Ahhh, the sound of snapping a tomato off of the vine out of your own garden. From seedlings or small plants to voluptuous, juicy fruits that come in an array of hues, all grown with your help and the kiss of mother nature’s rays. Tomatoes are, by far, one of the most grown fruits during the summer months. Even if you don’t have a garden, per say, you probably have a container on your patio or deck that is set aside for these little jewels. From salad tomatoes, to salsa tomatoes and tomatoes made for canning, your options are virtually endless.
Fairview’s Tips for Growing Great Tomatoes
- Give them a lot of sunlight. They need 8-10 hours.
- Plant the tomato plant deeper than the pot/ground level. You can plant up to the bottom leaves.
- Once the plant has reached 3’ tall, take some of the bottom leaves off; they are prone to fungal problems. As leaves turn yellow, pull off and discard.
- If planting in a garden, plant the tomato plant at an angle. Doing so will help support the plant structure and the plant will straighten as it grows. It also encourages root growth.
- Keep moist and never let dry out. Letting your plant to dry out can cause a lot of problems, especially blossom-end rot. Once spring weather arrives, mulch your tomato plant well to help retain moisture.
- Tomato plants love soil that is rich in organic matter. So, if you have clay soil, be sure to incorporate a mushroom compost or some dry manure.
- Adding used coffee grounds to the soil will add nitrogen to the soil. Crushed egg shells mixed in the soil will add calcium. When planting, add a teaspoon of powdered milk in the hole. This also adds calcium.
- Fertilize with a fertilizer made especially for tomatoes. These types of fertilizer have a higher “middle number,” which is the phosphorus level.
- Indeterminate tomatoes are vines that continue to grow throughout the season and will bear fruit until frost. Determinate tomatoes tend to ripen their fruit in a short period of time.
Companion Plants for Tomatoes (& what they help with)
- Chives/Onions: Slugs, Aphids & Moles
- Carrots: Wasps & Yellow Jackets
- Basil: Mosquitos, Flies,
- Tomato: Hornworm, Spidermites & Whitefly
- Borage: Improve plant health & taste, Tomato Hornworm
- Oregano: Aphids
- Geraniums: Japanese Beetles
- Marigolds: Nematodes, Encourage Growth
- Nasturtium: Aphids
Enemies of Tomatoes:
Corn, Potatoes, Cabbage & Cauliflower