I’ve been meaning to
brag write about my tomato plant, but hadn’t had the chance to take a photo. I wanted to show you how big and plum my tomatoes are growing. The image (at right) is about three to four pounds of organic tomato! Do you know how expensive that stuff is at the grocery store?! Read on to find out how to assure you reap a bounty when growing tomatoes.
Here’s what I’ve been doing to help my tomato plant be good to me…
- Pick the right spot – Tomato plants need at least 10 hours of light and room for air to circulate.
- Rotate from season to season – Don’t plant your tomatoes in the same spot to help diminish the risk of soilborne diseases.
- Grow roots – When you transplant or buy a tomato make sure to plant your tomato seedlings all the way to the first leaves. New roots will sprout from the stem! More roots means you’ll reap more fruit. I credit this tip for the bounty I’ve reaped this summer!
- Give it a drink of water – Make sure to water infrequently — say, once a week — and water deeply for about ten minutes using a soaker hose or drip irrigation.
- Keep leaves dry – Wet foliage can encourage fungal diseases. Eww!
- Prune like crazy – Branches that are not giving fruit should be pruned so the plant can concentrate on growing big tomatoes. Don’t go overboard as well or you may stop production! Make sure to remove brown and yellow leaves. Also, remove any leaves that get mildew.
- Add compost – Encourage new growth by adding compost around the stem.
- Plant friends nearby – Make sure to plant basil and parsley near your tomatoes as these will intensify their flavor.
- Get rid of caterpillars – Here’s how to get rid of pest organically: Spray them with Bacillus thuringiensis, a bacterium that attacks and kills caterpillars. Or go with the cheaper alternative and drop the caterpillars into a bucket of soapy water. Note that several species of wasp will lay their eggs on caterpillars. If you see one with eggs, don’t bother killing it. The wasps are already doing it for you.
I have so many tomatoes. The problem now is what to make with them. Have yummy tomato recipes? Please share them with me. I’m desperate for your help!
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