What would be relish without the taste of tomatoes and this alone shows why the vegetable is a very important part of meals for Zimbabwe and across the globe. Given how important they are, growing one’s own tomatoes is a very good idea.

Soil requirements

To grow tomatoes successfully, one needs rich, fertile soils that are acidic, slightly acidic to neutral.

Climatic requirements

Tomatoes are tender warm season plants that love the sun cannot bear frost. It is therefore recommended that production is done in such a way to avoid the most dangerous frostbite.


A site with full sunlight should be selected and planting can either from seeds or simply just making use of seedlings. General guidelines recommend planting tomatoes about 60 cm apart between rows and 40 cm within rows.


Avoid fast release fertilizers and avoid high nitrogen fertilizers which may result in lush foliage but few flowers and little or no fruit.


Water generously through the sowing and germination stages and reduce the amount as the roots start to really establish themselves but never allow to suffer from moisture stress.

Pests, weeds and diseases

Garlic has very few problems with pests and diseases but the very same ones that bother onions should be scouted for. It is always a good idea to the field clean and weed-free.


Tomatoes take 60 days to more than 100 days to harvest depending on variety. Harvest tomatoes when they are firm and very red, regardless of size, with perhaps some yellow remaining around the stem. Seeds can also be harvested from some tomato varieties.

By Albert Makendenge

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