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Mistakes Everyone Makes When Planting Tomatoes
Planting Too Early
Tomatoes cannot go in the ground right after the last frost, so wait to plant them until the ground temperature is consistently between 55 and 65 degrees. If you bought them from a greenhouse, “harden off” your plants by storing them indoors and gradually leaving them outside for longer periods to prevent transplant shock.
Not Amending Soil
Tomatoes require nutrient-rich soil in order to produce healthy, flavorful fruit, so if you aren’t going to buy garden soil, you’ll need to amend the soil. Nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus are all necessary for optimal tomato production, so use things like compost and bone meal to richen the soil.
Too Close Together
If you cram your tomatoes together, you can expect your plants to get diseases due to too much moisture and not enough airflow. Plants that are too close together have to compete for water and nutrients, resulting in a smaller crop, so make sure to have at least three feet between plants.
Not Supporting
Whether you use cages, stakes, or trellises, it’s important to support your tomatoes, as most tomato fruit becomes too heavy to support itself. Cages also help prevent disease and rot, so it’s important to add support early in the season.
Not Pruning
While the tomato’s speedy growth results in a great harvest, it also means pruning is essential. This also improves plant health by increasing airflow and decreasing energy usage within the plant, but, you shouldn’t prune determinate varieties, as this can damage fruit production.