There really is nothing quite like eating a beautifully ripe tomato fresh out of your own garden. Whether the flavor is actually better or it’s just the taste of sweet success is hard to say. What isn’t hard to prove is that growing your own tomatoes is relatively simple and it’s a great way to save a little extra cash on the grocery budget.
If you’re going to try your hand at growing a tomato plant, you might as well do it right and get some smashing results. Here are a few tips to get the best plants possible.
1. Plant them deeply: Our Roots Run Deep recommend planting 2/3 of the plant underground. While this may sound counterintuitive, tomatoes are a bit different than most plants. When more of the plant is buried, more roots will sprout making your plant stronger.
2. An alternative to deep planting: If you can’t or don’t want to dig deeply (or the soil is too thick), plant the tomato on its side, angled slightly downward. Just make sure the buried portion is buried at least 5 to 6 inches deep.
3. Keep the tomatoes well fed: Give your tomatoes plenty of sunlight and lots of healthy soil. This means regular fertilization and about an inch of water per week. (This should help you get bigger tomatoes too, according to Rodale’s Organic Life.
4. Offer them support: Once the tomato plant is large enough (if it isn’t when initially planted), you’ll need to add a stake or other form of support to tie the plant too. Tomatoes are heavy and can bring the plant down, so the plant needs a bit of extra support to stay upright.
5. Natural Fertilizer: Kelly Trimble recommends grinding up eggshells and coffee grounds and adding them to the soil with the plant. This helps keeps slugs away and makes the soil more nutrient rich. For an added boost, you can also add a raw egg to the hole before you bury your tomato plant.
6. Keep em’ trimmed: Keep a close eye on your tomato plant. Remove dying fruit and leaves and make sure the top of your plant does not get too heavy.
Tomatoes are a great plant for growing in containers on in the ground, and while you can grow tomatoes with relatively minimal maintenance, a little extra care will ensure that your crop is bigger and better.
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