How To Grow Tomatoes in Hong Kong

Here’s how to grow tomatoes in Hong Kong:

I’m going to tell you how to grow tomatoes in Hong Kong. It’s easy. Really, it is. I started my tomatoes from seed in early November. They are rewarding plants to grow because they are up in no time at all, only 5 days. How cool is that? I let them grow a bit so they would get some good roots on them before I potted them up in small pots.

How to grow tomatoes in Hong Kong

When you transplant tomatoes, always plant them up to the top leaves. The really neat thing about tomatoes is that they develop roots all along the stem and so burying them will result in very strong plants with thick stems. I transplanted them twice. The second time was into their final resting place, a deep 12 inch pot.

They are loaded with fruit now and waiting for the sun to ripen them. The sun has been scarce, so it’s taking awhile for them to ripen. I was told by a local Hong Konger that I should harvest my tomatoes before the rain comes otherwise they will split. I hesitated to pick my unripe tomatoes before the rain and I found out she is right.  I lost a few precious tomatoes as a result.  I will definitely be picking them all before the next rain.

Seeding:

I planted my tomato seed about 1/4″ deep in soil, specifically for germinating seed,that I had baked in the oven to get rid of any mold spores that might still be hanging around. Then I put the plastic seed tray in a clean, plastic bag and sprayed them well with a water sprayer and sealed the bag. This has been a learning experience for me. These steps are important if you don’t want to be plagued with the dreaded damping off that can wipe out your precious seedlings overnight. It’s devastating, let me tell you!

Anyway, moving on… I then placed them about 6″ under day lights on a shelf in my kitchen, where I could keep a watchful eye on them. I wasn’t very scientific about the amount of light I gave them. It ranged from 14 to 16 hours a day. Whatever, I got beautiful tomato plants!

After they had germinated, I removed them from the plastic bag. I set a fan nearby to blow gently on them for an hour or so a day. Just a gentle breeze, not a big wind. This improves the air circulation around the stems.

I let them grow for a month and then I transplanted them for the first time. Up to their necks.  I transplanted them again a month and a half later, again, deeply.  The reason you do this is to encourage roots all along the stem.  You’ll get big, strong plants.

closeup of seedling tomato plant

Growing on:

Tomatoes need at least 4-6 hours of good sunlight a day.  I say 4-6 because I am sure mine didn’t get 6 hours of sunlight every.  I have tall buildings overshadowing my garden for much of the day.  Provide them with the maximum amount of light that  is possible or they’ll just get spindly, reaching for the light.

When I set my plants out in their final resting place, I placed a clear umbrella over top and a sheer curtain over top of that.  The reason was to deter the rat and the birds from nibbling on my young plants.  It’s probably the only thing that saved them.  I would open up the curtain in the morning so they could get the light, but close it up at night.  My methods were successful.

how to grow tomatoes in Hong Kong

I didn’t prune my tomatoes at all. I fed them Miracle-Gro and fish emulsion every two weeks. They loved it. I have big, strong plants with lots of tomatoes. It’s moot whether I would have more fruit if I had pruned my plants. I just don’t know and won’t know, until I experiment further next year!

If you want to know how to grow tomatoes in Hong Kong successfully, you need to give your plants room to breathe because tomato plants are susceptible to fungal disease. One thing they don’t like is to dry out and then get a lot of water at once. Make sure you water regularly, like every day, especially if the weather is dry, and deeply, until water comes out the bottom of the pot in copious amounts.

Companion Plants:

How to grow tomatoes in Hong Kong

Example of companion planting with Thyme and Tomatoes in the same pot.

One of my favorite books is called Carrots Love Tomatoes by Louise Riotte. So I placed some of my tomatoes right next to my carrots. The only thing I noticed is that the ones next to the carrots were also covered with carrot flies. But when I moved them away, the carrot flies disappeared off my tomatoes. Wonderful!

I decided to plant thyme in the pots with my tomatoes because aromatic herbs have been known to improve the flavour of tomatoes. So I tried that, but between the birds and the humidity, there isn’t much left of my thyme. Yes, I said birds. They love thyme.

Another page from Carrots Love Tomatoes says, plant garlic near your tomatoes. I did that too. Perhaps that is why I’ve had such good luck.

Aside from the brief infestation of carrot flies, which didn’t hurt my tomatoes one bit, they have had no other pests. Could it be beginners luck, or that the companion planting worked?

Support:

I didn’t think my cherry tomatoes were going to get very big so I didn’t even think about providing support! But it’s definitely a good idea from the beginning. So, I’ve been using bamboo sticks to hold my plants up. I just stick them in the sides of the pots at an angle that props them up easily.  It’s been working so far.

If you want to grow tomatoes in Hong Kong successfully, you need to sow between September and November and plan to harvest between January and March. Winter is the dry season which helps combat fungal disease in your plants.
Good Luck!

Do you have any helpful tips to share about how to grow tomatoes in Hong Kong? Please leave a comment below!

*All photos in this post are credited to me.

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