Whether you’re growing tomatoes from seed or starting them from transplants, there are a few tomato growing tips and tricks that can make your crop a success.
For instance, many gardeners remove the lowest leaves on their plants to improve airflow and minimize splashback when watering. This reduces the risk of soilborne pathogens (like fungus) sneaking in and damaging your crop.
When you plant tomatoes, you’re not only creating something beautiful, but you’re also providing nutrients and water to a crop that is important to our survival. Without plants, there would be no food to eat or clean water to drink.
Fortunately, tomatoes are fairly easy to grow. All you need is a sunny spot and enough warmth to get them growing.
Before you plant your tomatoes, check the average last frost date for your area. This will give you a little extra time to prepare your garden before the weather turns too cold.
Next, start your tomato seedlings indoors in a seed starting tray or pot. These should be filled with a good soilless starting mix and covered lightly with seed sowing compost.
Transplant the seedlings when they have two true leaves. Homegrown transplants need to be acclimated for a few weeks, while store-bought ones require a few days.
Tomatoes require a lot of water to grow, so it’s important to give them the right amount. Too much or too little water can cause side effects like stunted growth and yellowed leaves, as well as poor fruit production.
When watering, it’s important to water slowly and thoroughly so that the entire soil is saturated. This ensures that the roots have a consistent supply of water, and will encourage the growth of strong and healthy plants.
It is also a good idea to mulch your tomatoes. Mulches help to regulate the temperature of the soil, lock in moisture, and reduce evaporation.
A good way to water your tomato plants is to use a drip irrigation system. This is very simple to install and will take a lot of the hassle out of watering your plants.
Tomatoes are heavy feeders and need a lot of nutrients in order to grow properly. They require nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium to help them thrive.
You can add these nutrients to your soil using fertilizers. They’re available in a variety of forms, including liquid and granular.
The best fertilizer for tomatoes is one that incorporates a combination of micronutrients, macronutrients, and beneficial microbes. It should also not negatively impact the environment.
Seedlings need to be fed while they’re still in their germinating stages, as well as during the early growing phases before flowering and fruiting. This is a good time to use a slow-release tomato fertilizer, as the nutrients will gradually feed the plant over the course of about two months.
Once the plants are full-grown, you can continue to fertilize them as needed. However, you should stop applying any more fertilizer once the fruit starts to ripen and harvesting begins.
Pruning tomato plants is an important part of keeping them healthy and producing a good crop. It helps the plant direct its energy into producing fruit rather than growing unnecessary foliage.
The best time to prune is in the morning or evening, when the sun isn’t too hot. This allows the stems to recover from the pruning stress the best.
Tomato plants can grow well without any pruning, but they’ll produce better tomatoes when you take the time to do it properly. This means cutting off yellowed leaves, removing suckers (side shoots), and pruning fruiting branches that are not producing.
Suckers are the main reason to prune a tomato plant. Removing them will help your tomato plant put its energy into fruit production and prevent diseases from spreading.