Getting the Most From Your Tomato Plants

woman holding a basket of tomatoes in a gardenAlthough technically a fruit, most people think of the tomato as a vegetable. Tomatoes are a very common plant found in most home gardens. They are easy to grow and usually provide an abundant harvest. The average yield of each tomato plant, however, varies depending on plant type, care, and garden location.

The typical tomato plant can produce anywhere between 10-80 pounds of tomatoes each year. While it does depend on several factors, here are some tips to get the highest yield from your tomato plants:

  1. Get advice from experienced gardeners in your area. Local gardeners will know which type of plants thrive in your location.
  2. Prepare your soil before planting tomatoes. You will want to plant tomatoes in a soil that is rich in nutrients. Be sure to till in some good organic matter (compost) into the soil just before planting. Also make sure that the area has good drainage and will get plenty of sunshine.
  3. Support your tomato plants. When plants are small, you will want to be sure to stake the tomato plants. A sturdy tomato cage or trellis is important in supporting the plant once it begins to grow tall.
  4. Heavily mulch your garden. Using wood chips or grass clippings to mulch your garden will prevent the growth of weeds and hold moisture into the ground. A good layer of mulch will save time, energy and water. It also stabilizes the temperature of the soil and reduces stress on the plant.
  5. Check the plants daily for insects or any other damage but only water about once a week. This should be a deep watering. Slowly apply a couple of inches of water directly to the surface of the mulch. A soaker hose works great for slow watering.
  6. Finally, don’t plant your tomato plants in the same spot each year. Rotate your crops to refresh the garden soil.

freeze dried tomatoes before and afterFollowing these tips should increase the number of tomatoes you get from each plant. You will have so many tomatoes that you may not know what to do with them. This is where we can help. Be sure to preserve your extra tomatoes in a Harvest Right freeze dryer. Since tomatoes have a thick outer skin, be sure to slice your tomatoes before placing them in the freeze dryer. Once freeze dried, your tomatoes can easily be stored until you want to use them. Your hard work in increasing the number of tomatoes you grow will pay off as you enjoy garden tomatoes all winter long.

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