How to Care For Tomato Plants

Written by andrea hermitt
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Having a garden is a great way to help cut down on your grocery bill. If you have never planted a garden before, tomato plants are a great place to start. In between planting and harvesting your tomatoes, you are in for a bit of work. They need to be weeded, fed, watered and more. Here are instructions on how to care for tomato plants.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

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Things you need

  • Water
  • Fertilizer
  • Stakes
  • Ties
  • Spray bottles
  • Mild detergent

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Water the tomato plants. After you have chosen and planted the tomato plants, you need to water them often. Tomato plants need constant moisture, but not so much that they are waterlogged. If you do not water the tomatoes enough, the skin may split. Check the soil around the tomato plant several times a week; if it is not moist add more water. To help prevent the plants from drying out or getting root rot, water the plants on a schedule.

  2. 2

    Weed your tomato plants. Tomato plants tend to attract stray weeds. Pull the weeds around the tomato plants whenever you water them so the weeds do not attract pests and spread diseases to your tomatoes. Add mulch around the tomato plants to help discourage weeds.

  3. 3

    Feed the tomato plants. As the fruit on your tomato plant begins to show, you need to fertilise it. Typically, this is in the late summer (August). Fertilise the tomato plant once every two or three weeks. As plants begin to get heavy, (September) add general fertiliser that is high in nitrogen to make the plant strong enough to support the fruit and foliage.

  4. 4

    Support the tomato plants. Tie the stem of the tomato plant to a support stake. Use ties that will not break or damage the tomato plants.

  5. 5

    Protect the tomato plants. There are several different pests that may target the tomato plants. There are whiteflies, red spider mites and aphids, which you can fight by spraying the plants with a water and gentle detergent solution. If these infestations get out of hand, you may need to ask your garden centre about pest control sprays. You also need to watch for mosaic virus which is when the leaves become mottled, yellow and distorted. If this happens, the infected plants need to be dug up and destroyed by burning. Be careful not to spread the virus to neighbouring plants. Never handle a healthy plant after handling a plant with mosaic virus.

Tips and warnings

  • As the tomatoes grow and become ripe, pick them and enjoy.

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