Building your own tomato house: read how to do it here
Tomatoes are particularly versatile in the kitchen. But they are often infested by brown rot during cultivation. A tomato house protects them and ensures plenty of fruit. Here’s how to build one yourself.
What is a tomato house?
Tomato plants find the best growing conditions in a tomato house. This is important. Because if you want to harvest lots of delicious and healthy tomatoes, the nightshade plants need a suitable place to grow.
A sunny, warm location with good ventilation is ideal. A tomato house is open at the sides. This ensures sufficient ventilation. Which keeps the plants healthy. The tomato house will also provide protection for the plants against storms and heavy driving rain.
In mid-summer, a tomato house ensures the plants have the perfect temperatures. If correctly built and positioned, the temperatures inside will generally not exceed 35 °C. Therefore, if you have an enclosed greenhouse you will need to regularly ventilate it during warm summers. If temperatures get too high they can lead to fruit deformations, such as hollow tomatoes.
The proper protection using a tomato house
A tomato house protects vegetable plants against wind and weather. This makes it easier for them to stay healthy and bear lots of delicious fruit.
Diseases on tomato plants are spread through the wind and rain. Brown rot is a typical example of one of the diseases which is dangerous for tomatoes. Plants are extensively protected from the weather in a tomato house. As a result, tomatoes are also less frequently infested with brown rot. However, a disease cannot be fully excluded even there.
There is generally high humidity in tomato houses. This allows fungal pathogens to quickly breed and spread. Therefore, good ventilation is important to keep the humidity within a healthy range.
You can buy ready-built tomato houses in trade shops. But you can also build a tomato house yourself that fits perfectly in your garden. With the proper tools, such as a NanoBlade saw, a powerful battery-operated screw driver and a drill, you don’t need to be a professional craftsperson to accomplish this.
You can get all the materials you need to construct it from a DIY shop.
Also remember to regularly clean your tomato house. You should do this once a year at the start of the season, before planting. This will ensure plenty of air and light. If you work with a low pressure cleaner you can also leave the plants in the tomato house.
Building your own tomato house: step-by-step
Build your own, unique tomato house. Simply follow these instructions step-by-step. Your tomatoes will soon have a roof over their heads with these tips.
1. Hammer in post holders
Begin by determining the desired area for the tomato house. Dig up the turf for this. Do it where you want to build your tomato house. It must be south-facing. The area is a rectangle of your chosen size.
Then hammer the post holders into the soil with a sledge hammer. Place an impact aid on the holders. This prevents the metal from being damaged when hammering.
2. Lay out ground anchors
Next, check whether the ground anchors are level using a spirit level. If the anchors are too far apart, place a long wooden slat or one of the square timbers you will be using next on them and then the spirit level on top. Adjust the anchors as needed until the entire layout is level. This will make the tomato house nice and straight from bottom to top later on.
3. Build the basic structure
In the third step, insert the large square timber into the post holders. But before this, shorten two of the four timbers with a saw. This ensures easy, vibration-free work with its NanoBlade technology. Then screw the square timbers securely into the post holders.
Next, connect the basic structure on the top end to a frame with the square timbers and metal brackets. You can also use spacer plates to ensure additional stability, depending on the size of your tomato house.
4. Put on the roof
In the next step, use metal brackets to secure the roof beams. This can be done quickly and precisely with the cordless impact screwdriver from Bosch, for example.
Place a slightly permeable corrugated sheet on the roof beams. Cut it into shape in such a way that protrudes slightly over the wood construction. This will protect the tomatoes better from the wind and rain.
5. Install a roof gutter
You can collect rainwater running down from the roof or corrugated plate with a roof gutter. Attach it to the roof protrusion.
If you don’t have large garden but just a small amount of space for your vegetables, you can build a mini greenhouse for tomatoes or cucumbers that can fit on your balcony or patio.
Tips: here’s how to cultivate tomatoes
Once the tomato house is standing, all that’s missing is the plants. With the proper tips, these will quickly grow to a considerable height and bear plentiful amounts of fruit.
It is best to securely tie upwards growing tomato plants to a rod. This gives them good stability and they can grow straight upwards. This is important, as when they form the first fruit, the plant must bear a fair amount of weight. The rod then prevents the plants from tipping to the side or even breaking.
Regularly pick off the epicormic shoots from your tomatoes. This means pinching off the new shoots from the leaf axils. You can simply do this with your fingers. Picking out the epicormic shoots strengthens the stem and ensures even fruit growth.
Depending on the tomato variety you have planted, the fruit will be ready for harvest from around June to October. If flowers form again from the end of August, take them off the plant. These tomatoes will no longer fully ripen, but they will draw unnecessary nutrients and water from the soil.
You can also cultivate many tomato varieties in pots or containers. Pay attention to the location here: tomatoes need plenty of sun, fertiliser and water. Make sure waterlogging does not occur when watering. This damages the plants. Good water drainage can prevent this problem. It is best to put tomatoes in pots in a covered place, so that they do not become over-watered by the rain. You can position your tomatoes in pots decoratively between other container plants, you can find some tips on container planting here. Good neighbors for tomatoes include pineapple, olive trees, and avocado, as these plants also look highly attractive plus, with a little luck, patience, and the proper care, you will also be able to harvest their fruit.
If you want to know more about when you should do what kind of work in the garden, you can find out the best times for all the important tasks in our Gardening Calendar.