Growing Tomatoes Successfully
What’s better in the summertime than fresh, ripe tomatoes from your own plants? Not much. However, growing a successful crop of delicious tomatoes without incident seems like a daunting task. Fear not. We have for you a few tips to keep in mind to help you prepare to grow your best tomatoes this season.
- Tomatoes require full sun. Try and find a spot in your garden that you know will receive 6-8 hours of direct sunlight. These 6-8 hours of sunlight help to give the tomato its best flavor.
- They are hungry, hungry plants. When planting your tomatoes, following the fertilizer label, mix in a slow-release fertilizer such as Miracle Gro Shake N’ Feed. It also helps to mix compost into your soil as you prepare your garden for your tomato plants. Compost gives extra minor nutrients to the roots and helps more vigorous growth. When the plant begins to set fruit, begin fertilizing on a 1-2 week regimen.
- Water, water, water. With full sunlight, watering is crucial. Like many plants, tomatoes will tell you when they’re thirsty. Immediately after planting your started tomato plants, water thoroughly to help give the roots a kick-start on getting established. During dry weather, it’s important to keep your tomatoes well-hydrated.
- Keep an eye out for fungal diseases and insect problems. When the weather is humid, it creates ideal growing conditions for fungal diseases, such as blight, which is indicated by dark spots on the lower leaves. Be sure to remove any diseased or yellow leaves to prevent the blight from spreading. You can control this fungus by using a copper fungicide spray. In the summer, green worms known as tomato hornworms can also become a problem. They damage tomato plants by chewing on the foliage and can do heavy damage if not taken care of. They can be hand-picked off if you have the time and patience, or you can use Captain Jack’s Deadbug, an organic insecticide.
- Harvest ripe fruits to keep the plant healthy. It’s important to pick the ripe fruit as soon as possible from the plant to prevent the plant from stressing out too much. It also helps to keep the plant upright with either a stake or a tomato cage. Too much fruit and not enough support can cause the stems to bend and break.