5 Secrets to Grow Tomatoes: One Hundred lbs in 20 Square Feet

5 Secrets to Grow Tomatoes: One Hundred lbs in 20 Square Feet

Last year, stimulated through a few exceptional natural gardens we visited, we experimented with new methods to develop tomatoes.

Our tomato vegetation have been extra energetic and more healthy than they have got ever been!

5 Secrets to Grow Tomatoes: One Hundred lbs in 20 Square Feet

In a 20 rectangular foot area, we harvested over one hundred lbs of scrumptious tomatoes from simply six “Early Girl” tomato vegetation, a famous range that may be without problems discovered in maximum nurseries.

Today I am excited to percentage with you the pointers and hints we discovered on the way to develop tomatoes like an professional and get a large harvest!

Before we pass into info of the tomato developing techniques, those are some fundamentals that follow to all vegetable gardening: lots of solar, exact soil, and efficient types which can be proper on your climate.

Grow Tomatoes Secret 1 : Tomatoes love heat soil temperature and plenty of direct daylight.

“The in advance we plant, the earlier we get our first tomato, right? ” Actually, no. Tomatoes must now no longer be planted outside till after the common remaining frost date on your area, despite the fact that you may begin seeds interior 6-eight weeks earlier than the remaining frost date.

Tomatoes hate cool soil temperatures. The best soil temperatures to develop tomatoes are among 70 – ninety stages Fahrenheit. Tomato vegetation love complete solar places with at the least 8 hours of direct daylight an afternoon for healthful boom and fruit production.

Temperatures dipping under fifty five stages Fahrenheit stops plant boom. The much less lively the boom cycle, the much more likely the vegetation can have insect and sickness issues along with blossom cease rot, early blight, etc.

In maximum places, the night time time temperatures may be pretty bloodless in March, April, or maybe May. To remedy this problem, we used the darkish plastic mulch technique which we discovered from exceptional gardeners who develop tomatoes correctly even in difficult climates.

Open up some black plastic trash baggage, lay them on pinnacle of the soil, steady alongside the rims with timber planks or rocks. Cut 3″ to 4″ diameter holes for the transplants. We planted our tomatoes on a 30″x30″ grid.

Our black plastic trash baggage labored notable!

You also can purchase plastic mulch for tomatoes along with those.

The plastic become capable of boost the soil temperature through 10 – 20 stages Fahrenheit all through the day, and keep the warmth higher at night time, which become ideal for maximum spring days and nights whilst temperatures are among 45 – sixty five stages.

As the climate receives hotter through summer, the vegetation can have sufficient leaves to colour the plastic and save you it from getting too hot. We ought to inform how satisfied the vegetation have been. In multiple weeks, the seedlings have been developing swiftly and searching outstanding healthful!

Another benefit: When soil moisture stage range an excessive amount of because of climate and choppy watering, tomato vegetation can drop blossoms, or expand blossom cease rot. This black plastic mulch is notable for preserving a great soil moisture stage.

Tomato growing secret 2: Planting deep in compost-rich soil

Trim the bottom leaves and plant about 2/3 of the plant in the ground. Tomato plants have the ability to grow roots along the buried stem, which will make the plant stronger. Because tomato stalks grow easily, we can propagate new plants (and for free!) in just a week from the cuttings of a large tree!

Compost is rich in nutrients for healthy and faster plant growth, it also promotes soil bacteria that promote plant growth and improves soil structure in sandy or clay soils so that the soil can hold Better moisture, water and nutrients. We have compost rich soil and we don't even fertilize our tomatoes. 

However, if you want to add more fertilizer, choose an organic fertilizer that has a higher NPK ratio than the P number. NPK stands for nitrogen (for leaf growth), phosphorus (for fruit production) and potassium (for healthy roots). Tomato fertilizer Dr. This Earth 463 is a great choice. Is manure a good fertilizer for tomatoes? 

Manure contains too much nitrogen, which is great for foliage growth when the plant is young, but not so much for flowering and fruiting as the plant grows. 

Secret 3: Prune tomato plants without fear. 

Did you grow a giant tomato plant, only to get tons of leaves and very little fruit? Then it wilts and dies? The best solution is to prune your tomato plants regularly. Pruned trees allow more sunlight to pass through and more air circulation. 

The leaves dry faster after a rain, so they are less susceptible to diseases like burns. The orange arrow indicates the main stem, and the blue arrows indicate the side shoots/suckers which can grow into a stem. The goal is to leave only 1 or 2 stems growing (some say up to 4 stems), and prune off all the suckers. It is very easy to miss one until it has grown too big. So do this at least twice a week, and be ruthless!
 
See how thick and healthy this main stem is? Instead of growing 50 to 100 stems, the plant is able to concentrate it energy on the main stem and keep producing fruits. (This method is suited to indeterminate tomatoes which we talked about at the beginning.)

Secret 4: Grow tomatoes vertically to improve air circulation and maximize sunlight. 

You can grow healthy tomato plants using a DIY trellis. The other new thing we did which made a huge difference is to build a tall trellis and tie strings between the top and bottom rail to wrap the tomato vines around as they grow.

You can adjust the height of the tomato rig from 4 to 5 feet tall, especially for smaller tomatoes like cherry tomatoes and plum tomatoes. We made our tomato truss from pallets, using 2x4s as the main X frame and 1x4s to put them together. 

 As mentioned in tip #3, we prune each plant to keep only two growing stems. Each stem wraps around a rope, keeping good air circulation and making pruning and harvesting super easy. We used thin jute yarn but it will deteriorate at the end of the season. We will be using a sturdy garden lanyard in the future. 

Tip 5: Keep the tomato plants dry. 

Tomato gardeners know how diseases like leaf blight can darken and brittle foliage, and kill tomato plants quickly. To prevent turnip and late blight, water plants in the ground and hold the soil or water the leaves. 

It's easy to water under the plastic cover: simply insert a hose on one end or install a humidifying hose before placing the plastic down. We planted these tomato plants in early May. Believe it or not, our coastal climate in San Diego is not the best for growing tomatoes. 

 Between July and early September, we harvest over 100 pounds of tomatoes, usually about ten tomatoes at a time. We let some plants grow to 5 stems leading to disease accumulation in the late stage. I think by better pruning we can actually grow over 200 pounds in 20 square feet!