Tomatoes farming business can be very lucrative if done correctly. Although some people find it very easy to have healthy and fresh tomatoes in their garden, not all of us have the right information or talent to do so. In this article we’ll look at some of the mistakes to avoid while planting tomatoes, to increase their size, flavor, and overall plant output.
Some of the basic factors that hinders the optimum production performance of tomatoes farming business include but not limited to the following factors:
(1) Forgetting to Harden Seedlings
Failing to harden your tomato seedlings is one of the common mistakes many people make. In fact, it is one of the most important things to ensure their survival. The “hardening process” enables seedlings to adapt to the changes in temperature or exposure to weather such as wind and rain.
Here are some of the ways to help you in hardening the tomato seedlings:
– Gradually Increase the seedling’s exposure to the natural environments about a month after germination.
– During the first days of exposure, keep plants out of direct sunlight and do not take them out in the cold.
– Expose them for a few hours and then take them back to their seedbed.
– For the best results, make sure you expose the seedlings to these elements for seven or more days before transplanting them to the outside garden.
– Exposing them to the sunlight, air-circulation, rain, and wind will harden them and make them ready for the outdoors.
(2) Not Doing Anything About the Soil
Many new to gardening do not know that soil is everything to plants. Good well-drained soil will feed your tomato crop, promoting healthy growth. Well-aerated soil also promotes healthy plant growth.
Remember the best tasting tomatoes grow in soil rich in nutrients and well amended with organic compost. Do soil tests always and follow results in order to achieve a better performance result.
(3) Over plant population
Some believe that planting lots of plants in a small area will increase the yields. However, this is not the case. When you plant tomato seedlings close to each other, you stunt their growth, causing a drop in fruit production.
Also, since the plants are overcrowded, some of them will not reach the direct sunlight, which they need for optimal growth. Lack of enough sunlight also makes the seedlings to become the perfect breeding ground for fungal diseases and those that love the damp conditions.
Some of the fungal diseases that will start breeding in this situation include: Powdery Mildew, Fusarium Wilt, Verticillium Wilt, Leaf Spot, Bacterial Spot, Bacterial Canker.
Therefore to ensure that the plants have adequate spacing, please always ensure to follow the given spacing guidelines.
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(4) Planting the Wrong Type and Variety
After establishing the right spacing, you also need to make sure that you select the right type of tomatoes for the piece of land that you have.
There are two main categories of tomato plants:
(a) Determinate: These tomatoes only grow to achieve a certain size. These types of tomatoes can grow with or without a support (trellising and staking) and do not require pruning. Determinate tomatoes put out all their fruits and then drop and die.
(b) Indeterminate: Indeterminate tomatoes will grow even up to 20m. For this reason, they need more space and require you to provide some support from trellising or a stake.
This type of tomatoes will put out fruits all season and are much preferable in greenhouses. Choosing the right type of tomatoes to plant in your garden will help you produce a healthy tomato crop throughout the season.
(5) Planting Tomatoes in Shade
Similar to other fruit bearing plants, tomatoes require about seven hours of sun per day. When you plant seedlings in an area with shade, it will deprive the tomatoes of the sunlight they need thus having an impact on how your plant grows and the tomato crop it produces.
Remember, fruit production requires a lot of energy.
The main source of their energy is the sun. For this reason, make sure that the plants get enough sunlight every day. Also, plants not receiving enough sun will produce a lot of foliage, and bear tiny fruits. As pretty as those leaves maybe, you cannot use them to flavor your food.
(6) Not Pruning Your Tomato Plants
If you have plenty of space, we would advise you to go for the indeterminate tomato varieties. However, these plants will require pruning as part of their maintenance.
Here are some of the reasons why you need to prune your plants:
– Pruning tomatoes removes unnecessary leaves that make crowd an area and provides better air circulation. Remember, a crowded garden will make it easier for foliar diseases and pests to spread.
– The foliage on crowded plants dry much slower, encouraging a variety of tomato plant problems
– When you prune tomato plants, the nutrients are directed to fruit growth rather than in aiding the development of leaves.
When you do not prune, plants tend to produce smaller fruits. Also, the overgrowth can provide the perfect environment for tomato diseases and pests
Therefore, to avoid infecting other plants, make sure you sterilize your pruning shears after pruning a plant that has disease symptoms.
(7) Failure to plan for blights
Early blight disease is a severe disease, and if not taken care of properly, it can make plants lose all their foliage. If you are not prepared to handle this problem, early blight spreads to the other plants very fast.
The cause of “early blight” comes from fungi that can overwinter in the soil. If you experienced the same problem the previous season, avoid planting in that area.
Detecting this condition is rather easy. It first appears on the older lower leaves in the form of brown spots that look like the targets, whereby the leave start yellowing around it. The leaves will eventually turn brown, die, and fall off.
The best way to prevent early blight from affecting your tomatoes is with crop rotation and routine spraying of preventative fungicides.
However, if you note that the plant had already been affected by this condition, try treating it using curative fungicides commonly used are ridomil gold.
(8) Improper Fertilizer Application Process
It is true that feeding your tomato plants with the necessary nutrients is crucial to the plants. However feeding them too much can have the same effect as not feeding them at all.
If you use fertilizer too frequently, it will build up in the soil causing some serious issues to the plant. For instance, applying fertilizer with nitrogen is important for a healthy tomato plant.
However, excess nitrogen causes the plants to put more energy into the growing leaves than growing the tomatoes. To prevent these issues, make sure that you use fertilizers designed for use on tomatoes or opt for natural compost.
(9) Not Watering Plants Properly
When you are not consistent in your watering practicing, it can lead to the development of multiple problems for your tomato plants including blossom-end rot.
Here are the tips to help you in watering the plants properly:
– Develop a consistent watering schedule. Plants should dry out a little bit so they should not lie in a pool of water, but be sure that the plants have enough water to sustain them.
– Make sure you water plants early before the sun or after the sun. Damp leaves can get leaf burn or lead to other problems from lingering water.
These tips are useful to ensure that you grow optimum, healthy, and fresh tomato crop in the limited space. Although they will not help to solve all the problems in your garden, they are great when you want to grow healthy plants throughout the season.
Remember a good garden takes a considerable amount of time, effort, and preventive measure for it to produce maximally.
Do you know other tips that you think should be added to this list? if so then kindly use the comment box below for all your contributions including your questions and answers to questions asked by others.
You are also encouraged to kindly share this information with your loved ones if found useful enough as we cannot reach everyone at the same time. Thank you.
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