By Amelia Tucker
With the peak tomato season upon us, there are only a few simple rules to continue your tomato harvest.
Keep the plant watered.
Letting a tomato plant dry out leads to cracking fruit and puts undo stress on the fruit. If you want to water overhead, remember to do so early in the morning so that the leaves have time to dry out in the sun to prevent disease.
Pinch extra plant material like leaves and side stems that are not producing any fruit.
This keeps the energy of the plant going to the fruit and not just to a leaf. If your tomato plant is still making flowers and vines, pinch them back. You will not have time for a blossom to make a ripe tomato before fall so the plant is again wasting energy.
Tie up any loaded branches before they start to break with the weight of the fruits. Use something soft like old nylons if you can to prevent injuring the plant stems.
Keep the plant fully loaded with nutrients so that it will ripen the fruits faster and it will be more resistant to disease.
Your garden is in the home stretch. Keep the plants from wilting under the strong end of summer heat and dryness. Keep all your plants tight and all stems useful so that any energy expended is going straight to ripening the fruits and not on survival.