Growing tomatoes with children could be an extremely fun activity if you are well informed and do it the right way! Tomatoes are a great choice when selecting vegetables for a children’s garden and they come in varieties. Growing cherry tomatoes has a lot of advantages for you and your kid so let’s check them out!
Reasons You Should be Growing Tomatoes with Children
1. Tomatoes are highly nutritious
Growing tomatoes with children are highly beneficial to their health and yours. Especially since tomatoes have high nutritional content. They are good for the skin, improve vision, support the heart, help the digestive system, and prevent the risk of urinary tract infections. Tomatoes are popularly known to contain lycopene; an antioxidant known to reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer. They also have high water content; about 95%.
Tomatoes are also a source of vitamins and minerals which play essential roles in the body. Some of them are Vitamins C, K, and B9 and potassium.
2. It is a fun activity
Trust me, children love being engaged as long as it is fun. They love playing in dirt so the planting process is something they would really enjoy. You can also engage them in other activities like watering the plants and plucking out the tiny weeds growing around.
Harvesting round, colorful and juicy tomatoes is surely going to be delightful. So growing cherry tomatoes with your children is an interesting activity all around.
3. They require a lot of attention
Growing tomatoes with kids help you spend more time with them. Tomatoes require a lot of attention so to successfully grow them while taking your children through every step of it means you get to have more together time together with your kids
Growing tomatoes with children also help them pay attention to little details that comes with planting tomatoes.
4. You do not need a large space
Even if you don’t have a large garden, you do not have to bother. A little corner of your garden that is not out of reach for sunlight is perfect for this. If you don’t have a garden at all, tomatoes can be grown in a pot and still give you juicy fruits to harvest.
How to Grow Cherry Tomatoes Outdoors
Choosing to grow your tomatoes outdoors can be such a great idea. You may be thinking, why cherry tomatoes? Cherry tomatoes are a different breed and have their own varieties as well. It is easy to snack on because of its small size and round shape, it is also juicier than the regular type because of its high water content and has a unique taste.
Here are a few pointers in case you choose to grow cherry tomatoes outdoors.
1. Pick an appropriate spot
Growing tomatoes with kids outdoors do not need a lot of space so it is easy to just mark out a space in your already existing garden for this purpose. It is also important to plant your cherry tomatoes in a part of the garden where they will not eventually overshadow other small plants because of their height.
Growing any type of tomato at all requires a lot of direct sunlight for about 6 hours daily and cherry tomatoes are not left out. It is therefore important to grow your cherry tomatoes in a spot within the reach of sunlight.
2. Use the right soil type
The type of soil you use in growing cherry tomatoes goes a long way in determining how well they grow. It is preferable to grow your tomatoes on loamy soil that is loose and well-drained. Also, the soil for growing tomatoes should be slightly acidic.
If you are making use of a soil mix ensure that the nitrogen content is not too high because John nitrogen content majorly promotes the growth of green leaves and not the fruits which is the result we anticipate.
3. Seed or seedling type
It is essential to pick the right variety of seeds or seedlings to grow when growing tomatoes with children. If you choose to plant your seeds directly, ensure that you plant them about 10 inches deep into the ground for strength and also check on them and care for them from time to time. Planting your seed directly also requires that you plant them earlier than you would plant seedlings.
You can choose to buy your seedlings or grow them directly. Either way, you have to make sure that you plant them after the last frosting has taken place. Extremely cold weather is not conducive to the growth of seedlings and may lead to death.
4. Provide support
Unlike other plants you can just leave to grow on their own, growing cherry tomatoes need more than that. Apart from frequently watering it, and adding manure and other essential things to grow a healthy plant, it is essential to provide support for your growing cherry tomatoes.
Some of the ways to do this are by staking, fencing, caging, and trellising them. All these support methods will make the tomatoes grow vertically. If left to crawl and grow on the ground, they end up getting rotten leaving nothing to harvest at the end.
5. Maintain the plant
When your tomatoes have started growing, maintenance is very important. One way to make your growing cherry tomatoes blossom is to water it. In places that are hot, more water will be needed. It is also important to know that excessive watering can also adversely affect it.
Another important maintenance routine is to pluck out weeds from around the plant. If allowed to grow, they may become wild and start to compete with the plants for nutrients.
Adding fertilizers all through the growing process is essential. You should take note of the nitrogen content of the fertilizers used for appropriate results.
6. Use pesticides
Using pesticides is important when you are growing your cherry tomatoes outdoors. This prevents tomato-infesting pets from damaging the quality and nutritional value of tomatoes to be harvested.
Following the right steps in garden planting with your kids helps make the experience easier and more memorable for them. Growing tomatoes with children is one way to have them engage with and appreciate the nature around them. It also comes with a lot of benefits and fun, so it should be one of the top things on your to-do list.