How to Train Tomato Plants
Last year I grew tomatoes and they ended up as messy, huge bushes. They produced a great tasty crop but took over my garden. My mother-in-law has picture-perfect, trained tomatoes that elegantly climb a string and produce a mass of fruit. I have enlisted her advice on how to get some-what close to her amazing looking plants.
This is what she taught me:
*A lateral is a shoot that grows in the V shape between the main stem and a leaf.
- Tomato plants will produce well in a rich, fertile soil
- Provide support with a stake (or string). This will allow the plant to get optimum sunshine. As the plant grows attach it to the stake with ties. Make sure the ties are not too tight around the stem.
- Ensure that there is only one main stem for each plant.
- Remove all laterals* as they grow. My plants have been in the ground for more than a month so I had a decent amount of laterals to remove. Some near the bottom of the main stem had roots so I have replanted those. Removing the laterals from the plant (See picture 1) will ensure that the plant is not using its energy to grow branches instead of tomatoes.
- Remove the leaves from the bottom of the plant as they start to wither and yellow.
Following these steps should result in tastier tomatoes, not necessarily more. Quality, not quantity.
Fresh Vegetables in season
For new readers, I set myself a project to collect food from the garden to use in my cooking three times a week. We have had an endless stream of visitors over Christmas. The last of them left Monday. As a result I have been too busy to keep up with that style of post. Be assured we continue to eat from our garden at least three times a week, even if it ends up being salad greens. The recipes I post are things we are eating and as much as possible include ingredients from the garden. There will be an abundance of zucchini, capsicum, eggplant and tomato recipes coming soon. I will also be starting some new projects. You can find all of my recipes on the Cook Fresh page, categorized by food type.
Melbourne weather has changed from extremely hot to cold in the last two weeks. As a result I have had to do some repair work in my garden. My spinach all bolted and went to seed so I have removed a few plants and heavily cut back others to see if they are recoverable. I have been recording progress in my Garden Record Journal. My poor snow peas were doing so well and tasted delicious. None of them actually made it inside the house as Punky (nearly 4) ate them all off the bush. The hot hot weather came and they fried. I have been busy this week feeding the tomato plants and giving all of the garden beds a good soak. Our Ornamental Pears are so confused by the cool weather that some of the leaves have started to change color.
The beans are loving this crazy weather and are quickly growing.
I would love to hear about your garden, you can leave me a comment by clicking on Comments at the end of this post.
In the mean time I have now learned how to also train my tomato plants on string. You can read how to do so here.
You may also like:
Join me here: