Growing tomatoes is a favorite hobby for many home gardeners, and even novice gardeners can have success when growing their very first tomato plant. While tomatoes aren’t too hard to grow, some knowledge is required to avoid common pitfalls. Follow these tips for growing great tomatoes.
- Soil pH matters – ideal soil pH is between 6.2 and 6.5. It means that when your soil pH is within that range, the plant’s roots can absorb the best varieties of nutrients.
- Provide maximum sunlight -tomato seedlings require bright, direct light. Because the days are so short in the winter, even putting them near a bright window may not give them enough natural light. Unless you are producing them inside a greenhouse herbarium, your best bet is to utilize artificial plant lighting for 14 to 18 hours every day.
- Tomatoes need warmth – whether you begin your own seedlings or purchase them, tomatoes need warmth. Wait until soil temperatures are consistently over 60 degrees Fahrenheit before planting outside. If the weather remains iffy, protect tender seedlings from cold with plant protectors.
- Re-pot your plants – When you are repotting plants, you give them extra room to expand their roots. Re-pot your tomatoes twice. The final re-potting should be 3-4 weeks after the first, and it should be in a large, deep pot or straight into the ground if you have a garden.
- Remove the leaves at the bottom – after your tomato plants reach about 3 feet tall, remove the leaves from the bottom of the stem. These are the oldest leaves, and they are usually the primary leaves to develop fungus problems. Spraying it weekly with compost tea can be effective at warding off fungal diseases.