Growing tomatoes isn’t difficult, but they are doing have some unique qualities that are helpful to know. supported our a few years of experience growing thousands of tomatoes at a time, these are our top tomato growing tips.
Truth be told, tomatoes are often one among the simplest plants to grow for beginners. That’s because, in nature where the sole goal is survival, they’re very vigorous and hardy plants.
But during a home garden, our goals are different. We don’t just need a live plant, we would like many fruits for selecting and snacking. So the following pointers for growing tomatoes will assist you to get the foremost out of your tomato garden.
10 TIPS FOR GROWING TOMATOES
1. UNDERSTAND THAT TOMATO PLANTS are available ALL SHAPES AND SIZES.
If you’ve never grown tomatoes, then you would possibly be surprised at how large and unwieldy the plant are often. the expansion habit of tomatoes varies from a small little tomato tree but a foot tall to a sprawling 6+ feet tomato vine…and everything in between!
Many of the foremost commonly grown tomatoes are indeterminate plants which are the most important sort of tomato. Be prepared to put in tomato cages early and traffic jam indeterminate tomato plants throughout the season.
Determinate varieties won’t get quite as large, but they’re not exactly small plants. Sometimes determinates are called bush tomatoes which just means it doesn’t vine out as long as an indeterminate.
Smaller dwarf and micro-dwarf tomato plants are the foremost compact sorts of tomato plants, and therefore the most suited to growing in containers and little spaces.
Dwarf and micro dwarf tomatoes tend to be hairier plants. the small hairs on tomatoes are called trichomes and that they help the plant repel pests and disease.
The growth habit of tomatoes also can be largely influenced by environmental factors like heat, water, pest, or disease stress. So sometimes an indeterminate tomato will have a bushy habit, and sometimes determinates will rise up to six feet tall. That’s mother nature for you!
Given all the kinds of tomatoes, it’s good to spend a while choosing the proper tomato for your garden.
2. TOMATO LEAVES SAY tons ABOUT THE HEALTH OF YOUR PLANTS.
It’s worth noting right here that there are two main sorts of tomato leaves: regular and potato. The regular leaf features a rippled, serrated edge whereas the potato leaf features a smooth edge, not curiously resembling the leaves of a potato plant.
The potato type leaf is caused by a present mutation and has occurred repeatedly with many various tomato varieties.
Some will say the potato leaf is more disease resistant, but this is often an anecdotal observation and not a scientific certainty. therefore the sort of leaf isn’t as important as how the leaves look.
Wilting tomato leaves are certainly a cause for concern and if you see yellow leaves on your tomatoes, you’ll have a disease or simply got to fertilize.
3. BURY THE STEM to make A STRONGER rootage.
Because tomatoes will grow roots from their stem, burying the stem at planting creates a stronger rootage. You’ll want to try to an equivalent thing if you’re transplanting tomato seedlings.
Remember i discussed they will be large unwieldy tomato vines? they have a robust rootage to carry them up and provide adequate water and nutrients to form many tomatoes.
Make sure to get rid of leaves from the buried portion of the stem before planting and leave a minimum of 2 or 3 sets of leaves above ground.
You can either dig a deep hole to line them in or lay them sideways…do not worry, they’ll adjust themselves naturally to grow upright. If you’re planting many tomatoes like us, you’ll love the Stand ‘n Plant tool for getting the work done quickly!
4. DON’T FRET OVER BLOSSOM END ROT.
Blossom end rot is a condition where calcium is restricted within the fruit and a black mushy spot on rock bottom appears. The mushy spot is thanks to the lack of calcium within the cell walls on the blossom end of the fruit.
Once this starts happening, it’s too late for affected tomatoes. They won’t be edible. Which is extremely, very sad. they’re not diseased, however, and maybe added to compost or fed to your livestock.
At the purpose you see the blossom end rot, it’s difficult to treat and will recover on its own because the season progresses.
Read our article all about blossom end rot and why you shouldn’t worry about it. If you’ve struggled with end rot, try growing resistant varieties.
5. TOMATOES got to BE FERTILIZED to maximize FRUIT PRODUCTION.
Tomato plants need fertile nutrient-rich soil to form tomatoes. Most gardens will need supplemental fertilization to take care of adequate nutrition for a season of tomatoes.
It is vital to amend the soil early within the season and apply organic as often as twice monthly. When they’re first planted, give them nitrogen and potassium-rich fertilizer. When they’re a touch older, confirm it’s higher in phosphorous which can feed the plant for creating flowers and fruit.
It’s also smart to rotate where you grow your tomatoes. Not only does this give your soil an opportunity, but it’ll also greatly help minimize pest and disease issues.
6. TOMATOES DON’T GROW WELL WITH POTATOES OR CORN.
Tomatoes and potatoes are closely related which suggests they’re vulnerable to equivalent diseases, plus they’re both heavy feeders.
Planted together the 2 are difficult to manage because they will spread disease from one to the opposite, attract equivalent pests, and compete for nutrients within the soil. Plant potatoes quite 6 feet faraway from tomatoes if possible for the simplest results.
Corn attracts the armyworm which can also do tons of injury to tomatoes. If you’ll, give them the maximum amount of space apart as possible.
To combat common tomato pests, like aphids and hornworms, companion planting with flowers isn’t only beautiful but very helpful in attracting predatory insects.
7. TOMATOES like to BE PLANTED WITH BASIL.
Tomatoes are pretty friendly within the garden but love growing with basil also as other herbs. Growing basil with tomatoes is claimed to form them sweeter. Carrots, dill, onions, and chives also are good companion plants for tomatoes.
Some say that growing basil with tomatoes makes them taste sweeter. additionally, to companion planting, the standard of your soil is vital to growing more flavorful tomatoes.
8. it’ll desire FOREVER expecting RIPE TOMATOES
Green tomatoes take 42 to 110 days to ripen on the vine.
Holy moly, that one still blows my mind sometimes! per annum I see that first baby tomato, and that I get so excited! Then it looks like I’m just watching a green tomato for a whole summer.
Keep in mind that 42 and 110 days are on extreme ends of the spectrum. Most varieties will fall more within the 60-90 day range.
Allowing your tomatoes to ripen on the vine will end in better tasting fruit. That’s one among the explanations store-bought tomatoes aren’t as yummy as your homegrown produce.
You can use careful water restriction to hasten ripening at the top of the season. But please do so judiciously. If you restrict water an excessive amount of and too often, you’ll cause undue stress on your plants and truly get fewer tomatoes.
There are some reasons you would possibly also prefer to pick your tomatoes at the primary sign of blushing and allow them to ripen on your kitchen counter including diseased plants, pests (like caterpillars, squirrels, and deer), or heavy rain or frost within the forecast.
9. GROW the proper TOMATO FOR YOUR PURPOSE
Maybe I used to be the sole one, but I never knew there have been different types of tomatoes for salads, slicing, and sauce. Most folks consider tomatoes because the sweet and juicy type you chop into a fresh summer salad or slice for your sandwich.
It never occurred to me that there are different types of tomatoes that make them more fitted to making pastes and sauces. They’re cleverly called paste tomatoes.
How are paste tomatoes different from slicing tomatoes? Paste tomatoes are meatier and have less juice, gel, and seeds. Whereas slicing tomatoes have a juicier seed cavity and are better suited to fresh eating.
Of course, you’ll slice and eat a fresh paste tomato. the feel may or might not be pleasing to you, but they are doing just fine on a sandwich.
Slicing and paste tomatoes are generally large tomatoes. they will weigh 6 ounces to over a pound!
There also are cherry tomatoes which are the small ones you’ll enter your mouth and eat whole and salad tomatoes which are a few 2 oz sizes and would be eaten in 2 or 3 bites.
When your kitchen is overrun with garden tomatoes, confirm you preserve a number of your tomatoes to eat after the season is over.
10. THERE are actually THOUSANDS of sorts OF TOMATOES TO GROW.
But you won’t find much variety in your local gardening center. the sole thanks to experience this is often to start out your tomatoes from seed.
There are some really exciting seed catalogs out there. SeedsNow, Johnnys, Seeds of Change, Seed Savers Exchange, and Baker Creek are a number of the foremost fun to travel through.
Of course, if you’re saving seed, then you’ll have your own supply to grow from. We have a couple of favorite tomatoes that we grow per annum, but we also wish to try some new things.