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July 01, 2016

Home Grown Tomato

This is about my first experience about cultivating tomato at home. Now days, all I dream is to own a farm and grow all kind of veggies and fruits. There are much more years to make this dream come true. Till that day why to wait? Thus, my urge to do farming led me this idea of home/pot growing veggies.

With this idea lingering in my mind, I came through Savita's blog. I read about her  home composting experiments. Link   I also read about Ecobin composting which is based on Bokashi method. Link  I follow Mrs Vani Murthy on FB. I have seen photos of her composting method. Few years back,  I was inspired by Daily Dump and Kambha, tired clay pots for home composting. Link  Until now, always wanted to try it out but never did. Thought why not use home composting manure for tomatoes? Searched to find out more about this and find out easy explained video on You Tube. Link. I got same topic another link on Endlessly Green. Link.

I thought of mixing all these into one experiment, producing manure from kitchen waste and growing tomato directly on same pot. For this I bought four pots. I punched enough holes using hot nail. There must be enough air circulating to decompose the kitchen waste. I started with layering with coconut fiber. And then a layer of soil. On top of this, I started to put my kitchen waste. I also added dry leaves from my balcony garden. And again layered with soil. I have added organic manure and a spoon of buttermilk to start the process. 

This process took me a week to fill single pot. I filled four pots one my one. As mentioned, I had a plan to grow tomato plant directly on this manure. That's why I started seedling of tomato. I used seeds from a good ripen tomato. Seeds germinated quickly and took weeks to turn into seedling. At the same time decomposing  process was started in the pots. It took more than a month. Both process were happening side by side.

Meanwhile, I read good tutorial on tomato cultivation from YouTube. I need to mention about California Gardening which explains every aspects of growing potatoes in a planter. Link. They have mention to give nitrogen fertilizer first and then calcium source on. They have clearly mentioned to grow tomatoes on a potting mix not on potting soil. I ignored those tips and went on my own methods. Its better to experiment and learn our own way.

As the pots were getting ready, seedling turned into saplings. I pruned extra branches coming out and kept single main stem. This video helped me a lot. Link  I planted sapling in each composting pots and moved them to another window space to get direct sunlight. I used electrical wire tube to stake these plants. Within couple of weeks plants grew and flowered. That was a delighted sight, small yellow flowers peeping out from green leaves. Again I followed these steps to do hand pollinate. Link  Still few fell down and few grew into fruits. 

It took total four months to harvest first home grown tomatoes. The journey was worthwhile. And the fruits were juicy and tasty too.

I was able to harvest few tomatoes from these four plants. In between we went on a long trip and these plants dried up. Now, planing to start once again. This time aiming for Mirchi, Brinjal with Tomaoto. Lets see what happens.

ಸೌP / Author & Editor

CG Artist by profession, Passionate about art and decor, Loves to explore places


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