Tomatoes are the most popular vegetable grown in home gardens then anything else in the world. They are easy to grow from seed or you can purchase plants that have been given a head start. This year, you should grow tomatoes, just don’t kill them. Here are a few tips to help you keep your tomatoes growing healthy and strong.
Start With Good Soil
Tomatoes are heavy eaters and need a lot of nutrients in the soil to keep them producing their fruit. They need a lot of nitrogen which is readily available in organic blood meal. Tomatoes also have a large root system so they need bone meal, which gives nutrients to the roots. It is also a good idea to add both compost and earthworm castings to your garden or potting soil to give tomatoes all the nutrients they need.
Start with Good Plants and Seeds
This might sound basic, but you would surprised how many people don’t know what to look for when picking out seeds or plants. When you are at the nursery and are looking at the tomato plants, gently lift it out of the plastic pot and look at its roots. You should not see salt crystals on the roots. If you do, get a different plant. Ideally, the roots also should not be a hot mess underneath the pot as this means that it is root bound. Choose seed packets that are organic and non-GMO and that grow well for your plant hardiness zone.
Tips and Tricks on Tomatoes
Take a look at the stem of your tomato plant. See those little hairs? They are called root hairs. When transplanting a tomato, bury it as high as the second set of leaves by removing the first set. Each of those buried root hairs will grow more roots. The more roots the plant has, the more tomatoes it will produce. Stake the plant up and then water it in deeply. Tomatoes take a lot of water and should not be allowed to dry out as this will cause bottom end rot on growing tomatoes. Fertilize them every 2-3 weeks and make sure they are receiving over six hours of sunlight a day.
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