Growing fresh big and delicious tomatoes in your garden is not only easy but very rewarding in today’s blog we look at 10 tips to care tomato plants and growing tips that will help you grow your best tomatoes ever so enjoy this journey to tomato.
This Blog divided into these 10 sections and I’m sure that once you go through these 10 sections you will have a great idea about how to grow great tomatoes in your garden.
How To Plant Tomato Plant In Pot
So, first, to plant tomato plant let’s look at the container sizes for tomatoes if you are growing tomatoes in raised beds or the ground you don’t need to worry about container size.
However, if you’re growing your tomatoes in pots or containers let’s look at what’s the ideal size the minimum size of a container should be 16 inches what you see here is a 16-inch wide container.
I recommend this as a bare minimum for growing tomatoes this sized container has enough room for the tomato plant to grow very well for the entire season and it holds about 7 gallons of soil 7 to 8 gallons now the ideal container size for growing tomatoes is a whiskey barrel/Big size clay pot container.
How Many Tomato Plant Per Pot
The whiskey barrel/Big size clay pot container is good for one tomato plant only I know a lot of people who plant two or three plants in one container that will not let your tomato plant grow very well because the roots won’t have a lot of space to grow.
So, the ideal container size for tomato is this whiskey barrel/Big size clay pot container but this is the ideal container size the shape doesn’t really matter this is a square-shaped container that contains about 8 gallons of soil.
This is good enough to grow one tomato plant now if you do not have any space or just want the least container size possible you can grow tomatoes in a five-gallon container that you see here.
I recommend that you only grow determinate tomato varieties in this kind of a container and we look at the determinate
Let us talk about the planting technique a very important step. In growing great Tomatoes make sure that when you’re planting your Tomatoes you plant them firstly in a decently sized container or in the ground or the raised bed.
As we discussed in the previous section and when you take your plant out of the container make sure that you plant the tomato plant deep as you can.
The tomato plant actually will grow roots all along the sides of its stem if you plant it deep so this is like giving a boost to the root system for your Tomatoes and this applies not only to containers but also to plant that you grow in raised beds or in the ground.
If you plant your tomato plants deep enough they will build a very strong root system they will also stay very still and firm and upright during storms and heavy winds so that’s another advantage of planting your plants deep.
Now let’s look at the soil that you need to grow tomatoes so if you’re growing in the ground you don’t really have much choice.
How to Ready Soil For Tomato Plant
But to amend your soil but when you’re growing in containers. Let’s look at the different types of soils that are available to your tomato plants.
The first mix that you’re going to see is a common mix that I use for most of my tomato plants and containers and that is a mix of compost perlite and peat moss and once you have these three in equal proportions.
You can add amendments like azomite as you can see here we are adding some azomite. Here even add some organic tomato fertilizer before you plant your Tomatoes. It’s a good way to prepare your potting mix for your Tomatoes.
Now let me tell you why I like this mix not only for tomatoes but other container plants firstly it’s a very lightweight mix it has a lot of porosity because of the added perlite you can even use vermiculite.
If you want and the compost helps in moisture retention the compost and the peat moss together form great water retentive mix so your potting mix is light and it is also water-retentive. It’s a great combination to grow your plants.
What To Use For Drainage In Pots
Now let’s take a look at a fast-draining potting mix that will give you even more vigorous growth at an expense though which I will shortly explain to you.
For this potting mix, you need five parts of ground cover bark or wood chips which you can find at most home improvement stores. You need one part of peat moss and one part of perlite now as long as you’re mixing your ingredients.
In this proportion, you will have a very fast potting mix you also need to add some garden lime to this mix because peat moss is slightly acidic and the garden lime actually helps reduce the acidity of the peat moss.
But you still need to test your soil pH once you have created the mix now mix all the ingredients together and what you get is a very lightweight very high draining potting mix and this will help your plants grow very fast.
It has a lot of space for the roots to grow I usually moisten this mix before I put it in my containers because it’s so dry and here you can see it is such a nice looking potting mix and let’s look at the pros and cons so the benefits of using this potting mix are that it lets your plant grow to their full genetic potential.
But the downside is that it requires a lot of watering because it’s a very fast draining mix you might need to water your plants once or even twice or hot days and then you also need to add a lot of fertilizer to your tomato plants.
A liquid fertilizer if you’re using this mix because the nutrients get drained very quickly from this potting mix but if you have the time and the energy and the effort to use this mix go for it.
You won’t be disappointed now soil for raised beds is slightly different than the one you use for containers soils for raised bed should have a lot of organic matter a lot of compost and a lot of soil mixed into it as well what I’m doing here is adding some leaves dried leaves and then adding some layer of soil and then also adding some more compost on the top.
This is my homemade compost and then I cover it with another layer of soil now by using this kind of a mix for your raised beds a layered mix it will give you
The best results to grow tomatoes not only tomatoes but other vegetables as well but tomatoes benefit immensely from such a raised bed mix with a lot of organic matter once all this is mixed in just make sure you lay it out very well on your raised bed just top it.
With some soil and you’re ready to plant your Tomatoes compost has a lot of nutrients a lot of beneficial nutrients as well as a lot of microorganisms earthworms and other soil bacteria that are very helpful for your tomato plants.
So I highly recommend that you keep adding compost to your raised bed as much as you can another important component of your soil is your soil pH the ideal pH for tomatoes is between 6 to 7 and you can easily buy a soil testing kit to test your soil to get the best tomatoes.
How Much To Water Tomato Plant: how often to water tomato plant
Next most important thing for tomato plants now I recommend that you put your tomato plants on a drip irrigation schedule.
Especially if you’re growing in containers. Containers can dry up very fast depending on what kind of mix you use and by putting your tomatoes on a drip irrigation schedule you take the guesswork out of watering your plants the thumb rule is to water for just enough time that the container starts to drain from the bottom so it’s about three minutes for me for most of my containers.
I use a wider emitter as you can see here these whiskey barrels/plastic barrel have a lot more space so I use these emitters which throw out more water and when you are irrigating raised beds to make sure you use micro-sprinklers and then make sure that they run for at least about seven minutes for deep watering your tomato plants a lot of people are very afraid of overwatering your tomato plants but don’t worry in hot places like California and Florida,
For example, you do need to water your tomato plants very well otherwise they will not grow that well and will not produce good tomatoes.
Best Organic Fertilizer For Tomatoes
Fertilizers are the next important thing to ensure the good growth of your tomato plants. There are two types of fertilizers organic fertilizers and synthetic fertilizers.
Each one of them has pros and cons and we’ll soon see that organic fertilizers like this one that you see here are made from the by-products of the animal industry and mostly consists of feathers, bones, blood some fertilizers even contain the remnants of fish which is a fish fertilizer.
So mostly animal-based products although there are some products that contain like seaweed which is a plant-based product now let’s look at the pros and cons of using an organic tomato fertilizer.
The best thing is that it’s good for the environment it’s made from natural ingredients and they’re slow-releasing naturally so you don’t have the problem of over-applying a fertilizer to your plant.
The downside is that they are not immediately available to your plant and it might take up to four to six months for organic fertilizers to be available so to make organic fertilizers effective you need to apply them at regular intervals to your containers to your raised beds so that they are available in time when the plants need them
The next type of fertilizers are the synthetic or the salt based fertilizers which are manufactured and most of my friends who use these kind of fertilizers are either vegans vegetarians or do not support the animal slaughter industry.
Let’s look at the pros and cons of this fertilizer the benefit of this fertilizer
Salt-based fertilizers or synthetic fertilizers is that they are readily available to the plants as soon as you apply it and some of them can even be a slow-release fertilizer which will last for up to three months.
The downside is that when a lot of salt leeches into the water table it’s not so good for the environment so if you are concerned about the environment and again this is up for debate because there’s no real proof that synthetic fertilizers are really bad for the planet.
But if you do believe in that then I would recommend that you use organic fertilizers for the best use and to grow the best tomatoes and here is another tip. When your plants are small and just beginning to grow use a high nitrogen fertilizer they are also called all-purpose fertilizers when your plants are established and they start flowering switch to a low nitrogen fertilizer that will help you grow a lot of tomatoes.
How To Care Tomato Plants
Tomato Plant Diseases: Tomato Plant Diseases And Treatments
Rather than growing greens, your plants will produce a lot of tomatoes let’s now look at some of the problems that you face when growing tomatoes and you have to care tomato plants to make your greens constant.
Insects the tomato hornworm is one of the most destructive tomato pests so if you see this large caterpillar just handpick and remove it otherwise it will just decimate your crop grubs are white insects that are beneath the soil surface and chew on your tomato roots.
They also attract moles and Gophers and when they become adults they become the fig eater beetle which will devour your Tomatoes now let’s look at some fungal diseases on Tomatoes rust which are brown powdery residues on the leaves.
That are very evident here is one of the most common fungal diseases that you see on Tomatoes to prevent rust just remove the affected leaves the diseased leaves and then spray with neem oil to prevent this rust from spreading the next most common fungal disease is the leaf blight which will cause your tomato leaves.
Why Tomato Plant Leaves Turn Yellow
To get yellow and diseased now the leaf blight doesn’t really have a big effect on your yields of tomatoes however it’s something that will make your plant look unsightly.
So here you can see some more leaf blight and it looks pretty similar to some of the other viral diseases that tomato has but in all cases these are mostly fungal diseases which will cause your leaves to get yellow.
Tomatoes also are prone to some viral diseases like the leaf curl that you see here and although the leaf curl again doesn’t really affect the vigor of the tomato plant it does make the plant to look a little unsightly as you can see here the leaves have curled.
These viral diseases are usually transmitted by pests so the only solution to the viral diseases is to replace the plant and plant a new one for the fungal diseases. You can spray with neem oil a very effective way to get rid of most fungal diseases for your tomato plants and it’s organic as well.
So, you can add one capful of neem oil to the water that’s there in the small sprayer or if you’re using a gallon sprayer for every gallon of water add 2 tablespoons of neem oil and then shake your container will shake your sprayer very well and then spray on your tomato plants.
This stops most of the fungal diseases on your tomato plants now make sure that you do this late in the day although neem doesn’t have any effect on bees you still want to be careful so do this late in the day when the bees are not active in your garden. In this way, you can care tomato plants.
Blossom End Rot Of Tomato :
what you see here is the blossom and rot a problem that affects both peppers and tomatoes. what you’re seeing here is the blossom and rot on some peppers and you’ll also see the blossom end rot on some Tomatoes like the Roma tomatoes San Marzano.
The solution to blossom end rot is to, first of all, use a good watering schedule make sure that you use a fertilizer that’s rich in calcium and that should help you prevent blossom end’
Rot birds love your tomatoes just as much as you do so to prevent birds from eating your tomatoes just cover it with this net and this is also helpful to prevent your tomatoes from being eaten by rodents.
You can also leave a little bit of water a birdbath near your tomato plant and since the birds usually attack your tomato plants for the water or the seeds they will leave your tomatoes alone when they see the water now rodents also can decimate your tomato plant and if you see damage like this you probably have more than one rodent in your garden.
Types Of Tomato Plants
The solution is something I’m not going to discuss in this blog there are a lot of ways you can get rid of rodents in your garden.
Now let’s look at some tomato varieties tomatoes are broadly classified as determinate and indeterminate depending on how they grow determinate tomatoes grow to a certain height and then produce tomatoes all at once.
Indeterminate tomatoes rather keep growing and keep producing tomatoes for a long time now there are some other varieties of tomatoes as well which you see on your screen.
We’re not going to go into the details of each variety because there are just too many types of tomatoes that exist now let’s look at some common tomato varieties that you can grow for the first time gardener the early girl or the better boy variety is not only very easy to grow it also produces a lot of tomatoes so if you’re starting out this is a great variety that I would recommend.
The next variety that I highly recommend is the honey Gold tomato which is a yellow tomato that’s really sweet and very prolific.
It’s very similar to the Sun gold Tomatoes variety and produces a lot of delicious yellow colour tomatoes the Juliet hybrid tomato was bred specifically for producing great fruits and having great disease resistance.
This is another very prolific tomato variety that you can grow in your home garden and I’m sure you won’t be disappointed when you grow this variety this is a great type tomato and produces these grape-sized red tomatoes that are absolutely delicious and the best part about growing the Juliet tomato is that it grows very well in a container.
You can grow one Juliet tomato plant in a whiskey barrel container and it will give you the best yield that you’ve ever seen from a tomato plant this is a very prolific variety produces a lot of fruits and can withstand both high temperatures and cold weather.
The San Marzano is a very delicious taste kind of tomato that makes great ketchup and tomato sauces and paste this is another very prolific variety it’s an heirloom variety which will give you a really good yield a lot of chefs just value the taste of this tomato and it really is absolutely delicious.
So try growing the San Marzano at home and you will be pleasantly surprised now let’s look at some other hybrid varieties.
This is the red pride hybrid tomato and remember that the hybrid tomatoes are just natural selection of tomato plants by crossbreeding across plants that are good in some way or the other.
The mountain pride hybrid is another example of a great tomato variety that grows excellent in containers that produce these large tomatoes. As you see here and for those of you who are looking to grow tomatoes with a large size the mountain pride hybrid is an excellent tomato variety to grow as you see here these are very large tomatoes and yielding from just one plant.
The Cherokee purple is an heirloom tomato variety heirlooms are tomatoes that have been bred over several years and they have always been grown from the seeds of the previous generation and that’s what gives these.
Tomatoes an excellent taste they don’t have great disease resistance but they taste really good the Cherokee purple is a purple color tomato that is very delicious as well a lot of people like the acidic taste of this tomato variety.
That is why heirlooms are famous for they taste excellent they don’t have great disease resistance but they are very delicious the black krimis another example of an heirloom tomato variety not very easy to grow very challenging but produces some fruits that are very delicious now let’s look at the propagation methods for tomato.
How To plant Tomato From Seeds: How To Plant a Tomato Seed indoors
Now you all know that tomatoes can be grown from seed that is the most ideal way to grow tomatoes.
To plant tomato seeds indoors you just start your seeds 6 weeks before the growing season and then transplant them into containers after which you can transplant them to larger containers to the raised bed or the ground.
The other propagation method is to just plant some stocks of tomatoes now when you’re pruning your tomato plants which you will do anyways you get these a tomato shoots which are cut from the plant all you do is just take a container and then plant your tomatoes stalk into this container and what you get is another tomato plant which is very much identical to the parent plant.
So this is a great way to propagate Tomatoes and it is really a very easy way to propagate Tomatoes. Tomatoes do need to be staked and pruned.
Let’s look at the pruning technique first now I usually prune tomatoes that I grow in my containers but I generally do not prune.
Tomatoes that are growing in the ground however a little bit of pruning is still okay just look around your plants and find these suckers that you see and try to cut them.
So, that they don’t overgrow and don’t cause a plant that you cannot manage however there is no hard and fast rule even if you do not prune your tomato plants you’re still going to get a good harvest but pruning lets you maintain a better shape for your plant.
In case of determinate tomatoes or in case of growing tomatoes in containers it helps you maintain the size of your tomato plants and remember to prune the dead leaves and branches from the bottom part of your tomato plant this improves airflow to your plant and keeps it free from a lot of diseases and pests.
So, with the simple technique, you can keep your tomato plants disease-free staking or supporting your tomato plants will let you grow vertically.
Which is a great benefit the most common type of stake that we use is the four-prong stake and this stake is very cheaply available in most garden stores.
The keys to using this stake is to make sure that it goes down all the way into the ground what you do not want to do is leave the stake just Midway or not fully into the ground that way it doesn’t work really well.
So, what you do is just take the support and push the prongs deep into the soil and that really gives you good support for your tomato plants.
The ultimate of the cage is the other tomato cage that’s very commonly available and it was great on 16-inch containers and it is almost perfectly sized for a container of this size for whiskey barrel containers.
I prefer to use the grow tall tomato cage which is pretty good-sized and just big enough for a whiskey barrel and comparing all the staking techniques together the four thong stake is pretty cheap but the grow-tall tomato cage that you see here is actually very useful and can support very heavy tomato plants.
Tomato Growing Secrets
Now let’s get into some tips and tricks for growing tomatoes Epsom salt is an organic amendment for your soil and it’s very beneficial for tomatoes.
It contains magnesium and sulfur and most soils are deficient of these minerals and plants like tomatoes and peppers take up a lot of magnesium and sulfur. So, do feed your plants with Epsom salt once every three weeks and to prepare the solution.
We use two tablespoons in a two-gallon container so it means that you add one tablespoon per gallon of water and then just add water let the Epsom salt dissolve in the water and then completely drench your plant with this Epsom salt solution.
If you do this every three weeks or so you make sure that your soil stays very enriched with magnesium and sulfur and that will give you the best tomatoes once your tomato plant starts blooming.
It’s important to hand pollinate your Tomatoes watch for open flowers and then just use a vibrating toothbrush to pollinate each flower of your tomato plant this dramatically increases yields.
Tomatoes are mostly wind-pollinated but by using this technique you ensure more fruit production for your tomato plants and that brings us to the end of this episode.
Tomato plant growth chart
|Stage Of Plant||Time|
|Seed to Seedling Stage||7 – 10 Days|
|Flowering Stage||11 – 40 Days|
|Fruiting Stage||41 – 60 Days|
|Ripening Stage||61 – 80 Days|
Few variety’s of tomato plants are produce fruit 50-60 days after planting them in the ground.. Depend on your seed and soil quality. Tomato warm season plants temperature must be require >55 degrees Fahrenheit.
I’m sure that by watching all of this information about how to care tomato plants and how to grow tomato plants. You might have a lot of questions so do post them in the comment box below if you like our blog please do give us a thumbs up and we’ll see you again soon happy gardening!