If you are new to planting tomatoes, there are some things you should know before simply putting the seedlings in the ground. Tomatoes need special care, plenty of sunshine, and enough room to breathe. Follow these easy tips and you will soon have an abundance of juice tomatoes.
Don't Overcrowd the Seedlings
An important rule to keep in mind when you start planting your tomato seedlings is that they should not be overcrowded. Tomatoes grow large and fast, so if they are overcrowded, you will run out of room for them to continue flourishing. The only time you don't need to worry about spacing is when you are planting them from a pot.
As you plant your tomato seedlings or plants, be sure they are planted deep within the soil. If you are using a transplanted tomato plant, make sure that when it is planted in the ground, you only see a few of the top leaves. The rest should remain underground.
Give Tomatoes Direct Sunlight
While not all crops need a lot of sunlight, tomato plants definitely do. When you have more sunlight for your tomato plants, you get more fruit since they can convert sunlight into energy. This energy helps more fruit to grow on the plants. They are ideal when planting fruits and vegetables in your yard, as opposed to being in containers on your patio or inside your home. However, while they need the sunlight to get enough energy for growing, the fruit ripens when the sun goes down. If you are using containers instead of planting them in the ground, move the containers out into your yard for several hours a day so they get sufficient sunlight.
Allow the Soil to Heat Up
Tomatoes not only like sunlight, but heat as well. If you have the opportunity to do so, heat up your soil before planting them in the ground. This is easy to do with the right amount of planning. Before planting the seeds or plants in the ground, level out the area where they will go and lay down black plastic in top of the soil. When the sun hits the plastic, it allows the landscape to heat up and actually trap the heat. Try to keep doing this every day for a few weeks and the soil will be nice and warm for your tomato plants.
Prune the Plants Regularly
The last bit of advice you need to follow for healthy tomato plants is to prune them. Energy is sucked out of tomato plants by suckers that are near the bottom of the branches. They don't provide you with any tomato fruit, therefore they serve no purpose. When you notice the suckers growing, cut them off. However, don't over-prune your plants; you want some leaves on the plants as they can provide sugars for the tomatoes.