How to Increase Tomato Yield: 6 Tips and Tricks

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For many home gardeners, the tomato is the centerpiece of their garden and rightly so. This luscious summer fruit brings happiness to growers and their lucky families and friends to get to share in the bounty. 

When growing tomatoes, you want to make sure you are getting all the tomatoes possible from the plants that you have. In this article, we will cover some simple ways to boost your tomato production so that you will have plenty to share. 

1. Prepare the Soil for Tomatoes

When trying to figure out how to increase tomato yield, you don’t want to wait until the plants are in the ground. If the plants are already in, make sure to use this tip for next year. 

Tomatoes need deep, rich and well-drained soil so preparing the garden bed is important. Get your soil tested to find out what nutrients you need to add before planting. Also, make sure to check the pH of the soil and adjust it until you end up with a slightly acidic soil that tomatoes love. Make sure that the soil is turned and amended to a depth of at least a foot — even better is two feet so that they can stretch out their roots and get to all those tasty nutrients in the soil. 

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2. Add Eggshells When Planting

Tomatoes love calcium and you probably have a ready supply that you’ve been throwing away. Rinse eggshells and leave them out to dry on a paper towel. Crush them up and add some to each hole when you are setting out your tomato seedlings in the garden. 

Blossom end rot is one of the biggest problems when growing tomatoes and there is nothing like the heartache of watching your almost ripe tomatoes begin to rot on the vine. Lack of calcium is the culprit. If you haven’t already added eggshells and blossom end rot begins to show up, water with some powdered milk and quickly remove all affected fruit. 

3. Plant Seedlings Deep

When you’ve grown your tomatoes from seed and you are ready to plant those seedlings in the soil, make sure to remove some of the bottom leaves on the stem and plant them deep. Those little hairs on the stems actually want to be roots, and once in the soil, they will develop and create an even larger root network for your plant. 

Leave just a few stems at the top of the plant and bury as much stem as you can while keeping any leaves from touching the soil. Always remember to water new transplants really well for the first few days to help them get over the shock. 

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4. Tomato Plants Need Room to Grow

The spacing directions on the seed packet can seem excessive when you are planting out your little seedlings, but remember just how large one tomato plant can grow! Even cherry tomatoes need more room than you may realize. Make sure to check if your tomatoes are determinate (bush tomatoes) or indeterminate (vining tomatoes) since indeterminate tomatoes need more room while they continue to grow and set fruit throughout the season. 

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On average, tomatoes should be spaced about two feet apart, and some need about three feet. Remember you want to be able to move about the plants for harvesting and you don’t want them too crowded; otherwise, they may stay too damp and suffer from fungus and blight. 

5. Don’t Neglect Your Watering Duties

Tomatoes need regular deep waterings for growth and fruiting. Irregular watering stresses plants. If they get too dry and then get too much water while setting fruit, you can end up with tomatoes that split open. 

watering seedling tomato plant

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Watch the weather and your plants closely. You never want to let the soil dry out completely. When you water, you want to make sure to water deeply so that the deepest roots can get nutrients from the soil. Try to make sure that the leaves are able to stay dry to help keep fungus and disease at bay, so water at the roots as much as possible. Save that sprinkler for the lawn. 

6. Add Mulch Around Your Tomatoes

Mulching around your plants is so beneficial that if you only do one of these tips, this might be the one. Adding mulch helps keep water in the soil by slowing evaporation, helps keep the soil temperature steady and comfy for your plants, prevents bacteria and diseases from splashing up from the soil and contaminating your plants, as well as suppressing weeds and just looking nice. 

Enjoy Your Increased Tomato Yield

These tips should help you boost your tomato production so that you can enjoy your tasty bounty all summer long.