It’s time, it’s finally tomato time!
Are you planting tomatoes this year? If so, it won’t be long until you’re picking the very first fruits off your own tomato plant and I bet you can almost taste it.
Here are a few tips for making this your finest tomato harvest ever:
1. Plant in full sun. Tomatoes need 10 hours of sunshine a day to grow at their best.
2. Don’t plant too close together. Leaving some room for air to circulate around and between plants is a great way to fight diseases.
3. Rotate crops. You know this. Planting your tomatoes, or any crop, in the same spot year after year is an invitation to disease and pest problems.
4. Plant deep. Plant your seedlings with just the top leaves above the soil. The stem will develop roots, and you’ll have a sturdier plant with a deep, well developed root system.
5. Water deeply and regularly. Don’t over-water, but try to keep the soil moist. Even watering lets fruit develop at a healthy rate, and prevents blossom-end rot.
6. Use a slow release fertilizer. New plants don’t need much fertilizer, but when they begin to set fruit they need more. A slow release plant food stays in the soil over many weeks instead of washing away, so the plant can absorb them as needed.
7. Stake or cage your plants. This is another tip to reduce infestations by keeping leave and branches up off the groung.
8. Prune Suckers. By pruning away suckers that sprout between the stem and branches, you re-direct energy back into the main plant and fruit production. Use caution in pruning your tomatoes, as the leaves provide shelter from the scorching sun, so don’t strip away too much.