When you want to grow your own food, tomatoes are the perfect plant.
They produce regularly and often and provide a steady stream of delicious fruit throughout the growing season.
Since tomatoes are relatively easy to grow, they are a good choice if you are new to gardening.
With the right plant selection, location and growth strategies, it is possible to get more than 50 pounds of tomatoes from each plant.
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Do you work with a little space?
Tomatoes are also space efficient; they can thrive without a large garden bed.
With sufficient vertical support, you can put a tomato plant on a porch, a small edge garden or even a small patio.
These juicy fruits love sunlight; as long as your room has about 6-8 hours of full sun every day, you have a bumper crop in no time.
Under normal circumstances, a tomato plant produces up to 20 pounds of fruit each year.
If you want a garden that yields 50 pounds or more, follow these simple steps – they can help maximize production for a single plant or a full garden depending on your available space and the size of your household.
With five or more plants it is possible to grow huge quantities of tomatoes; once preserved, they last through the winter and into the next gardening.
1. Choose the right type of tomatoes
There are more than 700 varieties of tomatoes on the market.
Each produces tomatoes with different size, taste profile and color. When choosing a variety, keep in mind your climate – some types prefer specific growing conditions.
Choosing a tomato plant that fits well with the average temperature and length of your growing season is the easiest way to increase yields.
Other factors to keep in mind include resistance to local plant diseases, space required and time to maturity.
For example, if you Having a small patio, Litt’l Bites tomatoes offer a large number of tomatoes from a small plant. In case of doubt, talk to the staff at your local garden center for recommendations.
Plant tomatoes on their side
Traditional gardening shows that you plant tomatoes vertically in a deep hole.
To get more out of each plant, try planting them on their sides. Add enough dirt so that the lower part of the tomato stem is covered.
This strategy creates plenty of room for the roots to spread horizontally. Since tomato plants love the warmer temperatures near the earth’s surface, this trick helps them grow fast.
As a result, they produce fruit abundantly and in less time.
Plant them in a trench
If you use a horizontal planting strategy, there is no need to dig a deep hole.
Instead, plant them in a low ditch. Aim for a trench that is a maximum of 6 inches deep; the exact depth depends on the size of your seedling.
These shallow ditches are a great option if your garden has rocks buried deep into the ground. They are easy to dig so you can quickly get the tomatoes in the ground.
For best results, transplant the seedlings on a cloudy day to reduce the heat and stress on the plants.
4. Add slow release fertilizer
Slow-release fertilizer is one of the easiest ways to get 50 pounds or more from each tomato plant.
Most tomato varieties are not demanding around soil; as long as it has a pH between 5.8 and 7.0, the plants will grow easily.
Fertilizer adds nutrients to the soil around the plants so they have what they need to create a great tomato harvest. Slow-release fertilizers gradually release the nutrients, which encourages long-term growth.
Plus, since a single application can last for up to 2 months, it saves you both time and effort.
5. Build a cage around each plant
A tomato cage creates a vertical structure for your plants.
It supports them as they grow upwards – that way the vines do not collapse under the weight of the tomato.
Cages offer a number of additional benefits: they keep the fruit away from the ground, prevent rotting and make it easier to harvest the tomatoes.
For heavy tomato varieties, look for cages with high strength. For small and medium-sized varieties, round cages can encourage a higher yield. Later you can cover the cages with fabric or plastic to protect young plants from frost.
6. Protect the cages from wind
Tomato cages are wonderful for growth, but the vertical position also exposes your plants to high winds.
Wind protection is essential, especially when your tomato plants are young – a single gust of wind can snatch a seedling. When storms or strong winds are in the forecast, protect your young plants by throwing a windshield around the cages.
To make one, cut a hole in the top of a bucket and throw it over the cage. The open top allows sunlight and moisture to reach the plant, and the closed sides block the wind. A floating row cover is another good option.
7. Fertilize plants regularly
In addition to the slow-release fertilizer in the soil, you can increase tomato production by regularly applying a water-soluble fertilizer.
About once a week, put the fertilizer in a spray application that you can attach to the end of the garden hose.
Spray it over the plants so that it hits the leaves. This step has a big impact on tomato yield and it only takes 10-15 minutes a week.
8. Add ammonium sulfate
Once you start seeing green tomatoes on your plants, it’s time to add ammonium sulfate to your fertilizer rotation.
The process is simple – just sprinkle a tablespoon or two around the base of the plant.
Repeat this step after three weeks, then add a final application of ammonium sulfate after another three weeks.
Thus, you help strengthen the plant and keep it healthy as it produces tomatoes.
9. Plan your harvest
If you have ever grown tomatoes before, you know that birds and creatures love to eat the ripe fruit.
However, they do not like partially ripe tomatoes.
To maximize the number of tomatoes you get from each plant, plan to harvest them when you begin to see hints of pink or red.
10. Do not refrigerate tomatoes
Instead, put them on the counter and let them mature completely.
At this point, eat them to get the best taste. Avoid putting tomatoes in the fridge. the cold causes the fruit to lose its delicious taste and aroma.