Time to Trim The Tomatoes

12 Jun

Just thirty days ago, the temperatures were so cold I had to cover my still-tender tomato plants with plastic red-neck greenhouse implements. Today, the plants are huge!

They grow too fast, don't they?

Once the seedlings emerged from the ground I sprayed them with liquid plant food once a week for four weeks. Again, I must sing the praises of  GrowBest Plant food. If you currently use any other plant food, please consider switching to GrowBest.

I have also decided to grow only Heirloom Tomato plants after the wonderful experience with Botanical Interests Heirloom seeds. After seeing how easy these seeds are to germinate, and witnessing the beautiful, healthy plants that have appeared, I have determined never to purchase plants from the garden supply again. (that makes my pocketbook very happy).

Pictured are the Black Krim plants currently growing in my deck planter. Aren’t they beautiful? I also have about 60 plants at Billy’s. My goal is to show him that Heirlooms will be more productive than his store-bought Park’s Whopper plants.

Black Krim fertilized with GrowBest

For those wishing to grow enormous tomatoes, I offer my dad’s advice. Last year he grew tomatoes that weighed over a pound each; the direct result of trimming the plants once they reach a certain height.

“I just walk out here with the loppers, and lop the tops off.”

I know, this is a painful concept…that of trimming a plant you’ve nurtured from a tiny seed. However, once you see how much larger the tomatoes are at maturity, you’ll never allow vines to become “leggy” again

Cherry tomatoes (or Tommy Toes) are particular notorious for growing out of control. Keep them in line by trimming them to a height of 4 feet. The same goes for other varieties of tomatoes. As Dad instructs, simply snip the vines. Trimming encourages the formation of new growth at the base of the plant. The plant will continue to bloom. In fact, trimming the plant will make it hardier and stronger long-term.

Now is a perfect time to sprinkle broken eggshells around the base of  tomato plants to prevent blossom-end rot. You have been saving shells…right?  Bake the shells for 5 minutes at 350 degrees which removes any trace moisture which attracts animals to the garden. Dig a small trench around the tomatoes and sprinkle the broken shells around the plants.

As always, I welcome tips that are working in your garden.


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