Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Growing bigger tomatoes

A scanned red tomato, along with leaves and fl...A scanned red tomato, along with leaves and flowers. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you would like huge tomato plants you may be missing out on this handy little tip. Those living in the South know that having a large root base and plenty of warm sun and water produce big healthy tomato plants. Here's a great tip if you buy your tomatoes already started.

  • If you purchase tomato plants that are already about 8 to 12 inches tall, strip all the leaves except for a few off of the top. Every leaf you remove will form a root which will create a huge root system on a young plant. The bigger the root system, the bigger the plant, the more tomatoes you'll yield.
  • On a raised bed dig a hole big enough to accommodate your tomato plant. Remove your plant from its container and if the plant is root bound loosen by hand the roots at the base. 
  • If you want to ensure better root production, you can apply rooting hormone to your plant prior to placing into the ground. 
  •  Lay your tomato plant down sideways, yes, side ways and cover with a few inches of soil and compost leaving an inch or two below the cluster of top foliage. Do not bury too deep the warmth from the sun and quick absorption of water will help promote root production faster.
  • At the neck of the plant just below the cluster of leaves at the top, wrap a 3-4 inch piece of newspaper around the plant. This will protect the plant from pests since it is the only part exposed.This will help prevent tomato cut worms from feasting on your newly planted tomato bush. 
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