Looking for a few good tips to help get your young or struggling tomato plants to start growing fast?
There is simply nothing quite like growing your own tomatoes! The fresh taste of a just-picked home grown tomato in the middle of summer is an experience that can hook a gardener for life. In fact, the sugary-sweet flavor and the over the top juiciness are almost too good to put into words.
But to grow those amazing tomatoes, you have to have healthy, strong, vibrant plants. And that all starts with making sure your young transplants get off to a great start. No matter if they are growing in a traditional garden, raised beds, or in a 5 gallon bucket or container.
The first six to eight weeks of a tomato plant’s life outdoors is critical to its long term success. During this time, a tomato plant needs to develop strong roots, a healthy stem structure, and thick, vibrant foliage. Without a strong root system, tomato plants simply struggle to produce.
Strong Roots – The Key To A Tomato Plant’s Success!
Strong roots help a tomato plant create a solid anchor in the soil. They allow it to withstand wind, rain, and many of the other perils that mother nature can bring. Even more, a good root system helps to soak in the nutrients and moisture needed for steady and strong growing habits.
The more extensive and robust a tomato plant’s roots are, the more easily it can absorb the power needed to make it grow even stronger.
Meanwhile, the strong stems and foliage canopy provide even more strength to the plant as is it matures. With a strong leaf structure, the plant can use the power of photosynthesis to its advantage, increasing its ability to turn the sun’s rays into energy for the plant – powering blooms that eventually produce those amazing tomatoes.
So how do you help your tomato plants create stronger roots early in the growing season? It all comes down to providing a few simple but very key needs for your plants – and that is exactly what today’s article is all about!
With that in mind, here are three simple secrets to help your young tomato plants get growing fast!
3 Simple Secrets To Help Young Tomato Plants Grow Better!
#1) Fertilize For Success
Young tomato plants need a lot of nutrients to grow strong roots, stems and foliage. Unfortunately, quite often, they struggle to obtain enough nutrition in the early phases of growth.
The biggest reason for the struggle is that they simply don’t have an extensive root system in place yet to gather the nutrients. And that is where helping plants out with a dose of fast-absorbing energy can make all the difference!
Tomato plants, as many vegetable plants do, often go through a bit of a lag in growth the first few weeks after going into the ground. But by giving them a nutrient boost in the form of a liquid fertilizer, you can jump start a good early growth spurt.
Why Liquid Fertilizers Work Great For Tomatoes – How To Get Tomato Plants Growing Better
Liquid fertilizers act fast. Absorbing both through the roots and foliage of the plant, they can provide nutrients quickly, helping struggling plants to perk up in a flash.
To help young or struggling tomato plants, apply a dose of liquid fertilizer every 7 days for two to three weeks. Compost tea, worm casting tea, or an all-purpose liquid organic fertilizer are all excellent choices. Product Link : Miracle-Gro Performance Organics All Purpose Plant Nutrition
Once your plants have begun to respond and green up, back off the feedings to every two weeks to prevent your plants from growing too much foliage in lieu of blooms and fruit.
#2) Mulch For Success – How To Get Your Tomato Plants Growing Better, Fast!
One of the best ways to help your plants stay healthy and strong is with a thick layer of organic mulch. Leaving the soil around your plants bare can cause all kinds of issues for tomato plants.
For starters, it allows the soil to dry out too quickly. That not only starves plants of the moisture they need, but creates the need for you to have to water more frequently.
Bare soil also allows weeds to take hold. Weeds that steal the same nutrients from the soil that your tomato plants need to grow and produce. That same layer of mulch also helps to keep the soil temperature regulated, keeping your plant’s roots from getting too cool or warm – both of which can stunt growth.
Finally, mulch helps to protect your tomato plants from soil borne disease. Soil borne diseases such as blight can infect plants when dirt splashes on plants. A thick layer of mulch keeps that from occurring, protecting your plants in the process.
For best results, mulch your plants with a thick four to six inch layer of organic material (straw, grass clippings or shredded leaves all work great). It will protect your tomato plants and add nutrients to your soil as it breaks down.
For even more power, mulch your plants first with a few inches of compost around the plant’s surface. This will help leach even more nutrients into the soil whenever it rains or you water. See: How To Select The Best Mulch For Flowerbeds And Gardens
#3) Water Smart – How To Get Your Tomato Plants Growing Better, Fast!
Finally, many young tomato plants often struggle due to how much water they are getting. And that can be too little, or too much. In fact, more often than not, young tomato plants suffer from over watering more than under watering.
In late spring and early summer, the cooler temperatures and more frequent rains often leave tomato plants water-logged. Making matters worse, many gardeners still feel the need to water their plants on a daily basis.
Unfortunately, once roots become saturated, they have great difficulty absorbing nutrients from the soil. Unless you live in a desert-like environment, established tomato plants do not need to be watered every day. It actually harms them way more than helping them.
Only water your plants when the soil has dried out. Always check the soil a few inches down for moisture before watering. This is where having an inexpensive, instant-read moisture meter can be of great help. Product Link : Instant Read Soil Thermometer
Water Deep When Watering
When you do water, it’s important to water deep. Frequent, shallow watering creates tomato plants with a weak root structure. The root stay near the surface of the soil getting used to the constant supply. Instead, water slow to allow the water to go deep in the soil.
This allows the roots to grow down looking for moisture. In the end, you develop stronger plants with a more extensive root structure. Not only do bigger roots absorb more nutrients, they also help anchor the plant against wind and storms.
Here is to getting your young tomato plants to start growing stronger and better fast – and to having your best tomato harvest ever this year!
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