- Plant tomatoes where they will get at least 10 hours of light in summer.
- Alternate your tomato bed between even just two spots and you diminish the risk of soilborne diseases such as bacterial spot and early blight.
- When buying tomato seedlings, beware of lush green starts with poor root systems. They will languish for weeks before growing.
- Plant your tomato seedlings up to the first true leaves. New roots will quickly sprout on the stems. More roots means more fruits.
- Soak your tomato bed once a week, or every five days at the height of summer. Water directly on the soil, not on the leaves.
- Prune off these non-fruiting branches. This directs the tomato plant’s energy into growing bigger, better fruit.
- Use 6-foot stakes for indeterminate varieties like the ‘Brandywine’ tomato. Put in the stakes when transplanting to avoid damaging roots.
- While the first fruit is ripening, encourage new growth and continued fruit set by scratching compost around the stem, and trim some of the upper leaves.
- Three weeks after you plant tomatoes in your garden, put in another set so all of your harvest doesn’t come at once.
- Heirloom tomatoes that are too ripe can be mealy. Harvest them when they’re full size and fully colored.