients in the soil).

Step 1: Pre-cultivation
There are two ways of doing this.

A) The conventional way: put your tomato seeds in a pot with soil.
B) Markus way: Put the seeds on wet toiletpaper. Yes, I said it. Toiletpaper. This is a little trick I learned from a friend that actually works quite well. When you see small sprouts coming up from the paper, put the paper with the sprout into a pot with soil. It’s sort of a pre-cultivation to the pre-cultivation. Preferably, for both A and B, the soil shouldn’t be too nutritious in this first stage.

Step 2: Sort out the drainage
A good way of doing that is to use seed pots with holes in the bottom for good drainage. Tomatoes like moisture, but they can’t swim. This way you make sure they get what they need, without overdoing the watering.

Step 3: Ventilation and light
Give your friends good ventilation, a lot of light and warmth. Around 20-25 degrees celsius is a good temperature. Use grow lights to make sure your plants get all the lights they need.

Step 4: Important to know
Carefully think of where you’re placing the plants. Tomatoes like it warm, so putting them next to a badly isolated window leaking cold isn’t going to make them happy. I recommend using grow lights. With this light you can place your plants in areas they otherwise wouldn’t like.

Step 5: About replanting
Replant your tomato plants in larger pots as they grow bigger. Also make sure to regularly take away sprouts between the leafs to save the plants’ energy.

One last piece of advice
Let your plants grow strong for 6 to 10 weeks before planting them outside. When you do, start by “learning” them to adjust to the new environment little by little. Put them outside every time each day, before you put the outside for the rest of the season. When the risk of night frost is over they’re ready to go.