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To be at their best, tomato plants require a lot of nutrients – and if you want to garden organically, then seaweed fertilizer is a good option. Seaweed contains nitrogen and many other important minerals such as iron, zinc and potassium. Fertilize your plants with a diluted seaweed or kelp solution every other week and it will help stimulate growth and fend off disease.
Seaweed also can be used as a mulch near the bottom of your tomato plants. Keep in mind, however, that as it dries out it will shrink to about a quarter of its original size – so four inches of mulch will give you one inch once it has dried out. An advantage to using seaweed as a mulch is that because of its saltiness, it acts as a natural slug repellent.
Tip No. 5: Keep young plants warm
Tomato plants that are exposed to temperatures below 55 degrees Fahrenheit will not produce fruit. If you find you’ve planted your seedlings a bit too early, or if you get some surprise cool nighttime weather, protect your plants with row covers overnight until the weather warms up.
If you do not have row covers, you can improvise using some tomato cages and old blankets. Just be sure to uncover again in the morning.
Tip No. 6: Harvest regularly
The moment of truth in tomato gardening comes when the delicious fruit begins to ripen. Once it appears that you are close to getting a ripe tomato, check the vines every few days and harvest as necessary.
This will help your plants to produce higher yields because the plant’s energy will be focussed on producing new fruit rather than on tomatoes that are already ripe.
Tip No. 7: Rotate your crops
To help keep your plants free of disease, you should wait at least three years before planting them again in the same spot. Tomatoes can be rotated with unrelated crops like lettuce, beans and corn. They should not be rotated with other members of the nightshade family like potatoes, eggplants or peppers.
What tips would you add to our list? Share your thoughts in the section below:
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