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Tips for Growing a Bumper Crop of Tomatoes

Tips for Growing a Bumper Crop of Tomatoes

There is no feeling quite like eating a ripe tomato, fresh off the vine. Growing tomatoes isn’t hard, but there are definitely some tricks to the trade. Successful tomato growers tend to prune and support tomatoes carefully, fertilize with compost and mulch well, and keep the plants watered well.

Here’s your first tip: Prune off the bottom six to eight inches of stems from the main stock to promote easy watering at the roots and good air flow to the plant.

sylvar/Flickr Creative Commons
sylvar/Flickr Creative Commons

This is a single tomato plant, growing on a trellis. Did you catch that? A. Single. Plant. How did the grower get her tomato plant to be so big and to produce so much fruit? According to the National Gardening Association, there are some tricks to growing huge tomato plants. Compost and other fertilizers, starting early, and improving soil quality all are key components of growing a bodacious tomato plant. I highly recommend clicking through to read the article by The National Gardening Association.

photofarmer/Flickr Creative Commons
photofarmer/Flickr Creative Commons

Wow! These tomato plants are growing a foot taller than their stakes! How can you coax tomato plants to grow taller and to produce more fruit? One of the secrets is pruning. According to Fine Gardening Magazine, pruning tomatoes recommends a method of pruning that encourages a longer growth cycle for the tomato plants, so that they can put all of their energy into growing tall and producing fruit.

stevendepolo/Flickr Creative Commons
stevendepolo/Flickr Creative Commons

This is a gratuitous photo of yellow pear tomatoes for your salivating pleasure.

Old World Garden Farms/
Old World Garden Farms/

These are the lovely and vivacious tomato plants of Old World Garden Farms, a sustainable homestead and working farm in Ohio. Jim and Mary of OWGF offered amazing tips for how they grow their huge tomato plants. No surprise, compost plays a major role, as does mulching, pruning, watering, and supporting the tomato plants.

James Bryan C/
James Bryan C/

How did this homeowner grow such phenomenal tomato plants from such small starter plants? His growing method is all about watering a lot, and watering early. His secret? Irrigating the plants through the ground, and never through the leaves. He drills holes in a bucket, partially buries the bucket, puts a couple scoops of compost into the bucket, and then adds water to the bucket every couple days.

Walter Reeves/
Walter Reeves/

Walter Reeves, The Georgia Gardener, offered up a pro tip on Hometalk. He says that if tomato plants are losing their flowers before producing fruit, tap the flower clusters with a pencil. Shaking the pollen around on hot, humid days will pollinate the plants so that they will bear fruit.

By Chaya Kurtz,


+Tip: Growing Perfect Tomatoes 101

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Read more: Home, Household Hints, Lawns & Gardens, Nature

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+ add your own
8:38AM PDT on Jul 15, 2014

Good tip about the pruning. Thanks.

4:53AM PDT on Sep 16, 2013

We were getting quite a few big tomatoes for awhile (after fighting the squirrels for them)! But now - they have shrunk in size and are all spotted. Even the squirrels are leaving them alone (LOL)!

Next year, I'm going to try the man's idea of the bucket in the ground with water and compost.

10:18PM PDT on Aug 13, 2013

These are amazing photos. I do wish there was a perennial tomato plant. Every year they die and that is the end of my Tomato, Basil, and Provolone sandwiches.

My basil plant survives the winter as I bring it in the house. I have had it over a year now, going on 2.

8:38PM PDT on Aug 3, 2013

Thanks for an informative post.

11:45PM PDT on Jul 31, 2013

Tomatoes off the vine just outside one's own door are absolutely delicious. Wonderful tip for a worthy and tasty harvest.

2:51PM PDT on Jul 31, 2013

Thanks for these tips.

3:18AM PDT on Jul 31, 2013

Excellent tips, thank you.

1:12AM PDT on Jul 31, 2013

Very Helpful , Thanks

7:43PM PDT on Jul 30, 2013

Good posting, thanks

5:34PM PDT on Jul 30, 2013


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