Don't Worry, Everybody Makes These Mistakes with Tomatoes

Nearly everyone has had issues when growing tomatoes - whether you grow them in the ground or in pots. Below are four common mistakes and the solution that you can incorporate into your garden in order to have a successful tomato harvest.

Wrong soil
First, many people do not plant their tomatoes in well-drained healthy soil that is well balanced in nutrients and acidity. Mulching the tomato plant will help it to be healthy and regain the proper amount of water. While fertilizing can help tomatoes, be careful not to over fertilize with nitrogen. Soil that contains too much nitrogen will help to grow healthy-looking leaves on the plant, but will limit the amount of fruit.

Not using companion plants
Tomatoes are very much affected by plants that grow near them. Tomatoes and Potatoes are both susceptible to the same blight, and growing near each other is discouraged. On the other hand, tomatoes love to be planted near basil, marigolds, nasturtiums, peppers, and more that will encourage a healthy plant and reduce pests and disease.

Improper spacing and support
Fruit growth will suffer if tomatoes are planted too close to each other. Tomatoes grow best in full or filtered sun, not shade. Tomatoes also need good air flow to produce healthy fruit. Typically, tomatoes should be planted about two feet apart.

In addition, fruit spoils quickly and attracts pests when it touches the ground. As a result, tomatoes need support – even when still small to support both the plant above ground and root growth below the ground. Whether you use cables, stakes, cages or trellises, the supports you use should be strong enough to keep fruit up and off the ground and to support the plant and its fruit.

Irregular watering
Tomatoes benefit from growing in soil or other growing medium that is constantly moist, but not too wet. However, watering too often will often cause the plant to suffer and attracts disease. Tomatoes should be watered before leaves begin to show evidence of wilting. It is not recommended to use overhead watering during the heat of the day. Rather, using drip irrigation to water to at least a 12-inch depth should help roots to grow stronger and deeper helping the overall health of the plant.

To learn more about growing delicious homegrown tomatoes during the summer, join our free webinar, “Surviving the Summer Heat (Tomatoes, Berries, Grapes)” on June 17 at 6:00 pm. Register now!