Are you wondering about How to Grow Productive Tomato Plants? What is the best way to have its juicy harvest? Read ahead to find out!
Juicy, pulpy, and delicious tomatoes pair well with almost every vegetable in the sauteed recipes. If you want to enjoy its fresh produce and know How to Grow Productive Tomato Plants, then our guide will help you grow them easily.
Have a look at the best hybrid varieties of tomatoes in India here
How to Grow Productive Tomato Plants
1. Pick the Right Variety
There are two tomato varieties, determinate and indeterminate. Determinate types like Roma and Cherry tomatoes have compact and bushier growth and can thrive in small spaces without crucial support.
The indeterminate type like Beefsteak needs the support of the cage or trellis. For limited space, this one is best.
2. Provide Abundant Sunlight
Choose a bright and sunny spot, where the plant can avail of 5-6 hours of full sunlight daily. Lack of sunlight leads to small-sized tomatoes and low productivity. Also, rotate the plant periodically so it gets an even sunlight exposure.
Avoid keeping young plants in full sun for long hours.
3. Water Right
Keep the soil consistently moist, but not soggy. Water when the top one inch of the soil feels a bit dry to touch. Prevent wetting the foliage and water the plant from the base.
Also, always make sure that you are never letting the soil dry out completely.
4. Do Not Touch the Wet Leaves
Tomatoes are sensitive plants that are prone to catch pathogens and diseases faster. Avoid spilling water on leaves and avoid touching them unnecessarily. Ensure that the plants are well ventilated to avoid fungal issues, and harvest or prune only when the leaves are dry.
5. Soil Quality
Sandy to loamy soil with pH between 6-7, enriched with ample organic matter like well-aged manure, or compost is the best. For containers, a potting mix with an equal blend of peat moss, perlite/coarse sand, compost, and regular potting soil yields great results.
6. Pick the Right Container
You can use a 12-18 inches deep pot for determinate varieties, but for an indeterminate type, go for 18-24 inches. Never go for smaller pots, as the root-bounded tomato plants have a lower productivity rate. Also, ensure that the container must have ample drainage holes in the bottom.
The determinate type doesn’t require pruning, but indeterminate does. To ensure high productivity, remove the suckers from the node of the main stem or leaf stem regularly. Pruning leads to bigger tomatoes with better quality.
8. Provide Support
Determinate varieties usually don’t require support, still, you can use cages and stakes. Indeterminate tomatoes require a trellis, sturdy cage, or stakes to prevent tomatoes from dropping on the ground.
Note: Staking enhances productivity as the plant is better exposed to sunlight and air.
9. Feed the Plants
Once the seedling produces a couple of leaves, you can feed the plant with balanced liquid fertilizer or soy and bone meal twice a month. Alternatively, go for a fertilizer that has a high phosphorus number than nitrogen like 9-15-30 or 5-10-5, as the high nitrogen cause more foliage with fewer fruits, while phosphorus promotes more blooming.
Tip: You may also apply liquid seaweed organic fertilizer to prevent blossom end rot and for overall better yield.
10. Mulch the Plants
Mulch the soil base with organic matter like aged compost, grass clippings, bark, shredded leaves, straw, etc. It controls water loss, maintains an even temperature, and also suppresses weed growth.