A perfectly ripe home grown tomato warmed by the sun is NOTHING like the ones you get in the grocery store (as most of you know that grow tomatoes)! I planted some tomatoes recently and wanted to share with you a few tips that I hope will improve your chances for growing bigger & healthier tomatoes.
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links to Amazon and/or Etsy, which means that I may earn a small commission from some of the links in this post. Please see our Disclosure Page for more information.
I think most gardeners have their own tricks and tips for growing certain things and you’re welcome to share yours in the comments. Being a gardener means always learning something new!
Tips for growing bigger & better tomatoes
1. I remove the peat pot unless I see that the roots have already grown through the pot because I’ve dug up a few plants where those type of pots haven’t disintigrated. At the very least remove the rim of the pots (the part that sticks up past the soil line. If you don’t, the peat pots won’t retain water and they’ll dry out (drying up the roots of your plant).
2. Plant deep! Planting your tomatoes deep creates a stronger root system . There are two ways you can plant deep. One is to make a long trench and lay your tomato plant on it’s side (remove all the leaves that will be buried). Cover the tomato with soil only leaving the very top of the plant exposed.
3. The way I like to plant deep is to dig a deep hole and plant my tomato plant as you normally would just really deep (remove all the leaves that will be buried) so that the remaining leaves are above the ground but not touching the dirt. I actually tested both ways of planting deep a few years ago with the same variety of tomato and planting vertically worked better for me. The tomato I planted deep but vertically did much better than the one I planted on it’s side. But give both a try and see which one works best for you.
4. Give them a good start by putting a few crushed egg shells and some banana peel at the bottom of the hole. Egg shells add calcium and are supposed to help prevent blossom end rot and banana peel is supposed to add potassium & help with overall plant vigor. (some people use powdered milk instead of egg shells but I’ve never tried that).
6. Prune the bottom leaves. It encourages growth and reduces diseases. Don’t let any leaves touch the dirt.
7. I fertilize my tomatoes with fish emulsion and seaweed feed every few weeks or so. Some people like to also use a few tablespoons of epsom salts and coffee grounds, but I haven’t tried that yet.
8. I always plant my tomatoes with marigolds to prevent nematodes. I don’t know if it really works but I can say that I’ve never had a nematode problem and I like having flowers in the garden anyway. As you can see, I’m not planting intensively like I usually do since the garden is more for show this year (our house will be on the market next month).
Just remember that tomatoes are really sensitive to weather! No matter what you do you might run into problems if it rains too much or not enough, or it’s too hot or you have sudden temperature fluctuations. Those things are just beyond your control. But it does help if you have strong plants to begin with!
What are your planting tips?
You May Also Be Interested In: How To Grow Bell Peppers & 10 Delicious Bell Pepper Recipes