Planting your own tomatoes can be very exciting. When you see the flowers growing, the next thing you look forward to is seeing the red ripe luscious red tomatoes. It is not that simple however. They may grow and grow but not necessarily bear fruit. Nothing can be more frustrating than taking care of a fruit bearing plant that does not bear fruit. Here are a few tips to help you.
- Lessen the nitrogen levels in your garden soil. Choose your fertilizers wisely. High nitrogen fertilizers will help your plants grow a lot of leaves and grow very tall. But it will not help grow flowers, which are needed to bear fruit. Instead, increase the calcium intake of your plants. Add phosphate or potash in granular form.
- Expose your tomato plants to a lot of sunlight. Fruit bearing plants need a lot of sunlight. Transfer your tomatoes to the sunniest part of your green house. Tomatoes love the sun. But they do not like the heat so be careful that they do not dry up. Keep the soil moist at all times.
- Fan your plants or give them a good shake once in a while. If there is no natural breeze in your green house, install an electric fan with a low setting for a soft breeze. Turn on the fan twice a day for ten to fifteen minutes. The wind factor will stir them up and force them to strengthen their stems. Strong stems are necessary to bring in the nutrients the tomatoes need to bear fruit. Some farmers literally pick up their tomatoes and give them a little shake and rattle. Sounds like tough love, but it keeps the plant strong and healthy.
- Water them once a week. Tomatoes need to “starve” a little to trigger their natural reproductive cycle. Instead of pampering your plant by watering them little by little daily, water it once a week with one to two glasses of water depending on the size of the plant. Give it a lot of water until the soil can not absorb it all. Eventually, your tomato plant with take it all in. But as mentioned earlier, make sure the soil does not become dry during that one week of “starving” your tomato plant.
- Trim branches that do not bear fruit. These are literally “suckers” since they suck away much needed nutrients by the fruit bearing branches. You can easily identify these branches since they grow less than a millimeter away from larger branches at the top part. When they start to grow, do not be afraid to cut them off immediately.
- Use mulches on your soil. There are different kinds to use but tomatoes prefer straw or thin layers of mulch if your green house is already quite warm. Mulching will help keep the soil moist and warm. Try using plastic too. Tomatoes are tropical plants and are used to the heat.
Be patient with your tomato plants. A lot of factors affect their growth
and fruit bearing potential. Tomatoes can be very sensitive too.
Provide them with what they need and they will provide you with fresh
healthy red tomatoes.