I am not a gardener but it was on my ‘what do you want to be when you grow up’ list at one point. This is my first year growing tomatoes on my own and I didn’t do much research when beginning. But now that they are actually producing tomatoes, I’m excited and am really rooting for them to make it! Next year I want to know what I’m doing before hand so I’m researching how make the best out of my tomatoes.
Here’s a few tips to inspire you on your tomato growing journey.
- Growing your tomatoes from organic seeds will save you a bundle in the end. A packet of tomato seed can cost you 4 bucks and has the potential to produce 1,250 pounds of tomatoes in a season! You could pay that same price (or more) for a single pound in the grocery store. You will also be able to use your seeds from those tomatoes the next year and so on unlike a seedling which will usually be a hybrid.
- Give your tomatoes as much light as possible and protection from the wind.
- Add compost to the soil before hand.
- Mulch insulates your soil to prevent plant stress from extreme temperatures. It also helps with water retention and prevents weeds. Put it down later in the season after the ground has had a chance to warm up.
- You don’t have to clip suckers as the more you touch and expose your plants, the more they are susceptible to disease. But if you have big enough suckers, you can remove them with clean tools and replant them.
- Pinching your leaves will help them get more sun but the leaves are what give the tomato the flavor.
- Water you tomatoes often and from the soil, not over the plant. Steady growth, no split fruit. Lessen the water when they start to ripen to enhance the flavor. Having a pipe or hole poked water jug planted next to your plant to water the deeper roots gets them nourishment quicker.
- Take off the bottom leaves to prevent fungus and disease from the soil.
- When planting your seedlings, bury them either straight on up to the top leaves or sideways in a trench. The hairs on the sides of the stem will develop a stronger root system and the tops will grow hardier.
- Plant tomatoes along side basil to draw the white fly away from the fruit. Also, garlic or nasturtiums turn away aphids.
- Canes or cages will help you plant stand tall when they get top heavy.
- Use chopped up banana peels and eggshells to add potassium and nitrogen to your soil.
And of course I’m excited for the end result so we can make lots of tomato pie!!! (Not my pie but it makes my tastebuds tingle.)
As an added benefit, I found this awesome song and it just made me so happy I had to share it!