Tomatoes are tricky fruits to grow. Some years you end up with the perfect amount of ripe, round, bright red tomatoes without having to tend to your plants. It’s as if they grew by magic. Other seasons you end up with finicky plants that need a lot of TLC, and you still end up with one or two fruits – not the dozens of seasons past. It’s easy to blame this on the environment or weather, or even on the efficacy of the plants themselves. After all, you just didn’t have good plants this year, right? It’s even easier to follow these useful tomato plant tips. They’ll ensure that you have a good harvest every year, no matter what.
Water the Plants Deeply
Tomato plants need to have their roots watered. This means that it’s not enough to just sprinkle some water on the whole plant and hope for the best. You need to avoid getting those leaves and stems wet and aim straight for the roots. If you can, get a soaker hose and use it. The deeper you can get the water, the better your plants will grow.
Plant Them Deeply As Well
With most plants, it’s enough that the root ball ends up getting covered in soil. For tomatoes, that’s just not enough. Place them deep into the ground to the point of covering the lower half of the stem and the first row of leaves. These sections of the plant will sprout roots, making the entire plant much stronger.
Make Sure They Get Plenty of Sun
Tomato plants love sunlight. They’ll soak up as much of it as they can. Unlike other plants that can tolerate shade or partial sun, tomatoes need full sun. Find a very bright space in your garden and plant them there. They’ll thank you by producing more fruit.
Add Some Calcium to Your Soil
Did you know that you can change the chemical composition of your soil by adding eggshells? Crushed up eggshells are great for adding calcium to the soil in your garden. This can prevent one of the more common tomato plant diseases – blossom end rot. You don’t need to add a lot of eggshells, just the remnants of a few eggs, but the results will be worth it. Dig a small hole near the plants and place the eggshells in it, then cover it up. (Feel free to add some compost in there at the same time.)
Support Them As They Grow
We’re referring to literal supports here. Your tomato plants will need to grow onto something, such as a tomato cage or trellis. You can also use livestock panels, make your own cage out of old piping, or come up with any other creative method. All that matters is that the plants are left to droop over.
Prune Your Plants
As your tomato plants grow, they’ll produce suckers. These suckers will (literally) suck the life out of your plant. Take the time to clip them off as they pop up. Your plant will grow stronger and healthier without them. You’ll also end up with more tomatoes.
Place Mulch around Your Plants
Mulch is pretty much a miracle substance. No matter which type you choose, this all-natural covering will keep your soil moist while preventing weeds from taking root. All of your plants will be much healthier. Mulch can even keep your ground temperature regulated. Certain types will soak up sunlight before the ground is heated or act as insulation should the temperatures cool off. It really does help everything in your garden grow.