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TOMATO GROWING TIPS

By: Aflatoon

Posted on: May 14, 02

Plant deep: Bury a tomato plant's stem and the stem will sprout a slew of new roots that help the plant grow sturdy and tall quickly. You can bury just about all of stem?pluck off the branches below the top flush of leaves.

Feed the soil first: Avoid the common mistake of overfeeding your tomatoes. They thrive in soil that's rich in humus for extensive, well-nourished root systems and potassium (K) for strong stems. Add too much nitrogen (N) and you'll have a big, lush plant with very little fruit.

Pluck the first flowers: Growing deep, extensive roots and a full leaf canopy will help establish newly transplanted tomatoes. Many experienced tomato growers pull off the first flowers, so the plant does not devote energy to forming fruit before its roots and foliage have filled out. Amy Goldman, who grows hundreds of heirloom tomatoes in her Rhinebeck, New York, garden each season, reports, "I pull off all the flowers until the plants reach at least 1 foot tall." She also pulls off all the suckers (shoots that emerge from the main stem below the first fruiting branch).

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