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Wondering how to grow early tomatoes? Check out these tips and learn how to grow tomatoes faster than ever before.
How to Grow Early Tomatoes
Introducing the art of growing early tomatoes, a rewarding gardening task that allows you to relish the taste of fresh, homegrown tomatoes sooner. With just a few simple steps, even a beginner can successfully cultivate these delightful red fruits.
From selecting the right variety and preparing the soil to understanding the importance of watering and sunlight, this guide will walk you through each stage of the process. Enjoy the satisfaction of growing your own early tomatoes and savoring their fresh, wholesome flavor
The gardening bug seems to bite us earlier and earlier every spring. Sinking our teeth into homegrown tomatoes is one of the best parts of having a backyard garden! There are a few tricks to produce early tomatoes, and some are really quite simple! In most areas, tomatoes are planted about two weeks after the last frost into the garden, but you can get a head start today if you don’t want to wait.
Try these Tomato Growing Tips
Start with the right seed
When buying seeds or transplants, choose those that are an early-maturing variety. Early Girl matures the fastest at 50 days, then Bush Early Girl at 54 Days, Juliet and Celebrity are at 60 days, and Husky Cheery Red and Super Sweet 100 mature in 65 days. You can start these seeds indoors if you want an even earlier producing garden.
How to Plant Tomatoes
Plant early and then protect your tomatoes from the cold. You can make your own protection by cutting the bottom off a plastic gallon milk jug and placing it over the plant until the weather warms.
Remove the cap so the plant can breathe! Insert a stake next to the plant and place the jug over that, so it doesn’t blow it away. You can also order commercial items like the Wall-O-Water or buy a cold-frame to grow your seedlings in.
Keep it covered
Plant your tomatoes in a row and then cover it with clear plastic so that the sunlight warms the soil underneath the plastic. Cut openings in the plastic and gently pull the tomatoes through.
Later once it warms up you can cover the plastic with straw mulch to block sunlight. This will keep the soil from getting too hot. Make sure before you start that the soil is well watered. Adding in a drip irrigation or a soaker hose will be essential with this so that water gets to the tomatoes roots underneath the plastic.
You can also try those two steps together and experiment with how doing both tips helps your plants to grow earlier.
How to get tomatoes to produce more fruit
To get tomatoes to produce more fruit, start by choosing a variety that's known for its high yield. Ensure the plants are getting at least six to eight hours of sunlight each day. This will help you grow an abundance of tomatoes.
Regular watering is crucial, but avoid getting the leaves wet as it can foster disease. Deep watering is recommended as it encourages the roots to go deeper into the soil.
Implement a regular feeding schedule with a balanced, tomato-specific fertilizer to provide necessary nutrients. Prune the lower leaves to direct energy towards fruit production and maintain good air circulation.
Finally, provide adequate support to your plants with cages or stakes to keep them upright, reducing the chance of disease and making it easier for the plant to send nutrients to the fruit.
These tips will work whether you grow vegetables in the garden or grow tomatoes in pots.
What makes tomatoes grow faster?
Give them hormones
There is a commercial hormone spray on the market called Blossom Set Spray. This hormone spray causes the fruit to set earlier and can help your tomatoes to start producing. It is available at garden centers or order it online. We get ours here.
Remember you want to avoid having your tomatoes all ripen at once.
Be busy like a bee
If your tomato has yellow flowers, but they haven’t set fruit, yet it might be because you don’t have any bees pollinating your plant. Grab a paintbrush and go from flower to flower and take matters into your own hands. Tomatoes are not self-pollinating and need a little bit of help from Mother Nature to get the job done.
You can follow one or all of these tricks to get them to ripen early. Starting out with an early variety works the best, and then altering the growing conditions to warm up the ground never hurts. Growing early tomatoes is possible now that you know these tricks.
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