NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

PortWatch

June 12, 2013

Tomato plants need support, fertilizer

It turned out to be a relatively nice weekend after all. Once the skies cleared on Saturday, it was nice to be outside the rest of the weekend.

Now that you have your tomato plants in the ground, here are a couple of things that you need to be doing. If you want to get a larger yield, you can place red plastic mulch around the base of the plants. The red plastic reflects light back up onto the plants. This allows the plants to grow faster and ultimately give you a larger yield of tomatoes.

Your tomato plants also need to be supported with either tomato cages or some type of sturdy stake. Once the plants are bearing tomatoes, they tend to get top-heavy, and the plants will fall over if you do not provide adequate support to hold them up. It is far easier to place your cages or stakes over the plants while the plants are small.

Last, but by no means least, you should begin a regular schedule of fertilizing your tomato plants. Plants will grow faster, they will set more tomatoes, the tomatoes will ripen faster and the plants will be able to fight off diseases better if the plants have been fertilized on a regular schedule.

Speaking of fertilizing your tomato plants, the same holds true for all of the plants you have put into the garden. It doesn’t matter if it is vegetable plants or flowers, all plants benefit from a regular application of fertilizer.

Over the years, I have talked to many a gardener who have said that they are not successful at gardening. Their biggest lament is that the plants just don’t seen to thrive. When I ask them how often they fertilize the plants, they usually reply, “I water the plants.”

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