Tomatoes are one of my favorite veggies, from heirloom tomatoes such as Brandywine all the way to Roma and other more common varieties. Tomatoes go great on a salad, and pretty much anything else that you could possibly imagine! If you’ve always dreamed of growing great tomatoes, here are 10 tips and tricks that you should know before you begin.
1. Rotate Your Veggie Crop
Each year you decide to replant tomatoes, you should move your tomato plant to another spot in the garden. Rotating your tomato plants will reduce the chances of soil-borne diseases and illnesses.
2. Water Your Plants-Deeply!
Instead of misting the plant once a day, every 6 days (sometimes less, if the summer is exceptionally hot) give your garden bed a thorough soaking. Be sure to water the plant directly into the soil, and avoid getting any splash-age on the leaves!
3. Get Rid of Runts
After you’ve begun to see fruit on your plant, you can pinch off any “runts.” Prune off any branches that are dying or non fruit producing. This is proven to help your plant produce a higher, sweeter, yield.
4. Be Sure to Compost
As the fruit on your plant begins to ripen, sprinkle a bit of compost around the stem. Care should also be taken to remove any branches that are dead.
5. Fun In The Sun
Pick a spot in your garden that receives ten hours of direct sunlight every day. Plants should be spaced evenly apart, with plenty of room in between plants to allow maximum air flow and circulation. Tomato plants love room to sway in the breeze!
7. Preheat Garden Soil
Say what? That’s right! Preheat your garden soil before you intend to plant your veggies. Using a tarp, lay it directly over your soil. The heat from the sun will get trapped under the tarp!
8. Bury Your Plants Deep
It might go against what you might think, but it’s a good idea to bury your tomato plants deeper in the ground than they were in the pot. Bury your plant up to the first leaves. Tomato plants grow stronger roots when grown this way, and stronger roots means an ample amount of fruit!
9. Fan Your Seedlings
This one sounds as ridiculous as preheating your soil..but it works! When starting your seeds indoors, put a cool fan on them for at least ten minutes every day. If grown outside, you can skip this! A natural breeze does just the think! Fanning your seeds will promote a stronger stem!
10. Mulch Later
When gardening with mulch, one should wait until the soil (and weather) has warmed up for good. Applying mulch to early makes the soil colder, and tomatoes love warm soil!
About the author: Jenny Wallentine is a master gardener, home remodeling enthusiast, and DIY-er. She is also the co-founder of Origins International, a company specializing in helping adult adoptees find birth parents, biological siblings to find one another, and people to get in touch with their genetic origins. When not remodeling a house or snowmobiling in the mountains, Jenny can be found enjoying her grandchildren.