If you want to grow the healthiest and most delicious tomatoes you possibly can this gardening season, take some pointers from the pros. There are a few very easy ways to implement, and therefore consistently grow a rich harvest of tasty, lush, mouthwatering tomatoes.
Why not try out the following organic gardening tips and see for yourself the biggest and healthiest yield your tomato plants can give you.
Organic Gardening Tips For Growing Succulent Tomatoes
Whether growing in containers or in the ground, make sure you select a location that will give your plants 6 to 8 hours of natural sunlight. Also, make sure you have enough room between your tomato plants to not only provide for adequate air circulation, but it also assures adequate room for the plants to grow not only upwards, but for extending their stems.
If you are buying plants to transplant, make sure you plant deep for the best possible results.
Burying the stem of a tomato allows the plant to sprout new roots which will help improve strength and vitality of the plant.
This also provides better absorption of the nutrients your tomato plants need to grow faster and healthier.
To do this, remove the bottom sets of leaves and bury the stem up to just below the bottom of the remaining leaves.
Experimenting with the above description for transplanting tomato plants to the first true leaf, when compared to just covering the root ball has shown to increase tomato yields by 18% and up to 26% percent for every 25 pounds of fruit at first harvest, according to Dr. Charles Vavrina at the Southwest Florida Research & Education Center.
Rodale’s Organic Life writes, that the secret to great tomatoes is all in the roots. Plants with big root systems need less water and can stand up to summer storms.
To encourage your tomatoes to put down robust roots, start by taking a look at the stems of your tomato seedlings. The fine “hairs” lining the stem develop into roots when they come into contact with moist soil. Burying a large portion of the stem at planting time effectively doubles the size of the plant’s root system and encourages productive plants.
This tip is crucial to planting, growing, and harvesting an abundant of tomatoes. Test your soil. Why? Tomatoes grow and produce well in soil that is more acidic, between 6.0 – 6.8 pH.
You can take a sample of your soil to the horticultural department of your local collage or University for lab testing, or you purchase a pH level testing kit.
After you have discerned your garden soils alkaline and acidity levels, you can add the appropriate organic soil amendments to reach the recommended 6.0 – 6.8 pH for tomatoes. Most garden centers can tell you just what you need to do to get your soil perfect.
Trick your tomatoes into being stronger by plucking the first flowers that appear. This allows your tomato plants to grow more extensive root systems, as well as a mature and developed leaf canopy, before any fruit is produced.
You should also prune any suckers, which are the little offshoots of the main stem below your first fruit-producing branch.
Fine Gardening says that doing so will allow most of the sugar produced in the first 30 days after transplanting, to be directed to the developing fruit, since the only competition is a single growing tip.
Use tomato cages or supports to grow your tomatoes vertically. When you allow tomato vines to lay on the ground, your plants are much more susceptible to pests and diseases.
When you provide vertical support, these garden dangers have a harder time attacking your plants. Sprawling vines also take up valuable space in your garden.
Southwest Gardener says to fertilize your tomato plants once a month for in-ground tomatoes, and every three weeks for tomatoes in containers.
Adding organic compost, either your own or store bought will also help to encourage healthy growth and a bigger harvest.
Scratch compost into the ground around the stem, and at the same time, trim a few of the upper leaves on each plant.
Whether you decide to plant determinate or indeterminate varieties, consider planting new tomatoes three weeks after your original plants are planted. This will extend your growing season and guarantees that if you run into any weather or pest problems, you are still sure to enjoy multiple, healthy harvests. This means you won’t need to harvest and use your entire crop at once.
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