Get the first ripe tomatoes in your neighborhood!
Gardeners around the nation look forward to the joy of collecting their first ripe tomatoes at the start of each growing season. Chilly temperatures and unpredictable spring weather, on the other hand, might delay planting and impede the development of heat-loving tomato plants. Here are six strategies to get a head start on the growing season and save the time it takes to harvest those first delicious fruits.
- Choose a Fast-Maturing Variety
Grow a fast-growing tomato, such as the 4th of July Tomato, and you may be enjoying your first ripe tomato as soon as 49 days after transplanting. As compared to types that mature in 80 or 90 days, you’d have to wait an additional month or more for ripe fruit. Check variety descriptions for the number of days to maturity when buying transplants or seeds to start indoors.
- Warm Up the Soil
Tomatoes thrive in warm soil; cool soil slows their development. If your garden beds are covered with mulch, pull it back in early spring to expose the soil to the sun’s warmth. A layer of translucent plastic placed over the bed will also assist. The soil in containers and raised beds warms up faster than garden soil, so they’re ideal for heat-lovers like tomatoes.
- Harden Off Plants
Whether you started your tomato plants from seed or bought them, they’ll need to be hardened off before they can be planted outside. About a week before you plan to set the seedlings into the garden, place them in a protected spot outdoors (partly shaded, out of the wind) for a few hours, bringing them in at night. Gradually expose them to more and more sunlight and wind over the course of a week or ten days. You may bypass the hardening off process with our Pop-Up Tomato Booster. At planting time, place one of these mini-greenhouses over each tomato seedling to protect it while it acclimates.
- Protect Young Tomato Plants from Wind and Chill
Temperatures in the 50s and cooler dramatically slow plant growth, and wind dries out plants and can cause fragile stems to break. To take advantage of the warmer microclimate, plant your tomatoes on the south side of the house. Or, you may use our Pop-Up Tomato Accelerator to establish a protected microclimate anyplace.
- Wait to Apply Mulch
Leave the soil bare around new transplants for the first month or so, to allow the sun to continue to warm the soil. After summer weather approaches, a 2″ layer of straw may be used to help preserve soil moisture.
- Support Plants
Flopping stems and sprawling foliage shade the maturing fruit, which delays ripening. To keep plants upright, use robust cages, ladders, or other supports while planting.Using our Pop-Up Accelerator, tomato plants grow 25% faster.
What promotes tomato growth?
Nutrients, nutrients, and more nutrients are the key to assisting tomato plants in growing quicker. These plants require a steady supply of food throughout the growing season, so gardeners need to ensure their garden beds have appropriately prepared soil and timed fertilizer applications.
Why is my tomato plant growing so slow?
Slow progress requires patience. When seedlings seem to be taking forever to grow, it is usually due to low temperatures or inadequate nutrition. Over-watering: Many growers harm their tomato plants by over-watering. Your tomato seeds may decay if the soil is wet.
Does Epsom salts help tomato plants?
Applying Epsom salts to your plant through foliar spray or direct watering is an excellent approach to increase micronutrient uptake. This encourages your tomato plant to produce huge, juicy, and very delicious fruits. Keep in mind that a little goes a long way, and too much might create more problems than it solves.
How fast can you grow a tomato plant?
It normally takes anything from 60 to more than 100 days after transplanting young plants to their ultimate growth location before you can harvest your tomatoes. Before growing varieties of tomatoes outside, the first thing to do is make sure you live in a tomato-friendly climate.