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Tomato Plant Care: A Gardener’s Guide

20th February

Tomato Plant Care: A Gardener’s Guide

What’s more satisfying that picking your own tomatoes fresh out your garden?  It something every gardener loves to grow, but it isn’t always so easy. This guide will give you some useful tips on growing your tomatoes, how to water them, how to ripen them quickly and the best fertilizers to use. No matter what the variety, and there are over 15,000, these tips will help you to achieve the best yield and avoid those common mistakes.

  1. Top tomato growing tips
  2.  How to ripen tomatoes quickly
  3. How to water tomato plants
  4. The best way to fertilise tomato plants

Top Tomato Growing Tips

  • • Warmth is essential for tomato plants. Be sure the soil temperature is consistently at least above 10 degrees Celsius before sowing tomato seeds or planting out.
  • • Know the growing season for your tomato variety. Larger varieties, for example, beefsteak, need a longer growth period to fully mature to the fruiting stage. Sow them early, indoors.
  • • For a continuous supply of tomato fruits throughout the season. Grow indeterminate varieties such as heirlooms, Sungold, cherry tomatoes or others.
  • • Container grown tomatoes tend to dry out faster than garden/raised bed grown tomatoes. Water container tomato plants from the base to keep potting soil moist but not soggy.

Holding a vine of tomatoes

multiple varieties of tomatoes

  • • Keep tomato plants well ventilated. This both helps regulate the greenhouse temperature and reduces the risk of tomato plant fungal disease.
  • • Stick to a consistent and sufficient watering routine to prevent common tomato plant problems like blossom end rot. Read more about this under ‘watering tomatoes’.
  • • For the best harvest, position plants in the sunniest area of the garden, greenhouse or polytunnel.

Better yet, watch our video on how to ripen your tomatoes in as little as 7 days!

How to Water Tomato Plants

There’s no one way to water tomato plants. How to water tomato plants is dependent on a range of factors. Such as the variety of tomato, size and growing location. However, while there isn’t one single way to water tomatoes, there are definitely things to do and avoid.

Consistent soil moisture in tomato plants is essential for a good harvest. As tomato plants grow, they require more water. The key to watering tomato plants is to keep the plants moist but never wet or waterlogged.

Stunted plant growth, lack of fruit production and worst, plant disease is often a result of failing to water tomato plants correctly. For example, inconsistent and excessive watering of tomato plants, especially container grown plants, can lead to tomato blossom end rot.

3 Tips for Watering Tomato Plants:

  • • Avoid watering tomato plant foliage. Instead, water them directly into the soil. This will prevent the risk of leaf scorching and other tomato plant diseases. That often occurs from a combination of foliage moisture and bad ventilation.
  • • To prevent flooding/over-watering, water tomato plants slowly. Allowing the water to travel several inches into the soil. It also gives you time to notice when you have sufficiently watered and need to stop.
  • • Finally, when watering, pour the water directly into the soil but slightly away from the plant stem. This promotes both root growth and spreading.

Growing other crops?

We’ve got more growing guides:

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The Best Way to Fertilise Tomato Plants

As heavy feeders, nutrients are essential for tomato plants to thrive and develop through their growing season. Therefore, it’s important to treat your tomato plants with fertiliser if you want a healthy, abundant harvest. However, to achieve this, you have to fertilise the plants correctly.

Using the correct fertiliser is one of the most important factors when it comes to growing healthy tomato plants. Fertilisers contribute to the effect on tomato foliage and fruit productions. When tomato plants are fertilised incorrectly, the result may be big tomato plants with little fruit yield.

3 Fertilising Tips for Tomato Plant Care:

1. Nutrient Rich Soil

Before considering how to fertilise tomato plants, make sure their growing medium is already well balanced. Depending on where you’re growing tomatoes, it’s important to ensure the soil is nutrient rich. Consider adding healthy homemade compost, to boost soil fertility and start the tomato plants off strong.

2. Organic Tomato Fertiliser

Get the most out of your tomato plants. First, treat them with organic fertiliser Maximato Xtra. This two-time use treatment isn’t an ordinary tomato fertiliser or feed. Rather, it’s an organic fertiliser that works to establish tomato plants. Maximato Xtra colonises tomato plants roots with beneficial bacteria which advances nutrient intake to promote greater growth. For the ultimate tomato plant care, this fertiliser is a must!

3. On-going Fertiliser

As mentioned before, tomato plants are heavy feeders. They need an effective fertiliser to offer a continuous source of nutrients. After treating tomato plants with Maximato, as mentioned above, use an organic seaweed fertiliser. To provide plants with nutrients on an on-going basis. Organic fertilisers provide a slow release of nutrients for tomato plants. Allowing 10 to 14 days between treatments for a regular fertiliser feeding routine.

Bonus Tomato Plant Care Tips:

Make sure tomato plants are well watered before applying fertiliser. This ensures the plants aren’t limited to just consuming fertiliser.

Be cautious not to over treat young tomato plants with nitrogen fertiliser as this will promote foliage growth but stunt fruit growth.

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