You always remember a good juicy tomato bursting with flavor!
Each tomato has the potential to be juicy and full of flavor a extra attention now will pay off big when it is time to harvest. Here are a few tips to help you achieve that goal:
- Healthy soil, healthy plants. Enrich soil with a good fertilizer amendment and compost every other week to keep plants supplied with their necessary nutrients.
- Remove damaged plants. Remove any fruit that shows dark patches on their bottom. These leathery patches, known as blossom end rot, cannot be reversed.
- Water well. In hot weather, tomato plants need deep waterings. Tomatoes are also less vulnerable to cracking when the soil is kept moist.
- Cover the soil. Mulch will help block weeds Mulch will save water and protects your fruit. Spread a 2-3” layer of mulch around plants, leaving 2” of room around the stem so water can reach the roots.
- Protect plants from heat. Hot sun has the potential to cause sun-scald, leaving tomatoes with pale, leathery patches on the fruits that pucker when they should be ripening. Bushy plants with lots of leaves naturally shade fruit from sun, however, plants with less leaves are more vulnerable. Cover plants with lightweight cloth covers through the first few heat waves.
- Remove tomato suckers. These small shoots sprout out from where the stem and the branch of a tomato plant meet. Though harmless, tomato suckers drain energy away from the main stems.
You pick tomatoes when you are ready for them, avoid letting them get soft and mushy. Tomatoes picked at the breaker stage, when they first show signs of changing color, are considered vine-ripened. These tomatoes will continue to ripen off the vine and on your kitchen counter. Tomatoes picked at the breaking stage can still have the same flavor as one that has fully ripened on the vine. Never place tomatoes in the refrigerator to ripen.