Organic farming exploits the natural resources of the soil and develops crops without the use of chemicals (other than the minimum allowed by the control bodies) or GMOs (genetically modified organisms) and in compliance with specific regulations. With the rotation of crops, the principle and basis on which organic farming is mainly based, there is greater control of weeds, diseases and soil fertilization, so it will not be necessary to intervene with the use of chemicals.
Organic tomato cultivation provides some rules to follow. First of all we will have the phase of soil preparation through a very deep plowing of about twenty-five centimeters, this to allow the roots of the plant to grow healthy and robust and ensure that the latter is more resistant to weeds. Other operations, such as harrowing etc., will be carried out between the end of the winter season and the beginning of the spring one.
With regard to the multiplication of the tomato plant, the rules governing organic cultivation provide for the use of seedlings (which will then be transplanted) and organic seeds. As for the tomato, the most used technique is that of transplanting, since, with sowing, controlling the onset of weeds is very difficult. Generally, the planting of the seedlings is carried out from the end of April to the beginning of May.
Yes, you know that a plant needs to feed itself in order to develop. However, fertilization also promotes the growth of weeds.
The rules of organic farming allow the use of three fertilization techniques:
Green manure: it is a method to maintain or improve soil fertilization by planting specific crops. As for the tomato, carrying out this operation before its cultivation does not lead to large increases in production, while it is excellent for limiting the appearance of weeds.
Manure: the use of this organic substance is limited to thirty to forty tons per hectare of land.
Other organic type fertilizers.
The organically grown tomato is harvested in the middle of August.
Controlling the growth of weeds is possible thanks to the combination of the four operations described, namely: rotation, tillage, planting and fertilization. In the previous paragraphs we explained that transplanting is the best method to multiply the tomato plant in order to contain the development of weeds; for the same purpose, after a few days from the transplant operation, it will be advisable to proceed with a weeding of the soil. In the following periods we will still do some weeding or tamping.
Defend yourself from disease
Of course, the absence or lesser use of chemicals also leads to a greater incidence of diseases, so you will have to use elements that adapt to the rules of organic farming but that are also effective against the attack of diseases. One of the most common diseases affecting the tomato plant is downy mildew; being fungal, copper-containing products have always been used to eradicate it, but this element has been found to be harmful to the environment and therefore its use in organic cultivation has been almost prohibited and in any case limited. Some tests have been done with other products but so far they have not shown great efficacy against downy mildew.
Best organic tomato varieties
If you want to grow an organic tomato, you must be very careful in choosing the variety; given the absence or minimal use of chemical "aids", it will be necessary to opt for varieties that do not require large fertilizations, that are more resistant to diseases and parasites, that have a faster development and so on. Below we will explain the most suitable tomato varieties for organic cultivation:
Magnum 955: this variety has a good production and of quite good quality, is of late type, has a medium resistance to diseases and parasites.
Guadalete: it is a variety that is subject to rot but has a good productivity even if not of excellent quality.
Brigade: this tomato has good productivity but at alternating periods, the quality of the fruit is excellent and the variety is medium / early.
Snob: also medium-early, there is good productivity but not always qualitatively relevant.
Totem: this variety has a lower resistance to mildew attack than the varieties described so far; it has an alternating productivity both for quantity and quality. It is subject to rot.
Red Fighter: is a variety that develops good productivity and acceptable quality.
12 do-it-yourself organic fertilizers and pesticides against garden pests
With the arrival of the spring and in general the desire to grow in the hot season cultivate it does not matter whether it is a balcony, a garden or a vegetable garden, the important thing is to do it! But often it is not an easy task and to complicate our work, which is already hard and tiring, it takes an infinity of insects and parasites which, if not controlled, are able to ruin our crops, frustrating every effort.
This month we want to suggest some "recipes" for create completely organic fertilizers and repellents that will help you keep unwanted insects away in full respect of nature and your crops.
Tomatoes: tips for growing them
To be sure of eating organic tomatoes, there is nothing better than growing them yourself. In the garden or in pots, quality is guaranteed.
Which varieties to choose?
It's easy to say tomatoes. There are numerous varieties, the simplest ones to grow are: Datterino, Cherry, Beef Heart, Cluster Round, Smooth Round and San Marzano. If you choose to plant different types of tomatoes, you will get a continuous harvest.
How to sow?
To begin with, you have to choose whether to start with seeds or buy some ready-made seedlings to transplant.
For starters, the second choice is definitely wiser. Just buy two or three plants for each family member and transplant them into the target pot or vegetable garden when they are 15 or 20 cm tall.
If, on the other hand, you decide to start from seeds, it will be necessary to use jars with a diameter of 6-8 cm, in which a maximum of 4 seeds will be inserted. Sowing must be carried out in a bright room in the house starting from the end of winter.
The strongest plants will then be selected, which will be placed outdoors in early spring, making sure that they are not too exposed to direct sun and frost during the night.
Transplant tomato seedlings
Tomatoes need a lot of sun and a soil rich in organic material, possibly enriched with well-decomposed compost or composted manure. The plants must be inserted deeply, taking care to bury about 50% - 75%, even if this means burying the lower leaves.
Each transplanted specimen must be given about four liters of water immediately, to avoid the shock of the transfer.
In the garden, the seedlings need a minimum distance of 45 cm between them, to guarantee the necessary space for watering, pruning and harvesting. And of course to be able to insert the supports.
Immediately after transplanting to the vegetable garden, it is necessary to provide for mulch, or cover the soil with natural materials (straw, dry grass or pine needles) in order to avoid the growth of weeds and to keep the temperature of the soil constant.
For cultivation on the balcony or terrace, it is necessary to choose pots between 20 and 30 cm in diameter and keep in mind the space to insert the supports. Furthermore, it is necessary to prepare them properly to avoid stagnation in saucers. That is, it is necessary to sprinkle the bottom of each vase with a layer of expanded clay, gravel or shards and fill it with universal organic soil, possibly enriched with compost or composted manure.
Treat the tomatoes
The plants should be watered once or twice a week until they have fruit and more often (up to every two days) when they produce tomatoes. It is necessary to avoid watering from above or in the evening to avoid the attack of molds and fungi.
From the second week after the transplant it is necessary to provide a supports for plants. You can use poles made of bamboo, wood, iron or plastic, between 1.8 and 2.4 meters high, with a base of 1.3 x 5 cm. They must be inserted 30 - 60 cm deep and at least 5 cm from the plant, which will be delicately tied with fabric ties.
An alternative may be the cages, which must be at least 1.2 m high and do not require tying: just pull the leaves and stems inside.
A few weeks after transplanting, the "sissies“, Which must be removed at least once a week. The procedure is called chess or depemminellatura and it must be performed when the females are small and do not have flowers or fruits.
Collect the tomatoes
About 60 days after transplanting, small green fruits appear on the plants. When the size is appropriate for the chosen variety, the red color and the soft, firm texture can be plucked.
Organic tomatoes richer in lycopene and vitamin C
THE organic tomatoes they are more nutritious than traditional ones. It therefore appears, denied, at least as regards tomatoes, one previous research according to which there are no foods from organic farming and their conventional counterparts differences from a nutritional point of view.
Organic tomatoes pile up higher concentrations of C vitamin, sugars ed antioxidants, when compared with the same foods grown using conventional methods that involve the use of pesticides. The comparison was made by the experts of the Federal University of Ceara, Brazil, under the guidance of Maria Raquel Alcantara Miranda.
The study in question was published on the open access scientific portal PlosOne. Within the study, the researchers focused on comparing organic and conventional tomatoes from the point of view of weight and nutritional content. Organic tomatoes, despite having a about 40% less weight compared to their conventional counterparts, they have proved capable of accumulate a greater amount of nutrients.
This would be due to the beneficial stress to which organic tomatoes are subjected during their growth, having to face any adverse conditions without the aid of pesticides, as in the case of plants born spontaneously in a completely natural environment. The greater richness of organic tomatoes in terms of the presence of vitamin C, sugars and antioxidants, among which we also find the lycopene. The differences are evident by consulting the data reported by the experts in this table.
There greater richness of organic tomatoes from a nutritional point of view it has been related to the biological response of these vegetables to stress. At the conclusion of the study, the experts suggest that in the cultivation of vegetables we should not aim to eliminate stress conditions in the hope of maximizing crop yields, but to identify a balance that allows to obtain products with a favorable size and nutritional content.
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Tomato or Patataro
drought-resistant with an ancient flavor
Tomato with an "ancient" flavor, it is grown for fresh consumption and for the preparation of sauces and gravies. L'Or patataro is very ...
10. Shake for a rich fruit set
When growing tomatoes in greenhouses, leave the windows open during the day so that bees and bumblebees can pollinate the flowers. In nightshade plants such as tomatoes, pollen collects tightly in porous capsules. To release their pollen, you can shake the plants again and again. In the field, this work takes over. At temperatures above 30 degrees or high humidity, however, the pollen sticks, so shaking doesn't help.
Shaking it helps nature here a little on the jumps