Grow Your BEST Tomatoes At Home
A warm, ripe tomato picked from the vine in the sun is one of the best treats a gardener can enjoy. Homegrown tomatoes offer flavour that’s unmatched, and they’re worth every effort! Growing tomatoes at home can be easy with a little bit of good advice. Here are our TOP TIPS to help you to grow your best tomatoes at home this season.
Tomato Tip: Tomato Plants Need Support
Tomato plants can vary in size, depending on their type and variety. While some are bred to remain small for use in containers or baskets, most will grow to be surprisingly large throughout the course of the season. Indeterminate type tomatoes continue growing non-stop until killed by frost in fall!
When planting young tomato plants, it’s easy to underestimate the room they require. If yours have outgrown their space, use sturdy stakes and soft twine to keep them growing UP!
Tomato Tip: Tomatoes Need Food
Tomato plants need nutrition to thrive and produce fruit all summer. In the early part of the growing season, tomatoes rapidly increase in size and establish a big, deep root system. Tomato-specific food blends provide the right ratio of macro and micronutrients that these fast-growing plants need. A healthy, thriving plant will always be more resistant to pests and diseases, and produce more flowers and fruit. Apply slow-release food to the soil around tomato plants every 4-6 weeks.
Tomato Tip: Plant Tomatoes With Herbs
Some plants just grow better together! Companion planting is the practice of placing plants that benefit one another in close proximity. This can help to improve yields, deter pests, or generally help growth in a variety of ways.
To grow your best tomatoes at home, plant them with aromatic herbs to help attract beneficial insects, increase pollination, and can even improve fruit flavour! Some of the best choices include basil, dill, fennel, chives, and mint. All of the herbs available in TERRA store locations are locally grown by Freeman Herbs in Beamsville, ON.
Tomato Tip: Prune Your Tomato Plants!
Large tomato plants perform better when they’re pruned for optimal sunlight and air flow. As plants grow, it becomes more crucial for sunlight to reach ripening fruit, and that bushy foliage isn’t too crowded.
Humid, damp conditions can lead to fungal problems, so remove lower leaves to increase air movement among big plants. This also will improve your access to the fruit! To prune a tomato plant, first snap or trim off large foliage on lower parts of the plant. These early leaves have done their job! Next, pinch away “suckers” (as shown in photo) that grow between branches. Left intact, these become extra branches that can quickly make plants unwieldy, and sap energy away from the parts that are already blooming and fruiting. Inspect plants regularly, and make removing unwanted parts a routine practice throughout the growing season.
Enjoying Your Harvest
Watch some of our tomato tips here, from Instagram.