Tomatoes can be planted well in the home garden, because the plant is very frugal. Who wants a rich harvest, should nevertheless pay attention to some things.

The warm summer months are tomato season. Both in many gardens and on the dining table. The red fruits are versatile – from salad to pizza – and as plants are comparatively undemanding in care. A few tips and tricks should be known, however, so that you can harvest as many tomatoes as possible. Above all, the location is important. Also, when choosing a tomato variety, you should calmly look beyond the cellar edge and consider one of the non-red varieties.

Location, fertilizer and the right time to water – what tomatoes really need

If you want to have a bountiful tomato harvest, you should make sure that the tomato plant gets enough sun. Plants need up to six or seven hours of sunlight to thrive optimally.

Fertilizing should also be done at regular intervals for the plants, which bear fruit between July and October. In an interview with SWR, gardener Michael Schick, who specializes in rare tomato varieties, shows what he uses to fertilize his plants. “These nettle leaves, when they slowly rot and become a nutrient, they’re very high in nitrogen. It gives a real growth boost to the tomatoes,” he explains. Oatmeal also works well as a tomato fertilizer.

Schick doesn’t think much of stubbing out the plants, i.e. removing side shoots. If you simply tie up the stingy shoots as well, the plant is much more relaxed, according to the gardener. For him, it is much more important that the plants are watered at the right time – namely in the morning – and only get as much water as necessary. In very hot weather, tomato plants may need some protection from the sun, although they basically cope well with high temperatures.

It doesn’t always have to be red: tomatoes come in many shapes and colors

The association of “tomato” and “red” is strong, but among the well over a thousand varieties there are some that have other colorings. From green to yellowish-orange to almost black representatives, everything is there. The various tomatoes differ not only visually, but also in taste and individual needs.

For example, the yellow pineapple tomato shown in the SWR report tastes very sweet and juicy. However, it is somewhat less robust than other representatives and therefore prefers the greenhouse. Green tomatoes such as the Green Zebra, on the other hand, taste slightly sour.

When choosing a variety, it is also important to consider where the plant will be grown. Not all of them feel comfortable outdoors. Some varieties are better suited for the greenhouse. Also, on the balcony and in hanging pots, some varieties – especially those with small fruits – can be cultivated prima.

Make good use of the harvest: How to preserve tomatoes

Some tomato varieties are best consumed as soon as possible after harvest. However, this is often easier said than done, especially with a good harvest. To ensure that nothing goes bad, you can preserve the surplus. Vegetables, for example, can be pickled. For tomatoes in particular, however, pickling is much more suitable. Alternatively, you can also dry the tomatoes. This can be done with a dehydrator, but also with the oven.

By the way, tomatoes are very healthy, because they are low in calories, but at the same time packed with vitamins. “They also contain comparatively high levels of folic acid and important minerals such as potassium, magnesium, calcium and trace elements – more than many other vegetables and fruits,” says the SWR report.