You can easily avoid these common Mistakes When Growing Tomatoes and enjoy a healthy crop all year round with these tips!
Tomatoes are very easy to grow and planting them in your garden or indoors will ensure you will be getting fresh supplies all year round. However, avoid these mistakes when growing tomatoes.
1. Growing Heirloom Varieties
If you are a novice in growing tomatoes, it is better to choose a hybrid variety. Firstly, they are less likely to suffer from diseases, and secondly, hybrids are more productive than heirloom tomatoes. Although heirloom tomatoes are best in taste, many hybrid cultivars also come with a great flavor.
2. Wrong Planting Site
Improper growing conditions are also the reason why your tomato plant might be unproductive. Lack of sunlight and shady positions leads to a lesser number of fruits. Tomato plants love warm conditions and require at least 6-hours of direct sunlight and good air circulation.
3. Growing Transplants with Buds
Always remove the buds or flowers of tomato seedlings before planting them. Removing them helps to strengthen their rooting system. Once planted, allow the plant to bud and flower.
4. Watering Tomatoes
Based upon where you have grown the plants, watering needs differ. For instance, if you have grown tomatoes in pots, you need to water them frequently, but if they are on a garden bed, water them twice a week, and reduce this rate in winter because too much watering can damage the plant. Also, water around the base, ensuring it is not falling on the leaves.
5. Not Removing Tomato Suckers Correctly
Although determinate variety does not need pruning, yet indeterminates may need some. If you don’t remove suckers of the indeterminate variety, the growth of the plant will go out of control. Whereas, if you remove all suckers, very few tomatoes will be produced. For the right balance, remove thick shoots of the indeterminate variety, leaving 2-3 suckers for better growth.
6. Over-Fertilizing the Tomato Plant
Overfertilizing tomato plants, especially with too much nitrogen, can damage them. This is one of the major mistakes when growing tomatoes. The plant will produce more leaves and stems, but very few flowers. Even more, their roots will turn black. If the soil has high nitrogen, use 5-10-5 mixed fertilizer and 10-10-10 balanced fertilizer, if the amount of nitrogen is less in the soil.
7. Not Preventing Plants from Diseases
Sometimes, gardeners do not take enough measures to prevent plants from diseases like late and early blight. Your tomato plant should be sprinkled with a pest spray to curb the problem. You can prepare the spray yourself by adding baking soda, detergent, and olive oil. You can also sprinkle Epsom salt for better growth, once in a month.
8. Not Mulching the Plant
People often ignore mulching the soil of the tomato plants. It is necessary to help the soil retain its moisture. Mulch the soil evenly with peat moss or shredded leaves, immediately after planting the tomato plant.
9. Improper Spacing
Often, less spacing between the plants leads to poor air circulation; even more, plants start competing with each other for nutrients and water. If you are willing to grow tomatoes in bulk, then make sure to give 24-35 inches of spacing between them and at least 12-inches while planting the dwarf varieties.
10. Not Choosing Right Tomato Variety According to Space
Avoid planting indeterminates tomatoes in containers. Determinate tomatoes grow up to 3-5 feet, whereas indeterminate tomatoes, grow up to 6-12 feet. Choose varieties like Siberia and yellow pear for large space and determinate varieties like gold nugget for small space or pots.
11. Growing Tomato in the Wrong Season
The unsuccessful yield of tomatoes can be due to sowing them in the wrong season. You should plant them during spring or early summer when the risk of frost has passed away. Also, these warm-season plants do not grow successfully below 50 F (10 C) temperatures.
12. Lack of Support
If you are growing the indeterminate varieties of tomato like early girl or rutgers, you must provide proper support like staking or caging. Also, determinate varieties like terenzo should be given support with a stalk. In the absence of appropriate support, fruits may rot due to fungal diseases.
13. Early Blight Disease
Early blight disease, caused by alternaria solani fungus causes brown spots on the foliage. It also rots the fruits. Use pathogen-free seeds, mulch the soil to decrease the moisture level, and try blight-resistant cultivars like jasper, defiant PhR, etc. to protect your plants.