Posted by Gardening Felix | Posted in Vegetable Gardening | Posted on 09-07-2012
Tags: bushes, gardening tips, little shadow, nutrients, pots
You may remember the article Marc wrote on growing your own tomatoes, where he introduced the best position, fertilizing info and general tips for tomatoes. Well, just a few days ago my friend Stephi asked me whether and how to cut tomatoes – so I decided to share some advanced tomato growing tips info with the readers on best-gardening-tips.com. You don’t have to follow these instructions too strictly, just take them as a guideline.
Space for your tomatoes
Tomato trees consume a large amount of nutrients, especially nitrogen – so take care to plant the trees with sufficient space to one another. I find it more practical to first grow the plants in pots and only later transplant them into the garden soil so I don’t have to replant them multiple times.
Provide enough sun and warmth
As tomatoes need a lot of sun, you have to make sure that there’s as little shadow as possible on your patch. Surrounding trees and bushes should be cut low; also/or position the tomato trees with sufficient distance to them (as well as to buildings and walls). For warmth, it’s practical to cover the soil around the trees with black plastic sheets – this will induce them to grow fruits much faster. If you do so, best plant the tomatoes on an elevated spot (so rain water can flow off).
If you want to replant plants that you’ve first grown in pots, growing bags and/or a greenhouse, plant the trees deeper into the earth than before. Tomatoes can still develop roots on the upper parts of the stem, and this will enable them to develop good roots and take in more nutrients. Some gardeners even plant them horizontally (also known as “trench planting”), which will increase the area the plant can take nutrient from – you will, of course, need to provide more space for them in this case.
If you want to harvest big and tasty tomatoes, it’s necessary to cut back some of the branches to concentrate the plant’s energy on the production of fruits:
- Cut back dead and broken branches
- Look for branches that are crowding each other – however, don’t thin out too heavily but maintain a balance between a sufficient level of branches and leaves for photosynthesis and few enough (about six) branches for fruit production.
- Cut the side shoots that are growing between the stem and the respective branches as soon as you notice them. If you don’t have a gardening scissor, you may just pince them off with your fingernails.
- Cut the lower leaves (up to a height of about ten inches). These branches would receive little sunlight anyways, and it helps to ward off fungus diseases.
This way, you can maintain the size of your plant and encourage the growth of fruits. It’s best to use tools cleaned in alcohol for cutting. By the way, you can use the cuttings to cultivate new tomato trees!
Pollination could be a problem if your tomatoes are growing in a (windless) green house – if you have bad luck, the blossoms will not be pollinized and thus not produce tomatoes. Best shake the plants a bit to make the pollen set at other blooms (or use a brush for pollination).
I hope these tips will help you with growing award-winning tomatoes. If you have your own “secret tips”, it would be really cool if you’d share them with us in the comment section!
Edit by: Gardening Marc:
For me it was always very hard to find out what the “suckers” are. Earlier I was never really sure, which “new plants” I can cut off and which I should leave growing. I think this video is genius to learn more about and see how it exactly works: