Tomatoes are by far the most popular home-grown fruit or vegetable. Here are some tips to help ensure that you get the most out of your Tomato plants.
- Turn the soil in your vegetable bed and amend with organic matter. Try Coast of Maine's Lobster compost blend. You may then want to fertilize the soil with Tomato-Tone by Espoma or Tasty Tomato by Bradfield Organics.
- Planting your tomatoes in a different part of the garden each season is a good idea as many tomato diseases remain in your soil throughout the winter. Replace the soil in containers as well.
- Remember, if you are container planting, the planting environment is provided entirely by you. If a series of dry hot weather ensues, your watering habits in the container must be increased to accomodate the weather. The soil and its nutrients must also be provided. Staking must be done just as often to prevent the fruit from rotting at the base of the plant.
- Plant the tomato deep enough so the lower leaves touch the surface. This allows the planted stem to develop a larger root system and promotes a healthier plant. Once the tomato has become established, a water-soluble liquid fertilizer will increase how prolific your tomatoes will be. Try Neptune's Harvest Organic fertilizer and use bi-weekly throughout the season.
- Unless you have purchased a bush variety such as Better Bush or Patio tomatoes, your plants will need to be staked regardless of whether they are in a container or in the ground. At Mahoney's, we carry a vast selection of staking options from attractive bamboo stakes to easy-maintenance tomato cages.