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Want healthy tomatoes in your garden? This year begins my 3rd season in planting my own garden and I have learned a lot since the beginning – the hard way unfortunately. I tried this last year and it worked really well so I thought I needed to share so you can have healthy tomato plants too.
I know there are all kinds of tips, steps, instructions etc. listed on Pinterest and other various sites, but I can speak from experience this way as worked well for me.
How To Grow Healthy Tomatoes
Before I begin I’ll admit, I tried for the first time this year, starting my own plants from seeds since tomato plants are so expensive – failure. That’s another blog I will be sharing.
Yesterday, I put 25 tomato plants in the ground. Make sure when you purchase plant the roots are healthy. If not, they will be weak not thrive in the garden or even die. Healthy roots will be a white-creamy color.
I chose to go with the 4-pack of plants because planting 24 is costly and that’s an issue. I also chose the smaller plants, about 8 inches tall, they cost less than larger ones. Remember, I tried to start my own seedlings this year. Maybe next time.
Normally you only need place the roots of a plant under the soil, but to have healthy tomatoes you want to go much deeper. You will want to place your plant deep-deep into the soil, approximately two-thirds of the plant will be underground. Dig a hole as deep as your plant is tall.
Remove the plant from the pot and place into the hole, without putting the soil back in make sure it was deep enough – if not, remove and dig deeper.
Remove the lower leaves leaving the top one-third.
For my 8 inch tall tomatoes, I left about 2 inches out to soil. This means I placed the plant into a 6 inch hole.
Roots will grow from the tiny white hairs you see on the stem making the plant healthy and stronger allowing it pull more nutrients from the ground. A plant with a deep root system is more able to withstand drought conditions in the summer as we have here in the Tennessee Valley.
Note: Good healthy soil is also important so don’t overlook what’s in your soil before adding amendments.
Once the hole is deep enough, I add the following to the bottom of the hole. It may sound like a lot, but it works! Remember, we are wanting healthy tomatoes.
Organic Amendments to Add to Soil
A good handful of
Organic Vegetable Fertilizer (My favorite is Espoma)
Bone Meal (My go to is Jobes)
Worm Castings (Natures Solution is great)
Crushed egg shells (see How to Give your Garden a Calcium Boost)
Fish meal (I always use Alaska Fish) mix according to instructions on container. If you have access to actual fish heads, even better, use them.
2 cups of compost tea (see my post here) and make your own
And 2-uncoated, crushed aspirin (any brand)
Below is a collage of ingredients to add to the hole to give you an idea of my measurements…
Tomatoes are susceptible to disease and the aspirin will help to boost the plants immune system. Place your plant into the hole and fill back up with garden soil. Tomatoes like to be in 7-8 hours of full sun and need about 2 inches of water per week.
The plant will begin to grow straight up in the next few days. It will need support throughout its growing time so be sure to place a cage around it for support.
As I wrote earlier, I have had success using this method, but I am always looking for better ways. What do you do when you plant tomato plants? Feel free to leave comments below…
My tomato plants has more than doubled this year. In 2017 I planted only 24. In 2018, I grew them from seeds, and planted 56 plants. We use a lot of tomatoes and I can many many jars as well.
I used the same organic amendments in my plantings this year and the plants are huge, gorgeous and loaded with tiny green tomatoes.
What changes took place in your garden this year?