Growing tomatoes in your garden is easy. If you’ve ever noticed volunteer tomato plants sprouting up in your garden, you know how tough the seeds are. The growing tomatoes are tough too, but like the rest of your garden, it also needs some care.
Fortunately, the needs of growing tomatoes are not great and can be usually handled in just a few relaxing minutes per plant every day or so.
Tomatoes like even moisture, so using mulch is important. If you’ve ever had the fruit from your growing tomatoes split, you’ve seen the effects of un-even moisture. This usually occurs when your garden receives a lot of rain after a dry spell.
The plant takes up moisture and puts it into the fruit quicker than the skin can grow and the result is cracking. This generally doesn’t harm the tomato other than cosmetically, but it can be a place for disease to set in so if they are ripe when they split, take them off the vine and use them quickly.
Mulch can be made of anything that covers the soil. Organic materials such as grass clippings, leaves, straw, newspaper and cardboard work well and break down naturally.
This decomposition adds organic material to the soil and thus adds to it’s ability to retain moisture and support healthy soil organisms such as earth worms. Plastic sheeting can also be used. Black plastic can help the soil warm up and there is some evidence that red plastic can even increase production.
What ever the mulch you use for growing tomatoes, it also keeps weeding to a minimum. Any weeds that do pop up can be quickly pulled. I like to just place them on top of the mulch so that they become part of the solution when they die and dry up.
Mulch will also help prevent soil-borne diseases from attacking your plants by keeping soil from splashing up on the plants when you water them. Watering your growing tomatoes by putting the water only on the base of the plant helps in this regard and is a more efficient method of watering growing tomatoes since less is lost to evaporation.