If you’re looking for ways to speed up your tomato harvest, there are a few things you can do to get the most yield out of your garden. To start with, warm up the soil before planting. Also, choose early-maturing tomato varieties if possible. Finally, harden off seedlings carefully before transplanting. After a few years, your harvest should be ready to pick! In this article, we’ll cover some tips to speed up the process.
Warm The Soil
Tomatoes love the warmth of the sun. You can use mulch to conserve water and shade your plants from rain. Apply organic mulch to your tomato patch during the summer to retain moisture and reduce the amount of watering required by your plants. In addition, tomatoes are sensitive to overwatering, so they will not grow as well if their soil temperature is too high. If you’re wondering whether mulching is worth the expense, read on for some of the benefits of organic mulch.
Tomato plants are warm-weather plants that prefer soil temperature between 50 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Therefore, the soil must be warm to grow tomatoes. Tomato plants won’t grow properly in cool soil, so you should warm the soil before planting. Using black plastic over your tomato plants will help the soil warm up faster during spring, leading to an earlier harvest. In addition to using mulch, you can also use wood ash or crushed eggshells to give your plants an extra calcium boost.
Start The Seed Early
You might be wondering how to start your tomato plants indoors. Well, you must remember that they need about seven to 10 days to transition from the indoor environment to the outdoor one. This will allow your tomatoes to finish the season before the hot summer weather closes the door to their fruit production. To help you get started, start the seedlings on the south side of your house about six weeks before the last date of frost.
Tomato plants need adequate watering to thrive. To increase the amount of water your plants need, water them every two to three days. You should also mulch your plants with aged compost. This will help prevent soil-borne disease spores from splashing up and causing problems. Tomato plants can also benefit from a layer of red plastic, which has been found to boost fruiting by as much as 12 percent.
Use Early Maturing Tomato Varieties
In addition to their delicious flavor, tomatoes can also be used as a food source. They belong to the Nightshade plant family, so you’ll want to choose a variety that will be adapted to the conditions in your area. Many tomato varieties are grafted or hybrid and vary in their season and height. Here are some tips to help you choose the right tomato for your garden. It will depend on the type of tomatoes you grow and your personal preferences.
Tomatoes can be planted anytime, but for a better harvest, you should plant them early and protect them from frost. Tomatoes bred for cool climates have a better chance of producing a decent crop. For example, the Bush Beefsteak tomato variety can bear fruit in 62 days. Bush Beefsteak is a good variety to grow for containers or in Square Foot Gardening.
Carefully Harden Off Tomato Seedlings
Tomato seedlings need to be hardened off before they can be transplanted outside. To do this, place the seedlings in a protected spot outdoors for a few hours, and then slowly bring them inside. Gradually expose them to more light and heat. To skip the process, use a tomato propagator or Pop-Up Tomato Accelerator, which will protect your seedlings while they get used to outdoor conditions.
Tomato seedlings should be kept in small pots until their roots have grown through the bottom of their containers. Avoid bruising seedlings; this may lead to fungal infections. When transferring seedlings from indoors, carefully harden them off by slowly exposing them to more sunlight and wind. A storage bin with the lid off is a good option, as is a protected plant shelf. Tomato seedlings should be given time to adjust to outdoor temperatures and wind before transplanting outdoors.
Once seedlings are at least 3 inches tall and have their first true leaves (the second set of leaves), you can transplant them. After a week of hardening off, repotting them will help the plants grow healthy. They can be transplanted to bigger containers once they’re three times tall. In general, seedlings should be moved outside once they reach three-quarters of their original container.
Shield Tomato Plants From Cold And Strong Wind
You can shield Tomato plants from cold and strong winds to increase their yields. Various materials can be used to create a windbreak, such as woven wood panels, scaffold netting, or stakes. You can also use an artificial structure such as a birdhouse or a cage to direct the wind flow in a controlled manner. A trellis is an excellent choice for a windbreak.
To shield Tomato plants from cold and strong winds, you can place clip lights along the ground, ensuring that they do not touch the foliage of the tomato plant or frost cover fabrics. You should also keep soil moist, as this will radiate heat upwards over the night. Heavy mulch can also be used to shield the plants from cold weather. Apply it thickly, to six inches.
Tomatoes love consistent moisture, so make sure to provide your plants with water throughout the growing season. Without consistent moisture, they may develop blossom-end rot, a disease characterized by black bottomed fruit. While it is unlikely that a lack of calcium in the soil is to blame, your tomatoes will be affected by a calcium deficiency. Soil with inconsistent moisture also tends to become dry and brittle.
Provide Sturdy Supports
It is crucial to provide sturdy supports for your tomato plants if you want them to grow properly and produce a high yield. Supporting your plants is a time-consuming task, but it is essential for good yield and plant health. Supports will also keep them from falling over and reducing competition among them. Here are some ideas for support systems for your tomato plants. They are also helpful for keeping out pests, rotting fruit, and overcrowding.
Tomato plants grow best if they are supported from above by trellises. Without supports, they tend to touch the ground, encouraging the spread of disease. Supports will also encourage a straighter growth and allow you to double your harvest! Tomatoes need a sturdy support to grow upright and produce a full yield. Tomatoes can become infected if they touch the soil.
Use Reflective Mulches
Reflective mulches help your plants by reflecting light to keep pests away from them. In a recent study, Nunez of the University of California Cooperative Extension in Bakersfield, Calif., found that mulches with various colors repel aphids. This is good news for tomato growers, as aphids can greatly reduce yields and plant size. Reflective mulches may also help prevent the spread of disease.
The film should be rigid yet flexible, and it should be easy to remove. Low-density polyethylene is the primary plastic used in mulches. In the US, these mulches are typically 0.6 to 2.0 mils thick, or 0.0152 to 0.0508 mm. They come in rolls that are 122 to 152 cm wide and 610-1,463 meters long.
The material is biodegradable, and the plastic can be composted. Bioplastics made from vegetable sources such as lactic acid will degrade quickly without leaving any toxins behind. Some producers use plastics that are compatible with organic production standards, but this can have negative environmental impacts. The resulting plastic mulch is a viable option if you are serious about reducing your tomato yield. But if you’re worried about the impact on the environment, consider composted plastics instead.
Maximize Spacing Between Plants
Tomatoes require a minimum spacing of five feet between rows. This spacing is more important than you may think, as tomatoes can shade other plants. Regardless of the type of planting method, they should be planted at least eighteen to twenty-four inches apart. For the best spacing, plant tomatoes along the north end of the bed, 24 to 30 inches apart.
Tomatoes will grow well on a variety of soil types, but they do best in medium textured sandy loam and fertile, well-drained soils. If planting tomato seedlings, avoid sites that stay wet or those with problem weeds. Besides its role as anchorage and physical support, soil also holds water and nutrients. The quality of the soil is a major factor in how quickly your tomatoes will grow.