Tomato growers unite! Perhaps one of the most popular plants at this time of year is the plain old tomato. No other vegetable/fruit gets the masses excited more than these tasty little gems.
Growing tomatoes is actually quite easy. Just plant and follow these 10 great tips:
- Choose healthy plants suited for your space. Plant when ground is warm, above 15 degrees Celsius, and with at least 6-8 hours of sun per day is best.
- Use fertile rich soil, mix in compost or consider amending earth with Sea Soil to improve nutrient value. We sell it by the bag and the tractor scoop.
- Mix an organic well balanced fertilizer into soil, prior to planting. It is known to increase yield. Bonemeal added when planting, can also reduce the chances of blossom end rot - a common problem where the bottom of the tomatoe goes brown.
- Plant tomatoes deep. Strip lower leaves and plant the stem up to the uppermost top cluster of leaves. Tomatoes have the ability to form roots along their stem. Doing this will create extra roots to help anchor the plant and provide more opportunity for water and nutrient uptake.
- Water regularly and evenly. Even moisture will create a healthier plant and tomatoes. This too will help prevent blossom end rot.
- Stake or cage plants early (depending on variety) to avoid damaging roots. Keeping the tomatoes off the ground helps prevent fruit rot and makes plant more productive.
- When flowers appear, continue to fertilize and consider spraying with blossom set. Use an organic fertilizer and consider a kelp foliar spray. It will increase health & prevent disease.
- Pick tomatoes when they are firm, full size, and fully coloured. If it gets very hot, pick some fruit early (green) and let it ripen off the vine. Too much sun can cause sun scorch and turn tomatoes soft.
- If in pots, keep tomatoes sheltered from too much rain to avoid blight. If in the open, pick ripened or nearly ripened fruit prior to heavy rains as these tomatoes are more prone to splitting / cracking.
- Take note of varieties that worked well, and if desired save seed for next year!
Visit Art's Nursery today for a fantastic selection of contemporary as well as heirloom tomato varieties.