Tomatoes are easy to love and easy to grow. Here are a few tips for planting them, getting you on your way to this summer’s bumper crop.
Get Off to a Great Start
- Choose healthy starts. Grow your own from seed or pick them up at Creek Side Gardens offering small, medium, large and extra-large plant selections.
- Know where you’re going to plant and prep the soil, area, or container.
Planting & Pruning
- Pinch off the lower branches and leaf points near the base of the plant. When buried, roots will grow from these points increasing overall root development. The healthier the root system the healthier and more robust the plant — improving your chances for a long, bountiful harvest. *Note: this technique is unique to tomatoes.
- When using a container, they need regular, consistent watering and a good quality potting soil that drains well like ProMix or Natures Yield Organic Outdoor Planter Mix.
- For containers, choose a water-soluble fertilizer designed for tomatoes and other veggies like Jack’s All-Purpose or Fertilome Fish Emulsion. In the garden bed consider Fertilome Vegetable granules or Natures Yield Organic Vegetable granules to blend into the soil at planting time.
- Release your start from its container once your soil is ready and gently tease loose the roots apart if its root bound.
- Place your start so that the newly pruned stem and leaf scars are covered in soil, burying your plant by about 1/4 to 1/2 its original height (depending on how much of the bottom growth you removed).
- Tuck your plant in with soil and press gently around the base so it’s anchored and sturdy.
- Next, prune your tomato by pinching off the stems growing from the axillary branching points where the main leaves are attached to the stem. The removed stems would eventually form into branches with more leaves, taking energy away from flowering and fruiting branches on the main stem. Pruning also helps keep your plants open and airy, improving circulation and allowing sunlight to do its work. Continue to prune plants as they grow. If not sure about the pruning technique, stop by the store so that one of our Green Team gardening experts can demonstrate this to you.
- Finally, water and stake tomatoes. Use cages, ladders, or a trellis system to give them the support they need.
That’s it for now. You’re ready to go! Water consistently, prune and feed your plant occasionally as it grows.