Home & Garden · Seasonal & Holiday

5 Tips For Better Tomatoes

What is better than a fresh, ripe, juicy tomato picked right off the vine of a tomato plant in your own garden? If you are struggling with your tomato plants, here are some tips to help you grow the best tomatoes ever.

Water Deeply

Water your tomato plants deeply during summer by soaking your tomato bed every five days. Water directly on the dirt not the leaves of the plants.

Prune

It is important to prune off the non-fruiting branches to make sure the plant’s energy is going toward producing bigger and better fruit. To do this, get your pruning shears, I like the Ray Padula Anvil and Bypass Pruner Combo Set from Target.

Take your pruning shears and prune the “suckers”  that grow from the stem right above a leaf branch. If you don’t prune these, they will become a big stem with its own fruit and suckers. If you want, you can leave the suckers on the bottom of the plant to grow. They are easier to maintain than those that grow higher up on the plant.

Not all tomatoes need pruning, in fact, you do not want to prune tomatoes that develop all their fruit at one time (determinate tomatoes) because you will be losing fruit if you do. Pruning tomato plants that produce fruit all season (indeterminate tomatoes) helps to product several nice sized tomatoes rather than smaller tomatoes and a lot of foliage.

Pruning is not necessary, but you might want to experiment on a few plants and see what results you get. It can also be done late in the season in order to help tomatoes grow faster before the season ends. Make sure you clean and disinfect your clippers so you do not transfer disease from plant to plant.

Stake Them High

Tomato plants need support, and you should do that with the highest stakes you can find, so you do not have to add some later, which could damage their roots. You can find 6 foot stakes at garden centers like the Home Depot.

Weed

Make sure to remove weeds that steal valuable nutrients from your tomato plants. Do this often so you are not feeling overwhelmed. It is quite amazing how fast weeds can take over your garden, so be diligent about this.

Compost

Adding compost around your tomato plants as the fruit is ripening can help immensely. Tomatoes love nutrients like nitrogen and carbon and they are essential for proper plant growth. Compost contains both macro and micro nutrients which are very beneficial in supplying your tomato plants with the nutrients they need to grow and product fruit.