Many of today's tomatoes are hybrids and won't breed true if seeds are saved and planted the following season. If growing plants with the intention of saving seed, choose heirloom varieties for offspring that reproduce true to their mother plant. Mixing some lime into the soil adds calcium that will help balance soil minerals, helping prevent some types of fruit deformities as well as blossom end rot.
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Tomato growing secrets submitted from the ThriftyFun community. The number 1 secret for growing great tomatoes is water control. A tomato is 90% water. It needs a constant supply of water measured out on a consistent basis.
If you live in an apartment with only a small balcony, have super-rocky soil, or are just down-right lazy like me, you can grow tomatoes, flowers and other plants in the same bag the potting soil comes in!
I stirred in a slow release organic veggie fertilizer, crushed egg shells (and/or oyster shells), along with peat moss, vermiculite, compost, and a bit of potting soil. The shells will slowly release calcium which prevents blossom end rot.
Locals in my area recommend planting tomatoes on their sides rather than vertically for better developed roots systems and healthier, stronger plants. I dug individual trenches for each plant, added fertilizer, compost and a few tablespoons of sugar.
Instead of spending $12 on a roll of red plastic to put around our tomato plants (to speed up growth) we purchased 2 red plastic tablecloths from a Dollar Store. They worked great!
If you like big ripe tomatoes, stick your tomato or tie it to a garden fence to keep it off the ground. Then when it gets growing good, take all the small branches off, leaving the 4 biggest branches. When more suckers start to grow, pinch them off of the plant.
Powdered milk can also be a fertilizer for your tomato plants. When you're ready to put your tomato plants in the ground, put a handful of powdered milk in the bottom of each hole first.
Place about 2 tablespoons of Epsom salt around your tomato plants! Your plants will be full of tomatoes.
Cover your tomato plants with newspaper in the fall and they will survive the frosty nights. You will be able to pick tomatoes until December!
If your tomatoes grow up and over the tomato cage, sometimes the stem can get so heavy that it cuts the vine where it hits the top of the cage. A good solution to that is to cut lengths of pipe insulation to go around it.
When planting tomatoes add some dry milk into the planting hole to add calcium and prevent blossom end rot.
Tomatoes are touchy about getting too much rain or water overhead. First of all, plant the tomatoes as deeply as you can but not with the leaves touching the ground.
Before transplanting your tomato plant seedlings outside, make your planting hole a bit deeper than usual, and drop 2 teaspoons of epsom salts in each planting hole. Sprinkle some dirt in the hole, and then add your seedling.
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My tomato plants are not flowering much. What am I doing wrong? I usually have no problem. I planted Big Boy using Osmocote and water as needed plenty of sun. Help?
Make sure you fertilize each week. You may have to hand pollinate if you don't have a lot of bees
Tips for planting and growing tomatoes. Post your ideas.
When planting tomatoes, save rainwater in a bucket until time to plant them. Before you plant them, pour the rainwater in the hole. This way, the plants get the water they need without the chlorine of tap water which often dries the tomato plant out. Do not start watering the plants with tap water the rain will be enough, because if you start watering a tomato plant you have to do it every day.
I think this tip may work in areas with lots of rain, but in the arid west, if you don't water your tomatoes, they will die.
Tomatoes only need to be watered once or twice a week, regardless of how you water them. If they are watered too much, you'll get lots of leaves and not many tomatoes.
I've never found that tap water dries out my plants. I'm not sure of your basis for suggesting that it does.