Grow a Tomato Greenhouse to Die For!
Wednesday, 19 October 2016
The main ingredient and star of the show is of course the fresh and juicy tomato. But fruit or vegetable, that is the question? Is it a fruit, is it a vegetable - the answer lies back in 1887, when the US government declared that because tomatoes could be eaten raw or cooked, they were classed as a vegetable and because of this a 10% tariff could be imposed on them, which did not apply to fruits. Botanically though, the tomatoes in your tomato greenhouse and on supermarket shelves are definitely fruits, because fruits are the part of the plant that contain the seeds.
Tomatoes are rich in the antioxidant lycopene, this is responsible for the red colouring and is said to have many health benefits. While tomatoes feature heavily in the Mediterranean diet and are widely associated with Italian cuisine they are actually native to South America where they are thought to originate (Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Chile and Bolivia). The actual name, tomato, is believed to come from the Aztec word 'tomatl' meaning swelling fruit. But blessed by the ideal climate, the lucky South Americans don't need a tomato greenhouse to get the best from their vines!
Closely related to the deadly nightshade plant, tomatoes belong to the Solanaceae plant family. They were once believed to be a dangerous food, but thankfully, we now know better! So what is the secret of growing a tomato greenhouse to die for, figuratively speaking!
Tomatoes in your tomato greenhouse will thrive with the right light, warm conditions, enough water and the correct food. But, the two main things that will make the difference are simple staking and removing the side shoots 'pinching out', so that your precious fruits are not shaded and weighed down with excessive leaves. The pinching out also diverts energy into the growing fruit. Remove the young shoot, which develops between the main stem and the branch that fruits, bend down to snap off with a clean break from the branch - aim for a sharp break as you don't want to leave a stump to die back.
There's nothing quite like that delicious, fresh, fruity, warm, heady aroma of tomatoes growing in your own greenhouse and the taste? Tomato heaven in your very own tomato greenhouse!