It’s not a stretch to say that tomatoes are popular choices for a home garden. The American “summer diet” uses tomatoes raw, made into salsa and for tomato-based sauces. However, to enjoy a steady harvest of “maters” you need a constantly producing tomato plant flowers. These juicy red fruits all begin with a healthy flower. Try these gardening tricks and improve your flower and tomato production.
Practical Steps to Increase Tomato Flowers
Add plant fertilizer to your plants once the shoots begin to pop up. Look for specific tomato or vegetable fertilizer.
When indoor tomato plants do begin to flower, transplant them outdoors. Dig the hole for the plant and sprinkle fertilizer into the hole before you put in the tomato plant. That should give you plenty of tomato flowers! It might help to test your soil first. Tomato flower production increases when your soil is nitrogen rich. Opt of 10-10-10 fertilizers.
Limit watering to only twice a week. When plants get too wet or soggy, this will limit your flower supply. (Overwatered plants could also lead to destructive molds.)
Make Tomato Plants Stronger
Strong plants produce more flowers. Give each plant a tomato cage and watch those tomato flowers appear! Plants that are struggling to hold up under the weight of fruit will eventually slow down on the flower production. Carefully guide the plant’s branches in and out of the cage wires.
Make your garden bumble bee-friendly! The presence of bees will increase flower production. Relocate bird houses and bird baths away from your tomato plants. (Birds do love a bee snack!) Hanging some foil pie plates in the garden should help too.
Pick a Few Flowers
Pluck a few flowers off tomato plants to spur more fruit. Once the flowers appear, you may need to control how many you allow to grow into actual fruit. You don’t want to overwork your plant; you do want a steady stream of flowers and tomatoes.
If you live in an area that has low humidity, mist your tomato plants a few times a week. Tomatoes love humidity!
Read more from Monica Bullock:
Grow the Perfect Strawberry
How to Pick Fresh Parsley
Gas Grill Care: Refinishing a Grill