Over time we all learn tips and tricks which help us grow our vegetables, color gardens, landscape, and even the lawn.
Little things like don’t plant unless the soil is above X degrees. Tomatoes have their “tricks” as well which help produce high yield crops of tomatoes.
Here are some do’s and don’ts about tomato plant care.
Tomato Growing – 8 Do’s and 5 Don’ts.
Buy tomato seeds that are already flowering. You might believe you’ll be one step ahead. But… plants first need to get their roots firmly established before flowering and producing fruits. Let them start and flower in your garden.
When growing tomatoes – pinch the first flowers of budding plants. It might sound ridiculous, but you’ll get greater yields by pruning tomato plants in the long run.
Over fertilize your crops. The majority of the people think that by adding more slow-release fertilizer, you’ll double or increase yields in the same proportion.
Too much fertilizer in the soil will lead to more foliage and wonderful bushes. The plants will look healthy but unproductive.
If you want to enrich your soil, use more compost; not water-soluble fertilizer addition. Same applies for your peppers
Add a bit of Epsom salt. Tomatoes do well when Epsom salt is added to their roots, and if they don’t need it, it will cause no harm. It’s good to take preventive measures so as to ensure healthier plants.
Plant your seeds many inches deep. It’s often called “Planting up to their necks.”
This enables plants to grow a strong root system; the better the roots and root system, the more yields you’ll get because of more nutrients and water intake.
Water your tomatoes from the above, if possible. Watering them from above will make the soil splash up on the stems, thereby making them susceptible to tomato plant diseases such as blossom end rot.
Mulch your tomatoes, especially when you’re using overhead irrigation system.
This will help to prevent the soil from splashing on the tomato stems as well as keeping the garden soil around the tomato plant moist.
Stake your tomato plants. Tomato cages are a popular and easy way to increase yield, reduce disease and make caring for them easier.
Know the type of tomatoes you’re growing. Understand that planting “determinate type” of tomatoes might stop producing fruits suddenly.
Stress over having too many tomatoes! If you’re having tomatoes in plenty or concerned about the fruit flies invading your kitchen because of the influx of the tomatoes?
Simply wash a good number and store them in the freezer. Defrost them after some time. You’ll see the tomatoes skin slipping off.
Plant several tomato varieties if you have ample space for them; Plum and Roma’s tomatoes are the best varieties for preserving and slicing for fresh eating. On the other hand, Beefmaster tomatoes, an indeterminate plant belong under low maintenance tomato variety.
Cherry tomatoes are ideal for snacking. I love the “ugly” tomato for putting on a sandwich. Plant your tomatoes having known the intention of your planting
Transplant your tomatoes from their containers to the outside world before the soil temperature hits 50F.
The soil temperature is determined by how close the sun is, the amount of sunshine the area receives, and the depth of the sun warmth.
The top soil can feel warm, but 6 inches from the surface still feel cold. You can plant the tomatoes when the overnight lows are reliably above 50F.
It will still work, but it’s best to wait when the soil temperature is above 50F.
Speed the growing and maturing of your tomatoes by covering the soil area with a black plastic and tilling the soil around often.
If you plant early in the season, keep the tomatoes warm by using the cloches. Canning jars can still keep plants warm on cool evenings. But, don’t let the plants get fried by the heat. These containers can only be used when the fruits are still young and green.
Protect your tomatoes from different tomato pests such as the hornworm tomato caterpillar, tomato frog, tomato fruitworm, leaf-footed bug, stink bug and more. Check your tomatoes regularly to make sure they are not infested.