Tips For Growing Bigger Tomatoes
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 of my tips for growing bigger & better tomatoes.
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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 & healthier 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 disintegrated. 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. I 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.
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.
3. Give them a good start
Start your bigger better tomatoes 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).
4. Prune the bottom leaves.
It encourages growth and reduces diseases. Don’t let any leaves touch the dirt.
5. Fertilize your tomatoes.
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. Some people like Miracle Grow – I don’t use it.
6. 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).
7. Just remember that tomatoes are really sensitive to weather!
No matter what you do you might run into problems anyway. 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! So I hope you give my tips for growing bigger tomatoes a try this year!
What are your planting tips?
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I am planting my two wittle tomato plants today and I will incorporate some of your tips AND, I will install a tree sapling because the things grow so much taller than the wire cages. It was a tip from the late Leslie Land.
Manuela Williams says
I often grown my cherry tomatoes on an arbor. This year I planted them so that they can make a little shade tunnel where I can hopefully keep my lettuce growing. I only like salads in the summer yet the summer is the hardest time for me to grow even heat tolerant varieties!
I can’t grow tomatoes – not enough sun.
Thanks for sharing the tips for those that do.
Have a great week.
Kathleen Grace says
I do all those things, we usually get a heavy spell of rain in early August, just when they are ripening, and then they crack, but if they are healthy already we cut the cracked tops off and enjoy the rest:>)
Manuela Williams says
I would do that too! Last year I hardly got any tomatoes because it was so hot they wouldn’t set fruit and I even had planted a few heat tolerant ones. You never know what you’re going to get. I’m just glad that we don’t depend on the garden for food – some years we’d starve!
Thanks for the tomato tips! We just planted two cherry tomato plants the other day. I never knew about potting them deep until I saw an article – I think it was in Mother Earth Living.
Your tomatoes look wonderful.
I guess I really need to get busy planting a veggie garden.
Debra @ Frugal Little Bungalow says
I purchased 3 plants at the nursery awhile back..those are in containers. Marigold seeds there as well and they were taking off nicely. Well I think that birds like the marigold starts because I kept seeing birds in the pots and then no more marigolds! LOL I had FORKS all around the tomatoes so that the squirrels wouldn’t dig there and then I have this latest issue! 🙂
JUST finished getting dirty getting my heirlooms started from seed ( Mortgage Lifter / half a pack left from last year ) into the ground and I put crushed eggshells all around them, watered, made breakfast, and clicked on your post : ) I always enjoy your gardens…I’d be the kind of person that would buy your house because of your garden! 🙂