Do you want to master your green thumb this summer? Tomatoes are incredibly juicy and versatile summer treats that make for an impressive garden but offer many challenges. Factors like rain amount, watering levels, temperature, UV strength, plant weight, weeds, tomato pests, garden soil, and fertilizer can all prevent you from growing the perfect plump fruits unless you can find the ideal balance.
Here at A Garden Patch, we want to help you learn how to take care of tomato plants in the summer, so we’ve pulled together our top tips below.
Tips are not foolproof, so if you want to protect your plants’ health, try using the GrowBox—a convenient gardening planter that takes care of the potting soil, watering, and fertilizing for you. Even if you’re a complete beginner, you can remove the guesswork of gardening and become a master with the Growbox.
1. Give the Plants a Break From the Sun
Tomato plants love the sun, but not all the time. We recommend allowing for around four hours of shade per day during the hottest hours of the afternoon. Too much intense sun prevents the plants from flowering and producing your favorite tomato varieties.
Usually, you should try to shield the plants from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m., or somewhere near that range. If you have potted plants, like the GrowBox, you can simply move the planter into a shady area. When growing tomatoes in the ground, cover them with a sheet or use an umbrella to protect them.
2. Water Just the Right Amount
Over- or under-watering any plant is super easy to do, especially when taking care of tomato plants. You must soak through the root system until reaching the root ball. After a thorough watering, leave the plant alone for a few days.
On average, you should water the plant about one inch per week. One big soak works better than daily watering so that you don’t accidentally drown the roots.
Finding the perfect water balance can feel impossible. If you struggle with over-or under-watering, try using the self-watering tomato planter from GrowBox to always water the ideal amount. The GrowBox waters plants from the bottom up, so you can always soak the roots without drowning the entire plant.
3. Pick Unripe Orange Fruits
You may feel tempted to leave each fruit on its stem until it turns bright red, though this puts you at a much higher pest and damage risk. The softer the fruit becomes, the more likely it will attract creepy crawlers or small animals. If you wait too long, you risk the fruit falling from the plant and squashing.
Many tomato plants won’t even produce red fruit in the summer at all due to the intense heat. As soon as the fruit turns orange, pick it and bring it into the shade or inside to ripen until it’s ready to eat.
4. Mulch Is Your Friend
Many people don’t realize that soil temperature is just as important as air temperature. If your soil becomes too hot, it will damage all of the important root systems beneath the plant. Adding a layer of mulch, hay, or compost atop your potting soil or in-ground garden can protect the dirt from intense UV rays.
When it comes to using mulch, don’t feel afraid. Continually add to your top layer to ensure that the soil stays cool beneath. Mulch can also help feed the soil, lock in moisture, and split apart any weeds that try to grow.
The GardenBox comes with a Nutrient Patch layer that you can place directly on top of the soil so that you don’t need to deal with the hassle of buying mulch. The Nutrient Patch protects dirt from the sun, feeds the plant, and helps keep everything moist.
5. Remove Any Weeds
Getting rid of weeds is challenging. Weeds love to grow in nutrient-rich gardens. These annoying plants can take over your entire garden and steal vital water and food from your tomato plants.
Do not attempt to hoe your garden as you may damage your tomato plant’s roots. Some suggest using a fertilizer, though you must find the right one that won’t damage your plants. You can also try pulling weeds every time you see one pop up.
The GardenBox is the best solution for preventing weeds in the first place. The Nutrient Patch fertilizer covers the entire exposed portion of the plant, stopping any weeds in their tracks.
The box’s intelligent design also helps you avoid other plant enemies like root rot and fungus. By allowing airflow from the top and bottom, you can take total control over every portion of the plant.
6. Avoid Over-Fertilizing
Fertilizer helps plants grow, which may sound good, but it can also create problems during hot months. With too much fertilizer, your plant will produce too many leaves and become too heavy. The weight will weaken the entire plant, placing it at higher risk for damage.
When it comes to taking care of tomato plants, using just the right amount of fertilizer can feed the plants and promote fruit growth without creating a heavy tangle of leaves. If you often wrestle with finding the proper balance, consider the GrowBox, as it automatically dispenses fertilizer whenever the plants need it.
The intelligent Nutrient Patch slowly and constantly sends fertilizer into the soil so that you never have to think about whether the plants need it.
7. Skip the Headache and Use the GrowBox
If you struggle with taking care of tomato plants during the summer, or any season, try using the Garden Patch GrowBox. Our automatic planter takes care of everything for you so that you can enjoy fresh tomatoes on every sandwich this summer. You can order online or call us today at (800) 519-1955 to order by phone.
Do you want to learn more about how to master your green thumb? If so, keep reading to learn more tips on how to grow tomatoes!