Updated: Nov 12, 2020
I’m not sure why, but I get a real sense of satisfaction & achievement from growing tomatoes. Whether you grow them from seed, buy your plants from your local garden centre or have them given to you by friends or family; there is no better feeling than seeing your plants maturing and the fruit ripening.
I’ve always considered tomato plants to be one of the fruit & veg worlds biggest divas because they do have a tendency to throw a bit of strop in a various different ways and expect you to know just what to do to make them happy again.
They can have shrivelled leaves, discoloured leaves, fruits that split, fruits that rot or maybe have no fruit at all?! As gardeners we are supposed to know the reasons why our plant is unhappy which is not always easy so I thought I would give you a little guide on what to look out for & how to grow happy, healthy tomatoes.
We all know that we need to water our plants. However, don’t do this simple task correctly and it will have an adverse effect on your tomato plants in a number of different ways.
Your plants like to be kept in moist soil, so if you allow them to dry out in-between watering you may notice odd things happening to your plant & its fruit. On the other hand, water too much & your plant won’t be happy either, (I told you these plants are real divas!).
Inconsistent watering can result in the following:
Blossom end rot
Unsightly black patches appearing at the base of your fruit.
Allowing your plants to dry out can cause the skin of your fruits to toughen & dry out. If after this dry spell you water lots or there is heavy rainfall it can cause the fruit to swell rapidly & split, essentially getting too big too fast.
Simply put, if your plant isn’t happy due to lack of water, it will not produce flowers. No flowers, no fruit.
Too much heat & not enough moisture can cause the leaves to curl & generally look very unhappy.
Too much foliage
Over water & you will see your plant put all its energy into producing lots of lush foliage & not many fruits.
Thin skinned fruit
Over watering can result in very thin, papery skin on your fruits which makes them susceptible to splitting which is basically an open invitation to pests & diseases.
Well, the soil you planted your tomatoes in, whether it’s in a container, grow bag or greenhouse bed, will only have enough nutrients to sustain your plant for a limited period. You & I perform better with food so why do we expect our plants to perform without it?
Your plant may even try to tell you it is in need of a feed by displaying discoloured or mottling of older leaves. Left unfed, your tomato plants can be more prone to pest & diseases, will produce fewer fruits & won’t be as tasty!
As you see your fruits starting to appear, begin adding a high potash liquid tomato feed as part of your watering routine every 2
weeks. This liquid feed is straight forward to use, is really easy to get hold of & can be found in most supermarkets now.
*Feeding Top Tip* When you feed your tomatoes (or any other fruit & veg), always make sure the soil is wet first as fertilisers & feeds are less effective on dry soil.
I could literally go on for pages & pages on this subject but I think I’ve probably covered enough of the common issues you may encounter whilst growing this delicious fruit.
Please let me know how you get on with growing your tomatoes & if I’ve missed anything or you have any questions, please feel free to get in touch.