10+ Tomato Growing Tips & Talk for Success: Do's, Don'ts, What's & Why's for New Gardeners!

Growing tomatoes is a little more than digging a hole and planting it, but not as complicated as many make it out to be. Here is a list of tips that will help you grow large, productive and healthy tomato plants. The video covers all the main points in detail.

1) Purple stems and undersides of leaves are normal and a sign of a healthy plant when the rest of it is green.

2) Purple veining and yellowing can be a sign of under nutrition or over fertilizing. It is important to feed your plants low and steady amounts of (N)itrogen (P)hosphorous and (K) Potassium. 

3) N-P-K are on your fertilizer bags and usually represented like this, 3-7-4 which means N-3, P-7, K-4. That is the percentage of N, P, and K in the fertilizer.  A 3-7-4 fertilizer is 3% nitrogen, 7% phosphorous and 4% potassium

4) I recommend fertilizers that are around a 5-5-5 give or take a few numbers in either direction. The key is to not over fertilizer but supply a low steady amount of nutrients to your plants.

5) Water soluble fertilizer means your plants can use the nutrients immediately. The plant will absorb nutrients via its leaves and roots.

6) Tomato plants send out deep roots and surface roots. When you top dress your soil the plant uses its surface roots to quickly access the nutrients.

7) Blossom End Rot or (BER) is the browning of the underside or blossom end of your tomatoes. It is related to your plant not being able to access calcium. While it is rare for soil not to have calcium, adding just a little limestone can assure the calcium is present.

8) Mulching helps manage moisture. Blossom End Rot (BER) is more often due to your plant not being able to access available calcium due to watering issues. Even watering allows plant roots to access nutrients. Mulching helps with this.

9) Slowly removing the bottom leaves of your tomato plant creates a disease splash barrier between leaves and soil and helps with air circulation.

10) There are many ways to plant your tomato plants. Plant about 1/3 to 1/2 of the stem when planting your transplants and space them 2-3 feet apart to allow for air circulation. 

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By Gary Pilarchik


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