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Top 10 Tips to Tip-Top Tomatoes!

tomatoes, fresh, organic

Shutterbug75 (CC0), Pixabay

Tomatoes may seem easy to grow but they can actually be a bit of a challenge.  But these tips will help you get growing in the right direction!

  1. Try to keep the soil evenly moist, no fluctuations of soil moisture.
  2. Don’t water the leaves.
  3. Do plant in location that receives at least 6 hours of sun.
  4. Use a fertilizer formulated for tomatoes, it should have a bit more calcium.  This will help prevent blossom end rot. This is when the bottom of the end of the tomato is black/brown. Our Espoma Tomato Tone is a wonderful natural tomato fertilizer.
  5. If growing in the ground, keep the area around the plants weed free.
  6. Try to keep water from splashing up from the ground and onto the leaves.  This can be done by stripping off leaves touching the ground, using weed fabric, or mulching.
  7. Rotate your crops.  Don’t plant them in the same spot.  This is true for many vegetables; crop rotation reduces diseases.
  8. Scout for pests regularly.
  9. Stake or cage plants early.
  10. Allow plenty of airflow between plants. For larger varieties allow 3 feet between plants and 4-5 feet between rows when planting in the ground.

The University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture Research and Extension offers many fact sheets on growing all kinds of vegetables, from planting dates to disease and insect management.  Here is a link to their A to Z Vegetable Gardening in Arkansas page.  So much good information!