Solanum lycopersicum is a perennial tomato species from the Solanaceae family. It originates from South America and was brought to Europe by Spaniards in the 1500s. It produces yellow flowers which develop into fleshy red fruits, called tomatoes. Though a perennial species, it is often grown as an annual for the most efficient vegetable production. Tomatoes are fruits but they are typically used as culinary vegetables. Growing tomatoes can be tricky but is very rewarding if done right. Grow more than one variety, as some will suit your area better than others. Tomatoes come in a wide range of cultivars suited to specific conditions and uses. From juicing, salad tomatoes, and just eating off the vine. They can come in a multitude of shapes, sizes and colours including striped varieties and even heart-shaped fruits!
Roughly 45-90 days until maturity. Ripe tomatoes are firm but slightly soft and a deep ripe colour and varying sizes. Fruit bruises easily so only "palm" the tomatoes, don't squeeze. Gently pick them off the stem once ripe or remove a branch and allow to dry while picking the fruit as they ripen.
Sow indoors and transplant seedlings once they are 15-25 cm tall. Bury at least two-thirds of the stem to encourage root growth and a stronger plant. Space seedlings 60 cm apart and water thoroughly.
Cutting root easily if placed in a glass of water.
Tomatoes are heavy feeders and require well-fertilized soil. Rotate annually to prevent nutrient depletion of the soil.
Can be grown in a container provided it is at least 60 cm wide and deep.
Attracts useful insects
Insects such as bees.
South and Central America, Mexico.
Loam, Sand, Compost, Clay
Soil PH preference
Neutral, Acid, Alkaline
The fruit is consumed in diverse ways, including raw, as an ingredient in many dishes, sauces, salads, and drinks made into juices, dried or preserved.
Tomatoes contain lycopene, an antioxidant. It contains vitamins A, B, C and K as well as minerals like potassium and calcium.
Pests include cutworms, hornworms and bollworm, aphids, cabbage loopers, whiteflies, tomato fruitworms, red spider mite, slugs, and Colorado potato beetles. Diseases include the tobacco mosaic virus, blight and various forms of mildew.