I have been hearing from family and friends that their tomato crops are starting to produce fruit, and I must admit I am jealous. If you are one of the lucky ones who is beginning to enjoy the bounty from your garden, here are seven tips to help you maximize your tomato crop this year:
- Once fruit begin to ripen, water your plants every five days by soaking the ground thoroughly.
- Remove the “suckers” that grow between your plants branches.
- Spread plants out with at least three feet between them to allow air to flow freely and sun to shine on all sides.
- Harvest your fruit when the tomatoes are full size and fully ripened.
- Use lawn clippings as mulch to keep the ground from drying out.
- Fertilize with compost instead of manure.
- Remove sprouts and leaves from the bottom 6-12 inches of your plants.
Once you find your kitchen full of tomatoes, you may be at a loss for how to use them all. You may want to consider making a heirloom tomato pie, Caprese salad, fried green tomatoes or roasted tomato soup with your bounty.