So you dove into gardening and thought you’d try your hand at tomatoes. Great choice! If you are in Zone 6 you are probably just starting to see some “tiny” tomatoes on the vine. There’s still time to increase your yield and get better results from your hard work!
- If you didn’t already, stake ’em and tie ’em up! This process is not rocket science and doesn’t need to cost any money. You can use sticks from your yard as posts and whatever you can find to tie up the plants. Try yarn or strips of an old t-shirt. Even old nylons! (And who wants to wear those anyways?) The trick is to tie the supporting stems loosely to the stick or post to help them support all the great fruit you are gonna see growing soon.
- Water! Water! Water! Those little guys are thirsty. It’s been pretty dry here in Zone 6, so you will need to water your plants regularly. Don’t forget to sprinkle the leaves too! The best time to water plants is in the morning. Not a morning person? Evening works too. Basically, just don’t water during the hottest part of the day.
- Feed your plants. We offer two products to feed your plants. Personally, I have been using H-G Sweet ‘N Grow with great results! However, you can’t go wrong with H-G Plant Food, if that’s what you have on hand. Both products are premixed in 16 oz spray bottles. You don’t have to be a scientist to use them! Shake the bottles until you don’t see any sediment at the bottom, then lightly mist your plants. One or two sprays per plant is really all you need! I spray mine once every 7 days and they are growing like CRAZY!
- Be patient. Let your tomatoes fully ripen on the vine for the best flavor. It’s tempting to harvest too soon out of pure excitement, but restrain yourself! Continue feeding your plants until the very last tomatoes are harvested.
- Time for picking! The harvest is always my favorite time. You finally get to reap what you have sown (in a good way).
- How should you store them? I know you want to, but please don’t throw them in your refrigerator. Refrigerators are too cold for tomatoes. Put them on your counter and they will keep a week or more!
- Sometimes you just get too many tomatoes for one family to use. Think about making tomato sauce or canning your tomatoes. You can also freeze them without blanching! If you choose to freeze them, I suggest using a vacuum sealer and only using them for cooking. The texture is a little weird (but my chili was AMAZING).