‘Biggest mistake’ to avoid when planting tomatoes – ‘largest killer’

Alan Titchmarsh gives advice on how to plant tomatoes

We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info

From the planting them in the wrong location to not mulching, some of these tomato gardening mistakes can be grave. But with the help of tomato planting tips from gardening experts at This Is My Garden, Britons can pave the way for an edible garden that thrives instead of ending up dying. A spokesperson said: “If you want to have a big tomato harvest this year – it all starts by avoiding some of the most common tomato planting mistakes when first putting them in the ground. Getting your tomato plants off to a good start is a big key to a healthy tomato crop.”

Five biggest tomato planting mistakes 

1. Planting in the same location 

According to the expert, one of “the biggest mistakes” made in vegetable gardens is to not rotate crops from year to year, which particularly applies to tomatoes.

They said: “With tomatoes, a lack of crop rotation can really hurt this year’s crop and future tomato crops too.”

Tomato plants consume vast amounts of resources from the soil. But without the right soil nutrients, they are susceptible to numerous soil-borne diseases.

The pros said: “Both blossom-end rot and tomato blight, two of the largest killers of tomatoes, are the result of soil issues.

“Blossom rot is due to a deficiency of calcium in the soil. While blight spores can take hold in the soil and stick around to destroy crops for multiple years.”

By gardeners rotating where they plant tomatoes each year, tomatoes can find the nutrients they need, and keep disease at bay.

The expert said: “For best results, never plant tomatoes in the same space in a garden for at least three years.”

2. Planting too early 

Planting too early causes a whole host of problems for tender, young tomato plants. From potential frost and freeze damage, to rot and mould.

Five ‘dangerous’ log burner mistakes you need to ‘avoid’ [EXPERT]
5 ‘common’ bedroom mistakes to ‘avoid’ a ‘cheap and tacky’ aesthetic [INSIGHT]
Lift ‘yellow’ toilet seat stains in 10 minutes with ‘amazing’ 90p item [TIPS]

Gardeners need to allow warmer weather to settle in so that soil temperatures can heat up as well.

According to the garden experts, it takes a solid week to 10 days of 21 to 27 degree daytime temperatures to warm the soil.

A good rule of thumb is to wait until evening temperatures stay in the 10 to 15 degree range before planting.

3. Not planting deep enough 

Tomatoes need to be planted deep to develop “strong, healthy, and resilient roots”, claimed the plant pros.

They instructed gardeners dig down eight to 10 inches to create their planting holes, and bury the plants below their first set of leaves. When filling the planting hole use some compost to give the plant a boost.

4. Not staking before planting 

The experts said: “This is one of the most often committed tomato planting mistakes. Putting stakes and cages in days or weeks after planting is a recipe for disaster.

They advised that before gardeners ever plant that first plant, they should get tomato supports in place. 

Not only does the process of adding supports late “damage plants and plant roots”, the foot traffic also compresses the soil area around the roots as gardeners work.

The experts said: “That compression can keep roots from absorbing both water and nutrients from the soil. And, even more, stunt growth. Waiting too long can also lead to wind damage from plants falling over and breaking off.”

5. Not mulching 

The final common mistake gardeners often make when planting tomatoes is that they are forgetting to mulch them as leaving soil bare will cause all types of issues. Firstly it dries the soil and roots of the plants out at a rapid rate and tomato roots need their moisture.

Mulch also regulates the soil temperature, keeping it from soaring or plummeting on cold or hot days. Worst of all, “competing weeds easily move in” on bare soil to steal nutrients from the soil, claim the experts.

Tomato plants should be munched with a two to four inch thick coating of straw, shredded leaves or compost to help insulate and protect plants as they grow.

Source: Read Full Article