Last weekend I held a homegrown tomato plant sale in my backyard. We sold over 70 plants and half of the money earned will go to The Austin Children’s Shelter.
I enjoyed meeting neighbors and the steady flow of conversation centered around growing food. I found myself giving the same three tips on growing tomatoes, here they are:1 Plant Deep
Dig a big enough hole to bury 2/3 of the plant. For step by step instructions on how to plant your tomatoes, check out this how to post by Shannon.
2 Feed Your Toms
Make sure to use the right fertilizer, specifically something that will promote flower development like Lady Bug Brand “Flower Power.” When someone tells me about how they didn’t have luck with their last tomato crop they often say something like, “the plant got huge but it didn’t make many tomatoes.” To that I suggest that they may have used a fertilizer with too much Nitrogen. Check out this Q&A we did recently to address questions about fertilizer, specifically what those numbers on the package mean and why organic fertilizer is important.
Use seaweed as both a soil drench when you transplant your tomato start and then weekly as a foliar feed.
After you finish planting your tomato, water it in with diluted seaweed which stimulates root development and alleviates transplant shock. Seaweed is readily available at garden stores, even home improvement stores typically have it in stock.
Once a week, use diluted seaweed to feed the leaves and promote overall plant health. By fertilizing the plant via its leaves you’re making the nutrients immediately available instead of the plant needing to soak them up via the root system.
Make sure to spray the tops and bottoms of the leaves either early in the morning or after sunset. You want the leaves to be dry while the sun is shining, otherwise the leaves can burn. Did you ever try to burn an ant with a magnifying glass? When the sun shines on water droplets they act as a magnifying glass and will cause burn spots. I use something like this to deliver foliar feeds. I like that it’s only one gallon because it’s not as heavy to lug around the garden.
Once your plants take off you may wonder if you should trim the suckers or leave them alone.
What are those stink bugs on my tomatoes and how to I get rid of them?
Pretty soon you’ll be starting your own plants from seed, here’s a tutorial!
I hope you all have such an amazing growing season this Spring that you’re wondering what to do with your tomato haul. I had to learn how to can two years ago because we had such a great harvest!
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