Posted on 30 July 2007 by tomatocasual.com

How To Grow The Biggest Tomatoes In Town in 6 Easy Steps

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How To Grow The Biggest Tomatoes In Town in 6 Easy Steps - TomatoCasual.comBy Amelia Tucker

1. Start early OR buy plants.

Use seeds if you are set up to grow them with proper space, lighting and will be able to keep them moist. If you are not able to devote the time then buy plants. Let the greenhouse do all the early work.

2. Plant deeply.

It can not be said often enough that the root system is where a tomato gets its growing power. Plant your seedling as deep as the top two leaves, and you will have the best root system to support the most fruit. Don’t worry, the plant will not be set back by this.

3. Keep the ground moist using mulch.

After you have planted deeply, moisture is the next most important thing to get right. If a plant dries out enough to wilt just once, it will not bear the fruit it is capable of no matter how well it seems to recover. Water deeply and immediately mulch with at least 4 inches of your chosen material. Straw makes a great mulch, especially if it is partially composted.

4. Keep the plant dry.

Fungus can be transferred to the plant that will cause it to wilt and die. It is a good practice to keep the extra leaves pruned to allow air circulation to prevent this.

5. Prune unmercifully.

You have to remove all the leaves except the top ones that provide the plant with nutrients. This means carefully looking at the plant and nipping off all of the stems and extra leaves. You end up with a main stem and any branches bearing fruit.

6. Fertilize!

Whether you use a premixed, or make your own fertilizer, it is important to follow the directions and keep the soil nutrient rich throughout the growing season.

Do you have tomato growing tips to share? If so, leave a comment below and let us know.

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29 Responses to “How To Grow The Biggest Tomatoes In Town in 6 Easy Steps”

  1. tomatocasual.com Graeme Says:

    I would, with great respect, take issue with #3. Wilting won’t hurt a tomato plant. Certainly not one wilting episode. Prolonged lack of moisture will certainly take a toll. On the other hand, over-watering is one of the great destroyers of tomato plants. In fact, I’d argue that a good test of whether a plant needs water is wilting. If it wilts in the heat of the day, wait till the sun goes down. If it perks up again, it’s fine. If it’s still wilting, water. Tomato plants are remarkably tough critters.

    n addition to #6. Tomatoes aren’t big feeders so I’d stress not to over-fertilise. In particular, don’t fertilise with nitrogen-rich fertilisers. You’ll end up with plenty of leaves and no fruit. I usually fertilise twice in a season – a couple of weeks after transplanting and once more later in the season. This presupposes, of course, planting in reasonable soil. As with the watering situation, I’d suggest that more tomato plants die from over-kindness than from neglect.

  2. tomatocasual.com TomatoGrowingSecrets Says:

    I like to keep my tomatoes to a more usable size, you know aroung about the size of an orange. I don’t prune mine as much but then again I am not trying to grow the biggest tomato possible. BTW – just how much did that tomato weigh?

  3. tomatocasual.com Graeme Says:

    The thing is, a tomato’s size is pretty much dictated by its genes. Hybrid varieties, in particular, will hardly vary at all given reasonable growing conditions and care. Under the same circumstances, heirloom varieties can vary in size because of genetic instability.

  4. tomatocasual.com Chuck Bartok Says:

    I agree pruning is essential for a good yield of “marketable” Tomatoes.

    We grow our Tomatoes same as we did Cotton years a ago.
    A little stress after Bloom set and then once fruit is set, we pour the water and nutrients for next layer of fruit.

    Started a Video series this year on a 24 plant plot weekly videos on progress
    Growing Tomatoes for Health and Wealth, 2008

    Appreciate your stopping by and commenting

  5. tomatocasual.com mike Says:

    I found deeper is not always better. I dig a trench and lay them in, then bend the top up so it sticks out. It is cool way down there and the bottom will just die and be useless. A little compost tea and I will pick over 100 from a 12 foot tall plant by October.

  6. tomatocasual.com Graeme Says:

    Yes, trenching is yet another way of planting them. On the other hand, I’ve never lost one from planting deeply.

  7. tomatocasual.com JIM SANDERS Says:

    I use fish emulsion on my tomatoes, Ocne the plant starts to bloom I begin spraying the entire plant with a fine mist.I recently picked some 1 3/4 pound tomatoes with many in the 10 oz, to a pound range, All this from an above ground 6 x 12 garden.

  8. tomatocasual.com Pete Bosworth Says:

    I noticed a little disagreement on watering. Your first
    consideration must be your local climate. I live in the foothills around Los Angeles. May I say we have excellent drainage here, (upward). So I use subteranean watering and
    feeding.

    Start with a pit 12″to 18″ deep. Pack the bottom with several sheets of newspaper and set a 4″ x 4′-0″ PVC pipe
    into the pit, on the newspapeer. Fill hole with compost and local soil. Plant, stake and cage. After plants reach 18″
    water through pipe daily. Works great in LA, might over water in Oreagon.

  9. tomatocasual.com HappyTomatoSecrets Says:

    The number one, topmost mistake tomato gardeners do, unknowingly, is growing tomato plants with leaves. It\’s an innocent mistake because, after all, we\’re used to seeing plants with leaves.

    With any other vegetable, you can simply plant it in the ground, add some random fertilizer and vegetable food, water it, and see what happens. This is not the case with the tomato.

    Thanks

  10. tomatocasual.com Andrew Says:

    Thanks for your advice, -Graeme.

    Perhaps soluble Miracle-Gro at 24-8-16 is too rich.
    I do have starter solid fertilizer at 11-22-10 that would meet your recommendation, sprinkled perhaps weekly.

    I do have lots of leaves spilling out all over, and could use some more guidance about the pruning.

  11. tomatocasual.com mike Says:

    What are you saying Happytomatosecrets? What is the mistake with the leaves?

  12. tomatocasual.com Bryant Says:

    Pic showing the record 7 lb+ delicious variety. A 35 foot greenhouse plant that actually got destroyed in a storm prior produced it.

  13. tomatocasual.com blair Says:

    has anyone here ever encoutered the leaves on the tomato plant getting large white clotches on them? If so what can a person do about it? The tomatoes also had blossom end rot….. please help!

  14. tomatocasual.com Cindy Says:

    I didnt have much luck with tomatoes UNTIL I began putting them in a large clay pot with good potting soil and steer manure with some tamato food. I add steer manure in a ring around the base of the plant every four weeks. Last year my plant was over six feet tall!!!

    Yummm…

  15. tomatocasual.com Graeme Says:

    Andrew – I’d suggest that 11-22-10 is still too nitrogen-heavy. N in single figures, P higher, K even higher. And they shouldn’t need weekly feeding.

    I’m not sure what HTS means about tomato plant leaves either. You need enough foliage both for photosynthesis and to protect the toms from prolonged hot, direct sun. Otherwise you risk sun scald. I remove the bottom branches and foliage – up to about 3 feet from the ground – to avoid splashing fungal spores up onto the foliage when watering. Other than that, bearing the earlier provisos in mind, I remove enough foliage to allow plenty of air circulation, the first step against fungal disease. I also pinch out laterals. Not because it increases the crop – studies have shown that pinching out laterals has little impact on crop size – but, again, in order to foster air circulation.

    blair – white clotches? Powdery mildew can manifest white. Blossom End Rot is, these days, known to be the result of plant stress. It used to be put down to calcium deficiency and the solution was to add lime to the soil. Unless the soil is utter garbage, there should be sufficient calcium in it. BER happens when the plant isn’t taking up and circulating the calcium as a result of stress. All sorts of things can stress a plant – high winds, irregular watering, and so on. Which variety – or varieties – are you growing? And which are suffering BER? There are varieties that are simply more prone to BER and no one knows why. I gave up growing the plum varieties because they’re one of the varieties most prone. I had adjacent plants – plum and beefsteak, same soil, exactly the same growing conditions – and the plum was riddled with ER. The beefsteak didn’t have a single problem.

  16. tomatocasual.com jimmy watson Says:

    I have several tomato plants in my back yard one plant has a gorgeous yellow bloom that measures 4″ in dia, I have mixed my own fertilizer this year and produced do you think it will develop into a tomato the brand of tomato is Hillbilly they are supposed to be large

  17. tomatocasual.com Kitchen Sanity Says:

    Wow they look like pumpkins! Do you think it’s possible to grow these tomatoes indoors? I live in an apartment with no balcony. I do get light, but only near the end of the day when the sun is setting.

  18. tomatocasual.com Sixty9harley Says:

    How to kill your tomato plants: 2 years ago I had a maple tree topped and the tree service chipped the leaves and branches and dumped them in my woods. This made a 4ft tall compost pile I added grass clippings and leaves. This spring the pile was only a foot tall and just full of nutrients. I blended this compost with my garden soil and planted 5 plants I had grown from seed. Within a week they had yellowed in spots and the stalks turned to wood. After much looking around the internet I found a picture of what my plants looked like and it was similar to Fusarium wilt. I replanted without the compost and now have lovely plants. Evidently all compost is not good compost. Another quick story. I had roots in my septic line and had to go after them thru the tank end. While I had the lid off I removed some of the solids and poured them next to the tank lid. In a few weeks I had 4 varieties of volunteers. Plum, grape, cherry, and romas. All of which we must have enjoyed a few months before!! I saved some of the roma seeds for this year as that plant was a star producer.

  19. tomatocasual.com Paul Says:

    Whilst on a fishing trip to Lucinda, Qld, I discovered the locals buried fish frames and gut in their gardens as they could not throw the offal into the rivers for fear of attracting crocodiles. They also chose not to dump the offal at the local tip because of the smell and flies. The result was the tastiest tomatoes that weighed up to 1 kg each. I also ate lemons almost as big as bowling balls. I have tried this myself but discovered that the local cats can dig down 25cms for the frames and keep leaving a mess.

  20. tomatocasual.com Shama Says:

    Hi,

    I would like know when do tomato plants get attacked? My tomato plants are attacked my green tiny powdery insects… what do I do :( ? Please help

  21. tomatocasual.com Matthew Barcia Says:

    If it is the intention to grow a certain type of tomato, for example, a melon like one, then choose a tomato with a genetic flavor such as the Big Zac..
    Naturally with proper care, the odds to attain a champion tomato will increase.

  22. tomatocasual.com Dave Says:

    Start seeds or buy plants that are high in disease resistance. Try to transplant in the evening before a mild rain. Pinch off all stems that will be below the ground. I like to plant deep but at an angle towards the north. This will give you more roots growing along the stem. I fertilize slightly with a low nitrogen fertilizer, dig it in the hole, add 2 inches of soil and add well rotted compost. Follow the fertilizer directions BUT I LIKE TO FEED PLANTS HALF AS MUCH / TWICE AS OFTEN. Never over water. Baked egg shells help rid off blossom end rot. Fish fertilizer will never burn your plants. Steak your plants and leave lots of room between them. Trim off all stems at least a foot off the ground as the plant grow. Mulch, mulch, mulch. Rain or water splashing from dirt onto leaves promotes disease. Pinch off suckers. Late in the season trim off all new blossoms that will not produce tomatoes, unless you want green ones. And at the end of the season, CLEAN UP YOU GARDEN. The worst thing you can do, is do nothing and that will promote blight. Most of all, have fun and enjoy the garden.

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