Ten tips for the biggest tomatoes
The big red tomato
Healthy plants mean bigger tomatoes
Tomatoes are subject to an endless list of insects and diseases. Keeping vines healthy, well spaced, staked or caged and pruned will increase production. Deep rooted, vigorous plants are less susceptible to disease and drought.
- Plant tomatoes deep, up to the first true leaves. New roots will quickly grow along the stem that is covered with soil. Lots of deep roots will help your plant through the hot and dry summer.
- Make sure plants get at least 8-10 hours of sunlight. Tomatoes need plenty of sun light. and room to grow and for air to circulate.
- Rotate your tomato patch every year to different parts of your garden to reduce the risk of soil-borne diseases like bacterial spot and early blight.
- Do not crowd plants. Space plants at least two feet apart. Good air circulation is prevent disease from spreading. Proper spacing will encourage stronger plants growth.
- Keep ripe tomatoes picked. This will encourage continued production.
Five More Big Juicy Tomato Tips
6. Water the soil deep and slow. Avoid getting the leaves wet to reduce diseases like bacterial blight.
7. Stake or cage tomato plants to support heavy fruit and prevent vines from snapping off.
8. Mulch plants with 2 - 3 inches of organic matter to prevent weeds and retain moisture. This is important. Mulch will prevent water splash. This is the best way to prevent soil-borne diseases.
9. Plant again, about three weeks after the first plants are in the garden, plant more tomatoes. This will help stretch the season and production.
10. Do not over feed tomato plants. Too much nitrogen (N) will encourage heavy leaf production and vines. But very little fruit.
Relax. Even if you don't prune, fertilize or water regularly, it's OK. You will still get a harvest of juicy, sun warmed and ripened tomatoes. Production will be less but better than any grocery store tomato you've eaten.
12 - 16 Oz. Fruits
Grow an heirloom favorite: Brandywine
This is the tomato by which all others are measured for taste. Brandywine is a consistent winner in tomato taste contests. The intense tomato flavor is rich and complex, the perfect balance of acid and sweet taste.
These huge beefsteak type fruits are indeterminate with potato leaf foliage. The tender pink skin and juicy red flesh weigh in at around a pound. Globe shaped fruits resist blemishes and cracking.
You can buy Pink Brandywine, Red Brandywine, Yellow Brandywine, and Black Brandywine are all on the market. "Brandywine" may be in the name but any true relation the the old Amish heirloom is simply conjecture.
Brandywine is a big plant that produces big tomatoes. Be sure to provide sturdy cages or stakes.
Tomato lovers: share your success
What I love about gardeners are that they are all so generous. Please share your tomato tips in comments.
Big juicy heirloom tomatoes are a favorite. I am also growing several container tomatoes, they are smaller and the first to ripen.