8 Dos and Don’ts of Growing Tomatoes

Published Categorized as Vegetables

Growing great and nutritious tomatoes requires the farmer to use various gardening tricks. It doesn’t happen overnight by just planting a few seedlings and watering. You must master how to grow this healthy and delicious vegetable by following these dos and don’ts of growing tomatoes.

The dos for growing tomatoes are planting the seedlings deeply, applying Epsom salt, providing enough sunlight, and mulching.

The don’ts include over-watering, over-fertilizing, planting the seedlings with flowers, and growing them close together. Once you master all these, it’s a guarantee you’ll grow quality tomatoes.

Dos for Growing Tomatoes

Here are the dos of growing tomatoes:

1. Grow your seedlings deep

Dos and don'ts of growing tomatoes

Tomatoes have an extensive root system and require deep holes to grow successfully. So, ensure you dig holes that cover up to their necks to make them more productive.

2. Apply Epsom salts to your tomatoes

Tomato plants require this salt as a preventive measure to thrive. However, your vegetables will still yield fruits even if you don’t apply the salt.

3. Provide your tomatoes with enough sunlight

Dos and dont's of growing tomatoes

For your seedlings to grow healthy, allow them to get plenty of sunlight daily. These plants love the direct sun and require at least 8 – 10 hours of full daylight daily to flourish. If the weather gets scorching for prolonged periods, provide some shade for your tomatoes to avoid leaf curling.

4. Mulch your tomato garden

It’s crucial to mulch your garden as it helps retain enough moisture in the soil necessary for the growth of tomatoes. Mulching also helps avoid soil splashing when watering tomatoes from above. Remember, soil splash can damage your entire tomato garden.

Don’ts for Growing Tomatoes

Things you should avoid when growing tomatoes include:

1. Don’t plant the seedlings with flowers

For tomatoes to flourish, you must give them time to establish a deep root system before flowering and fruiting. So, although you may think it’s a perfect idea to plant already flowering seedlings, the practice is not advisable.

Therefore, plant young tomato seedlings and let them settle in first, then produce flowers.

2. Avoid over-watering tomatoes

Dos and don'ts of growing tomatoes

Over-watering your garden makes the soil soggy, causes the tomato plants to drown, and accelerates root rotting. Excess water will also make your tomatoes fall off entirely or develop yellowed or wilted leaves and stems.

It is especially bad for pot tomatoes because they lack proper drainage.

3. Never over-fertilize

Feeding your tomato plants with essential nutrients from fertilizer is vital. However, applying too much of it will cause bushy and green tomatoes, albeit unproductive.

4. Don’t plant the seedlings close together

Understandably, you may need to get as many pounds of tomatoes as possible from your garden. However, grow only a few seedlings in one area.

Packing too many together will restrict air flow, and your plants will have excess shade, hence stunted growth. Therefore, plant your seedlings 18 – 24 inches apart for successful tomato gardening.

Dos and Dont’s of Growing Tomatoes FAQs

Q: What should you not grow next to tomatoes?

A: Do not plant all vegetables from the brassica family near your tomatoes. They will probably out-compete your tomato plants for the essential nutrients, causing stunt growth. These vegetables include kale, Cauliflower, Cabbage, Brussels sprouts, and broccoli.

Q: Is it OK to water tomatoes during the day?

A: It’s only advisable to water tomatoes during the day if it’s windy or scorching. In this case, you can water them late in the afternoon. The best time for irrigation is in the morning. This gives the water in the leaves a chance to dry before the day ends.

Final Remarks

Growing quality tomato fruits requires observing various dos and don’ts of growing tomatoes.

The dos include planting the seedlings deeply, applying Epsom salt, providing enough sunlight, and mulching. However, you must avoid over-watering, over-fertilizing, planting the seedlings with flowers, and growing them close together.

Putting the dos into practice and avoiding the don’ts will help you grow tomatoes successfully and obtain the best results. These tips for growing tomatoes should motivate you to start your garden.


University of Minnesota Extension

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