Growing tomatoes at home allows you to enjoy tasty, vine-ripened tomatoes while also saving you money. Home-grown tomatoes are healthier than store-bought tomatoes and much cheaper than tomatoes from the Farmers Market. Follow the tips outlined below to grow a bumper crop of tomatoes every year.
There are many different varieties of tomatoes, and not all varieties grow well in all locations. Look up your gardening zone, then learn what tomato varieties grow well in your gardening zone. Also pay attention to recommended seeding and planting dates. Be aware that a late frost can damage your tomatoes. If there is any chance of frost, cover your tomato plants in the evening and uncover them in the morning when it warms up. This will protect your crop from weather damage.
If you buy tomato plants instead of seeds, look over the plants and pay special attention to the leaves. The leaves should be a dark green, though different varieties of tomatoes have varying shades of green leaves. The main thing to look for is evenness. Make sure that the color of the leaves is pretty much the same throughout the plant. A plant with some yellowing leaves may be distressed. Also examine the leaves for bugs.
Tomato plants require a lot of water, more than most vegetable plants. Water tomato plants every day. Although you should avoid drowning the plant in water, make sure you do give plenty of water. On really hot days, spritz the leaves of your tomato plants with water in the evenings. Doing this during the heat of the day can damage the leaves, so make sure you wait until the plants are no longer receiving direct sunlight.
Use a good quality compost when planting the tomatoes in the ground. Add a high quality tomato food mixture to the soil on a regular basis. Tomato food mixtures enrich the soil and help the tomatoes grow quickly.
Once you see ripe tomatoes, pick them right away. Harvesting your fruit regularly keeps the plant healthy and allows it to produce more fruit. If you allow ripened tomatoes to remain on the vine, they can over-ripen quickly and go to waste. If you find over-ripe tomatoes, you can bury them instead of throwing them out. This may lead to volunteer plants next year.
If you see a number of blooms close together, pinch a couple of them off. This will help your other blooms become large fruit. Your plant will actually produce more fruit if you pinch off some of the blooms as it is growing.
Tomatoes not only require a lot of water, they also need a lot of sunlight. Plant tomatoes in a location where they will get full sunlight for as long as possible throughout the day. If you plant tomato plants in a partially shaded area, they will still likely grow, but not as well. Direct sunlight is one of the keys to harvesting a bumper crop every year.
Using the tips in this article will help you grow pounds of tomatoes every growing season. Even if your first crop doesn’t turn out as you would like, keep on trying!