Tips and Tricks

6 Tips for Growing Tomatoes

I love using fresh tomatoes for everything from sauces, to salads, to soups, to chilis, and especially for the most amazing pico de gallo you will EVER taste. When you switch out the low flavour tomatoes {that are a week old before they even hit the stores} for fresh flavourful ones straight off the vine – everything you make with them tastes so much better.

I adore home-grown tomatoes and you can really tell the difference in quality – so much that you won’t ever want to buy another week old tomato from the grocery store!

A lot of people have misconceptions about gardening and especially tomato plants and growing tomatoes many think it’s a difficult task to succeed at. Truth is, it doesn’t take a master gardener or that famous yet hard to get green thumb to grow a tomato plant. After all, my daughter did it for a school project a couple years back, and managed to keep it alive. So, we can too!

However, I do understand that some people just don’t know where to start {probably why you are reading this, am I right?} so here are some tips to help you understand the ins and outs of growing tomatoes.

 

6 Tips for Growing Tomatoes

 

  • There’s actually a few points to make on this subject. The first one being that you should NOT water every day. Every 5 days (or whenever it looks like it needs it) is more like it. When you do end up watering soak it so it reaches all of the roots and stays moist long enough to last until the next watering. If it’s in the ground, give it a few gallons. If it’s in a pot, give it as much water as you can without turning the soil to a soupy mud. Another tip is to only water at the base of the plant {not the leaves} to avoid the plant getting burned {by the sunlight getting magnified through the water droplets. Yes, this really happens} and getting diseased {no fun}.

 

  • Tomato plants should be spaced at LEAST 2 feet apart. Any less than that and you reduce air circulation and sunlight hitting the lower leaves, which is likely to result in a diseased plant. You want to keep your plant dry, and the soil moist. I can be very hard to grow healthy tomatoes on a diseased plant, so space them carefully.

 

  • This is when you remove the unnecessary parts of the plant that does not assist in the production of tomatoes so that the plant is able to focus all of its energy into growing perfect larger tomatoes. You can take off dead leaves, branches that aren’t flowering, but what you really need to remove are ‘suckers’. These are the little branches that try to sprout in between the flowering branch and the stalk of the plant. Use your fingernails or fingertips to pinch it off and remove it. Your tomatoes will thank you!

 

  • Bury the stem. Don’t plant your tomatoes the same depth as they came as a seedling. Plant it so deep that it covers the bottom leaves. This way your tomato plant will be able to sprout even more roots. This will help a lot with the way your plant grows in the future, and how many tomatoes you will get out of it.

 

  • I suggest some slow feed fertilizer made for tomatoes in specific {or just for a vegetable garden} to help the growing process and give you those big juicy flavourful tomatoes that you want. If you have your own compost soil, use that!

 

  • As your plants get bigger you’re going to want to get a stake or a tomato cage to support it as it gets heavier so it doesn’t topple over and break at the stem. This also helps them reach the sun and grown, grow, grow!

 

I know it may seem like a lot, but follow these tips and you are sure to have a good tomato growing season!

 

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4 Comments

  1. Thanks for the great tips. I had not heard the tip for burying the stem and will try that out this year.

  2. I’m experimenting this year, cherry tomatoes in pots. I now only have a small patio with very little sunlight so I’ll have to see how it goes. 🙁

  3. Great tips, especially about the watering! I grew up watching my dad water his plants almost every evening, but when I think about it, it was probably on the hottest days that he really did that.

  4. Thanks for the great tips for growing tomatoes.They are my favorite of all the things in my garden and now I am excited to plant the whole stem as I have never tried this before.

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