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Before we get to the tomato growing tips, I want to just give y’all a little FYI for those wondering…I have one post left in the Spring in SoCal series, but I don’t have enough written and video material on the topic to share with you the way I want to. Please stay tuned for that in the future. In the mean time, I’m taking a week or two to post about things that you, my readers, have expressed that you’d like to know more about. If you haven’t been able to take my super short survey to share what you’d like to read in the coming weeks and months here at Stone Family Farmstead, you can still do that here. Thanks, and I’m looking forward to hearing your thoughts! On to the tomato growing tips!
Growing tomatoes has kind of been a thorn in my side for years. It honestly seemed like everyone else was able to grow them without even applying any tomato plant care rules–just plant it and forget it, and I was over here wondering why I didn’t have any fruit on my plants. I seriously needed some tomato growing tips to work with!
For years, I would plant my tomato transplants that I bought from the local garden center, along with bags of manure….and plant them only in that. Thankfully, I have learned how to grow tomatoes since those days (and I’ve learned not to plant in straight manure, too).
Nowadays, I am growing a lovely tomato garden and getting even better at it this year, and in my journey into tomato plant care, I’ve developed a few tomato growing tips of my own to share!
My Best Tomato Growing Tips
Remove foliage from the bottom 12 inches of the plant so no leaves touch the ground. This is a great thing to do because it keeps the leaves out of the water that can pool at the stem at watering time, which will minimize the likelihood of disease and pests that are on the ground.
Stake or tie tomato plants to grow vertically, so that they can grow upward. This is mostly for indeterminate tomato plants, but you can also stake your determinates so they don’t fall over from the heavy foliage and fruit it will grow.
Remove old foliage from the plant when you see it. I often remove some of the healthy foliage out of the middle of the plant so as to allow sunshine into the middle of the plant. This is also helpful for finding hiding hornworms, which can make quick work of devouring a tomato plant. Until I learned how to prune tomatoes, I had so many hornworms on my plants.
Remove suckers from indeterminate plants so that more energy can go toward setting and ripening fruit. This also helps the plant to avoid becoming too bushy and tangled.
Prune weekly to encourage only one or two lead vines so all energy can go into fruiting and ripening fruit, just like removing the suckers will. A bushy and tangled up tomato plant is a great home for all sorts of pests and disease.
Harvest daily any fruit that is ripe each day. This allows the plant to put its energy elsewhere, like setting flowers and growing tomatoes.
Track What You Do
Make sure to track what you are doing so that you can remember in the coming years what method you used to get such a fabulous harvest. You can keep a notebook with notes on each vegetable, if you are fine with functional. Some people are! But if you are one that likes to keep pretty journals, check out The Gardening Notebook . It’s the perfect resource for keeping gardening information straight and easily accessible each year. I’ve been using it for years, and it’s been quite handy for planning my gardens and tracking how well my plants thrived and what I did to correct any pest or disease issues that I had for the year.