Numerous factors can lead to the withering of your plant, such as planting too soon, selecting an inappropriate location, or watering improperly. Therefore, to ensure that you cultivate tomatoes with confidence, it is essential to steer clear of eight mistakes that could prove costly.
10 DEADLY MISTAKES TO AVOID WHEN GROWING TOMATOES
1. PLANTING TOMATOES TOO EARLY
To ensure optimal growth of summer crop tomatoes, it is important to avoid planting them too early, as they require warm temperatures and do not tolerate cold weather. The soil temperature should reach at least 60 degrees Fahrenheit during the day, and the young plants should be 6 to 8 inches tall before transplanting.
Rushing the planting process may cause blossom drop, where flowers fall before fruit forms. Moreover, if temperatures drop too low at night, the tomatoes may become misshapen or scarred at the blossom end, but they are still safe to eat. Many popular tomato varieties are not perfectly round or red.
2. PLANTING TOMATOES IN THE WRONG LOCATION
Selecting the appropriate location is crucial for planting tomatoes. Although these plants thrive in warm temperatures, it is important to maintain cool and moist soil to prevent diseases.
To avoid dried-out soil and plants, avoid planting tomatoes in areas where potatoes or peppers have been grown in the last couple of years. For optimal growth, choose an open spot that receives at least eight hours of sunlight per day and has well-drained soil. Consider using mulch to retain moisture and prevent evaporation. Mulching around the plant 2 to 4 inches deep can control weeds, prevent the spread of diseases, and allow water to penetrate deeply into the roots.
When applying mulch, create a small well around the base of the plant by pulling back the layer about 2 inches from around the stem. This helps to prevent moisture from accumulating around the stem and causing rot or other problems.
3. PLANTING TOMATOES TOO CLOSE TOGETHER
Wanting a plentiful harvest is a natural desire, but cramming too many tomato plants together can impede their growth. When plants are in close proximity, they don’t receive sufficient airflow and can be shaded by nearby foliage. To ensure that your tomato plants have adequate space to flourish, it’s crucial to adhere to the suggested spacing recommendations.
To determine the ideal spacing for your particular tomato variety, consult the seed packet or conduct research online. Typically, determinate tomato plants should be placed 18 inches to 2 feet apart, with each row spaced 4 feet apart. Indeterminate tomatoes, on the other hand, should be spaced 2 to 3 feet apart and rows should be left 5 to 6 feet apart.
If you’re uncertain about whether your tomato plants are determinate or indeterminate, it’s beneficial to understand the distinction to maximize your gardening efforts.
By providing sufficient room for your tomato plants to grow, you can enhance their airflow and exposure to sunlight, resulting in a healthier and more productive harvest.
4. PLANTING THE WRONG TYPE OF TOMATOES
To successfully plant tomatoes, it’s crucial to select the appropriate type of tomato plant depending on your desired harvest outcome. Determinate tomatoes are a favored choice for home gardens as they are simple to manage and grow to a height of around 3 feet, making them suitable for gardeners with limited space.
These plants produce fruit all at once, which makes them ideal for preserving or canning. On the other hand, indeterminate tomatoes can grow and produce fruit continuously, with some plants reaching up to 20 feet tall. They are suitable for those who desire a regular supply of tomatoes for homemade dishes and salads. Indeterminate plants will continue to yield fruit throughout the summer and into fall until the first frost sets in.
It’s essential to note that determinate and indeterminate tomatoes are just two of the many tomato varieties available. When choosing a tomato plant to grow, consider factors such as taste, texture, and size to ensure that you obtain the highest possible yield for your gardening aspirations.
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5. WATERING TOMATOES AT THE WRONG TIME OF DAY
For your tomato plants to grow and stay healthy, it’s crucial to water them at the appropriate time of day. It’s not recommended to water them late in the afternoon, but instead, you should try to water them in the morning or at dusk when the sun and temperatures are not too high.
It’s preferable to water them in the early morning, but watering them in the evening is also acceptable as long as you avoid watering them when the sun is high and temperatures are high, as this can cause the water to evaporate quickly, and the soil may not absorb enough water.
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