- Chose small Tomato plants- If you are buying a tomato plant from a nursery or if you have grown your own, you might want to choose the smaller less established plants because they do better being transplanted, and will most likely produce better and get bigger than those gallon sized tomato plants!
- Clip the lowest leaves off the tomato- When you are planting the plant, dig the hole extra deep and clip off the lowest leaves and plant the plant to just cover them. All of that fuzz on the stem of the tomato plant will turn into roots, and give you a better base to your tomato plant.
- Fertilize- do not just fertilize any old way, but when planting, dig a little deeper and off to the side, put a small had full of fertilizer (I prefer organic) and then cover with dirt, as the roots grow they will get a burst of nutrients to aid in the growth of the tomato plant just at the right time. It should not need much more fertilizer than that unless you notice the leaves turning yellow, but not dried out then it might need a boost.
- Mulch- adding a nice thick layer of mulch around the plant when the soil is warm from the sun helps to maintain moisture for the roots, and also if the mulch is organic, it is a constant supply of nutrients being soaked down into the soil for the plant to use.
- Keep the Tomatoes off the Ground- the reason tomato cages are so popular is because it keeps them off the ground and are easy to use. There are several fun and easy methods for getting the tomatoes off the ground but for an determinate tomato plant a nice sturdy cage dose a great job. If the tomatoes are left to sprawl, then the tomatoes will rot before they are ripe, and it will also attract bug that will eat your harvest for you. If you are growing an indeterminate variety, then trellising and having them grow up twine is a fun way to grow them, but just do your homework and figure it out first, and don't be afraid to try again the next year if at first you don't succeed.
Watch for more articles to help you get the most out of your garden!