Tomatoes are one of those vegetables that you want to grow year after year. Sometimes though, you might get lucky to get one little tomato on your plant. What gives? Ever wonder why your tomato plants are failing to thrive? Check out these tips on how to grow tomatoes like a pro.
Good Soil for Strong Roots
Always remember this – the more strong healthy roots a tomato plant has, the more fruit it will produce. All along a tomato's stem are small root hairs. When planting, remove the bottom set of leaves and bury the stem in good potting soil. For the soil, start with an organic potting soil that has compost added to it. Then mix in two cups of earthworm castings and two tablespoons of blood and bone meal. Tomatoes are heavy nutrient eaters and must have this potting soil mixture added to them at least every 3-4 weeks.
The temperature affects if a tomato will bear fruit. Tomatoes are warm season crops and will set fruit above 70 degrees, but not above 85 degrees. That's why in Zones 7-9, you will want to plant seeds indoors four weeks before the last frost. You can also plant it again in the fall after the hot summer months. Some plants will grow throughout the summer building a strong root system and putting on a lot of leaves. Then when the temperatures drop they put on a show with a lot of tomatoes.
In colder climates, grow tomatoes in a greenhouse or hoop house. You can start the seedlings early or buy tomato plants to transplant into your garden. They won't produce tomatoes though until June when the temperatures start to inch up out of the 50s.
Tips for Tomatoes
Tomatoes not only need a lot of organic fertilizer, but they also need a steady stream of water. If they are planted in containers, they should be watered once a day in hotter temperatures. If planted in raised beds or in garden soil, water them at least two times a week, more if needed. When tomatoes set out flowers, pay attention if bees and butterflies are coming around to pollinate them. If not, grab a small paintbrush and go from flower to flower, pollinating them yourself!
The simple tips to growing tomatoes like a pro: Feed them well, water them often, and pay attention to their growing cycle and when they set out flowers.