All About Tomato Plant Care

About Tomato Plant Care

About Tomato Plant Care
About Tomato Plant Care

One of the best ways to grow tomatoes is in raised bed gardens, and this method can even make tomato plant care easier. With raised beds you do not have to put up with the inadequacies of your natural soil but you can begin anew with better soil, good drainage, and whatever amount of fertilizer will grow the best tomatoes.

Raised beds can be made of many materials--wood, stone, cinderblocks, bricks, or even by bringing in soil to raise a bed up above the ground and then make mounds. A simple way to make raised beds is to take boards that are 1’ x 12’ and joining the ends together with wood screws. Make sure that you place raised beds for tomatoes in a spot where they can receive the maximum sun. They originally grew wild in near tropical climates and still need a good amount of direct sunlight to thrive.

Because tomatoes require good drainage, once your raised bed is made you will need to dig up the earth inside the frame with a shovel or spading fork down to a depth of about one foot. This will allow the water to drain properly. After you are done digging, it is time to add new soil to the raised bed. This can be new, fertile topsoil with additions like peat or humus, manure and compost. This will produce healthy roots, which in turn will lead to a healthy tomato plant.

The next aspect of tomato plant care is to dig a hole approximately eight to twelve inches deep to plant your tomato seedlings. If you are using the 1 x 12 foot bed, you can plant one tomato plant in each quarter of the bed. Take off all but the top two or four leaves of the new plant and place it deeply in the hole, packing in the dirt around the stem of the plant. Water the plant immediately after planting.

Because tomatoes are a vine plant, another part of tomato plant care is staking the plant. You can do this by pounding in a wooden stake next to the plant and tying the plant to it with a piece of string. Make sure to do it loosely as the stem of the tomato plant is going to grow much thicker.

Tomato plant care also includes fertilizing the plants in the raised bed regularly and making sure they have enough water. A specific tomato fertilizer can be used or a more general one such as 10-10-10.  Whichever you choose, be sure to read the instructions on the package. Too much fertilizer can burn the roots of the plant. Mulching underneath the tomato plant will protect it from weeds and keep the soil moist. Almost any kind of mulch can be used, such as straw, grass clippings, shavings, newspaper, black plastic, etc.

Proper tomato plant care also means dealing with whatever pests or diseases present themselves over the course of the growing season. Tomatoes in raised beds should not have as many diseases as new soil is being used. Still, be prepared by researching tomato diseases and pests. You want to do everything possible to have juicy, ripe, delicious tomatoes to harvest.

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