How to look after tomato plants
Is it difficult to plant tomatoes? What does tomato care involve? What tools do I need to grow tomatoes? Here I will answer these and other beginner’s questions about tomato care.
Is it difficult to grow tomatoes?
No, it is quite easy to grow tomatoes. Tomato plants aren;t very demanding, all they need is enough water and warm temperatures. Growing your own tomatoes is very rewarding as you will always get something without a lot of care. However, to grow great tomatoes and get high yields, you will need to learn a few things.
So let’s look into what you need to know about tomato care.
What does tomato care involve?
Tomato care basics involve:
What is tomato staking?
Tomato staking is providing support to tomato plants. Tomato plants carry a lot of weight of fruits, so they need to be propped up and tied to sticks, strings or other structures built for them.
What is mulching?
Mulch is a layer of natural material or plastic placed on top of soil around a plant. It protects the soil from drying too quickly, reduces weed growth and is to improve the growing conditions.
Why pinching or pruning tomato plants?
Tomato growers pinch and prune their tomato plants to get higher yields or stop the plants from growing too high. We want to get rid of the shoots which aren’t going to produce fruits, so all the growth power goes into the fruits. Another way of managing tomato plants is pinching off some of the flowers to reduce their number and produce bigger fruits.
Do tomatoes need a lot of water?
Yes, tomato plants need quite a lot of water. During a hot season they need daily watering. If it rains or is not very hot, they need watering 2 – 3 times a week. It’s also worth mentioning that tomato plants in pots need more watering than those growing in the ground. Mulched plants will require less water.
How to feed tomato plants?
Do I have to feed tomato plants? No, feeding tomatoes is not an absolute must, but you will get better crops if you do.
There are various tomato fertilisers which you can buy, some of them meant especially as tomato feed. However, if you want to grow tomatoes organically, you may want to try cow manure. You can buy ready dried cow manure or if you are brave enough, you can try to get hold of it and prepare your own fertiliser.
What tools do I need to grow tomatoes?
If you want to keep it simple, you only need the very basic gardening tools. For basic tomato care you will need:
- Garden Trowel – for planting tomatoes out
- Watering can or hose
- Pots or container (optional)
- Sticks or strings for support
- String to tie the plant to the support
If you want to go beyond the basic tomato care accessories, you can consider the following equipment:
- Seed starting trays and germinators
- Pump sprayer
- Grow lights
- Tomato cages
- Garden rake
- Soil test kit
So this is a brief introduction to what you need to care for tomato plants. I hope it helps you decide if you want to grow your own tomatoes. If you do, here is how to get started: