A Handy Kitchen Staple Can Help Your Tomato Plants Thrive

Growing your own food is becoming ever-popular as the prices of groceries continue to skyrocket. Coupled with the never-ending conspiracy theories about how all our food is "poisoned" by pesticides and growth hormones — whether you believe them or not — it's comforting to know that by growing your own food, you can monitor what goes into your belly as well as those of your loved ones.

Tomatoes definitely rank among the more popular foods to grow at home because of how low-maintenance they are and how quickly they mature. Unfortunately, not all of us are garden-savvy, but that is what hacks are for. Head over to your kitchen cabinet for a sheet of clear plastic wrap to help your tomato plant live its best life.

For your tomato plant to be successful, it will require temperatures ranging from about 68 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit, which is arguably very warm weather. Temperature regulation when growing tomatoes is of the utmost importance because too much heat or cold can lead to stunted growth, delayed maturation, low crop yield, and death of the plant entirely. Therefore, plastic wrap is a popular kitchen staple that will help your tomato plant thrive and put your worries to rest.

Wrap plastic film around tomato cages to create a DIY greenhouse

Because tomatoes prefer a warm environment and are averse to the cold, you can use some clear plastic film from your kitchen to create a sort of makeshift greenhouse for your plant. You also can use this method on a baby plant to give it the momentum it needs to mature enough to withstand adverse weather conditions.

Don't Waste The Crumbs gives a detailed game plan regarding how to make this happen. First, fit a three-legged wire tomato cage around your new tomato plant. The cage should be secure in the dirt but well above the top of the plant to give it room to grow. Then, wrap the film around it several times, making sure it clings to itself well. You can start either at the top or at the base of the cage, as long as you make the layers as sturdy as possible. Don't forget to also layer the cling film over the top of the cage, and voila!

Now, you've got yourself a perfect makeshift greenhouse. The plastic wrap keeps heat within its confines, just like a greenhouse. It also simultaneously acts as a shield against other environmental elements such as yard pests like rodents.

Keep a firm eye on your greenhouse's temperature to prevent overheating

YouTube gardener @GiveItAGrow gives a helpful visual dynamic to this DIY plastic wrap greenhouse hack. He harps on the importance of applying tension onto the cage with the plastic film to create the hot house. "It can be tricky," he warns. "You might want some clamps or some tape on hand ... a couple [of] layers will really insulate them well." The creator guarantees that if made tight enough, your contraption could withstand hail, wind, and rain.

The plastic wrap also maintains the moisture content in the pot so you don't have to worry about the soil drying out eventually. One key thing to keep in mind is that while tomatoes love warmth, they won't thrive in extreme heat. You have to carefully monitor the temperature of your greenhouse so that your plant doesn't overheat. It should never reach 95 degrees and above because that can affect the fruit yield. The YouTube creator explains in a comment reply that he usually only covers the plants with the greenhouse at night, especially on colder nights.

Another plus side to wrapping up the tomato cage is that the heat can give you more time to harvest fruit even during the transition into colder months. The creator attests: "It's going to extend your season just a little bit more." With these tips, you can grow the best tomatoes in your garden or home and never have to buy them again.