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10 Secrets to Growing Amazing Tomatoes

May 10, 2021
Written by Aaron

Growing tomato plants is always a worthwhile gardening endeavour. If all goes according to plan, you end up with a huge harvest of delicious fruits to use in many tasty summer dishes. But, a few missteps can result in some not-so-delicious tomatoes with a bitter flavor, mushy texture, or splits in their skin. To help you start growing the tastiest tomatoes possible, we put together our list of secrets from the gardening experts at Eising

 

Here Are The Secrets To Growing Delicious Tomatoes

Growing delicious tomatoes is easy if you know what your plants need to grow as big, bright, and juicy as possible. Whether you're growing mild, savoury beefsteak tomatoes, or sun sugar cherry tomatoes that are sweet as candy, these tomato growing secrets will help you achieve the ideal flavour.   

tomato plants growing in the sun

1. Aim For 7–8 Hours of Direct Sun

Tomato plants love the sun, so you'll get the best results by growing them somewhere with as much direct sunlight as possible. While tomato plants can survive on 6 hours of direct sun per day, they'll be happiest with 7–8 hours. Pick the brightest spot in your yard, and make sure it isn't shaded for half the day by any trees, fences, or buildings. Don't forget to use some stakes or tomato cages to keep your plants upright and facing the sun. 

 

2. Test and Amend Your Soil

If you're growing tomatoes in containers, we assure you that your potting soil is healthy and balanced if you buy it new from Eising. However, if you're planting them in your garden bed, that soil might require some amendments after the long winter and last year's growing season. A soil test will help you determine if any nutrients are lacking or if the pH level is slightly off. Slightly acidic soil with a pH between 6.5–6.8 is ideal!

 

3. Add Quality Vegetable Fertilizer

When tomato plants are growing at such impressive speeds, it makes sense that they need a lot of fuel to keep them going! Use a water-soluble fertilizer that is specifically formulated for tomatoes for your best chance at success. If your soil test identified sub-par nutrient levels, you could buy a formula that's fortified with those necessary nutrients. Apply it once per week, and also consider using a transplant fertilizer to help ease the transition into the ground. 

4. Water Tomatoes Generously and Consistently

If you want big, juicy tomatoes, your plants are going to need a lot of water! However, consistency is key to getting the best results. If you aren't consistent with the timing and the amount you're watering, the skins of your tomatoes will split or possibly develop blossom end rot. We suggest evening watering every other night, depending on the weather. 

Drip irrigation systems or soaker hoses are ideal for delivering consistent moisture to your plants without overdoing it. Remember, always water your tomatoes at the soil level; this strengthens the root system and avoids foliage disease.

 

5. Use Mulch

Spread a layer of mulch across the soil surface to prevent soil moisture from evaporating under the sun too quickly. Use a natural mulch that's free from artificial dyes, like shredded bark or mulched leaves. Mulch will also help to block weeds from germinating, and weeds can end up stealing a lot of soil nutrients away from your growing veggie plants. 

 

6. Prune The Tomato Suckers

Curious about the secret to get your tomatoes growing faster? The secret is pruning suckers! As your tomato plants grow, you'll see new little stems sprouting out from the spot where larger branches connect to the main stem. These "suckers" actually drain a lot of energy from your plant. Pinch them off with your thumb and forefinger, allowing your plant to devote more energy to growing amazing tomatoes––faster!

7. Plant Your Tomatoes Extra Deep

Here’s a tomato growing secret––did you know that if you plant your tomato deeply, roots will propagate from that main stem? This is helpful because often tomato plants can get a bit leggy and may flop over, even in their early stages. When you plant them, do it just deep enough that the bottom set of leaves is an inch or two above the soil surface. Some gardeners swear by the technique of planting their tomatoes on their sides, which “hooks” the plant into the ground, spreads the root system over a larger area, and strengthens the main stem as it straightens toward the sun.

 

8. Help Out With Pollination

Of course, the bees, beetles, butterflies, and other garden pollinators are happy to help out with pollination duties, but it doesn't hurt to chip in yourself! If you've got tomatoes growing in a greenhouse, then hand pollination is essential. All you need is a clean toothbrush or paintbrush. Gently tap each flower with your brush a couple of times as soon as you notice they've opened; this allows the upper male pollen to fall onto the lower female pistil. Gravity will do this on its own, but a little human help can produce even more fruit.

 

9. Remove Dead and Damaged Leaves

Leaving old, dead leaves on your plants can drain your plant of valuable energy. That damaged plant material is also susceptible to developing fungus, which can spread through your plant and weaken it. Clip the pieces off with sanitized shears and dispose of them in the garbage (or the compost bin, if there are no signs of disease or fungus). 

tomato plants growing in raised bed

10. Consider Crop Rotation

One of the secrets to preventing pathogens and fungi from attacking your growing tomato plants is practicing crop rotation. Spores can hibernate over winter and bounce back spring, ready to mess with your plants all over again. Moving your tomatoes to a new garden spot will reduce the likelihood that the same pathogens will harm them as last year. And as you can probably guess, disease-free tomatoes are much tastier than the alternative!

Now is the time to start planting tomatoes outside! To cultivate your most fantastic vegetable garden yet, visit us soon to see all the new veggie varieties we have in store. There are so many incredible tomato plants for sale, from classic favourites to exciting new hybrids and exotic heirloom varieties. See them all, plus plenty of other fresh vegetable plants here at Eising.

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