Gardening enthusiasts often view tomato plants as annuals, nurturing them through the growing season and discarding them in the fall. However, what if you could extend the life of your tomato plants through the winter? Overwintering tomato plants is indeed possible, but it requires some know-how. Let’s explore various methods and tips on how to successfully overwinter tomato plants.
Can You Overwinter Tomato Plants?
Tomatoes thrive in warm temperatures and full sun, making them a quintessential warm-season crop. However, temperatures below 60°F (16°C) hinder pollination and fruit development, prompting many to abandon their tomato plants as the weather cools. While tomatoes are typically grown as annuals, they are native to South America, where they can thrive as perennials. This prompts the question: Can you overwinter tomatoes? The answer is yes, but the goal is not to harvest vine-ripened tomatoes in winter. Instead, the aim is for the plants to survive until they can resume fruit production in warmer temperatures.
Growing Tomatoes in a Greenhouse in Winter
An ideal method for overwintering tomato plants involves utilizing a greenhouse. Equipped with a heater, a greenhouse provides a controlled environment for the plants during the winter. To successfully overwinter tomatoes in a greenhouse, pot them up before the first frost. It’s essential not to maintain tropical warmth; instead, allow the potted tomatoes to acclimate gradually. If your objective is fruit production, play the pollinator role by fertilizing the plants every 4-6 weeks. However, if you aim to keep the plants alive without expecting fruit, the temperature does not need to increase significantly.
Best Ways to Overwinter Tomatoes
For those without access to a greenhouse, three alternative methods for overwintering tomatoes exist: overwintering as stem cuttings, moving entire tomato plants indoors, or keeping the plants in bare-root dormancy.
Overwintering Tomato Cuttings
Taking tomato cuttings prior to the first frost provides a head start for spring. Cut a 3-5 inch (7.5-13 cm) stem from an actively growing branch or terminal end. Remove excess leaves, place the cut end in water, and put it in a sunny window. Once white roots appear, transplant the cuttings into a pot with a potting medium. As temperatures warm, harden off the cuttings and transplant them outside.
Moving Entire Tomato Plants Indoors
While seemingly straightforward, bringing entire tomato plants indoors has challenges. Grow lights are necessary due to the insufficient sunlight during winter days. Choose compact or dwarf varieties for consistent growth under lights. Be cautious of pests; spray plants before bringing them indoors. In spring, gradually reintroduce the plants to outdoor conditions before planting.
Keeping Tomato Plants in Bare-Root Dormancy
An old-school method involves allowing tomato plants to overwinter with no soil around their roots. Cut the plant back, remove soil, wrap the roots in damp material, and store in a cool area. Check moisture levels every six weeks. In spring, pot up the plants before the last frost or plant them directly in the garden after the danger of frost has passed.
In conclusion, overwintering tomato plants opens up possibilities for extending their life beyond the typical growing season. Whether in a greenhouse, as stem cuttings, or in bare-root dormancy, these methods offer alternatives to discarding your tomato plants, allowing you to enjoy fresh tomatoes for a more extended period.
The san marzano tomato is perhaps the most delicious variety we have ever come across. It’s quite large and full of flavor. But the best part has to be that it’s such an easy-to-grow tomato plant. It requires just like any other a warm place with healthy and well-drained soil.
Below we will share with you our approach to growing this wonderful tomato variety. It’s a must for most people to try growing at least once in their gardening career.
What Are San Marzano Tomatoes
The san marzano tomato variety is native to Italy and it’s also here where most of them are grown and cultivated. It fits into the climate very well here. A place where there is a lot of sunlight every day and the temperatures never really drop too much are all great conditions to start growing san marzano there.
It’s a variety that is sort of similar to the Roma tomatoes. It has an almost pear-like shape, not the complete sphere shape that most grocery stores have. Grow lights are great for people without a large garden, here we share some tips and tricks, Best Grow Lights For Tomatoes Indoors.
How To Plant San Marzano Tomatoes
If you have managed to get your hands on some san marzano tomato seeds then the first step is done. Now we want to plant them. We do this in small cultivating containers. They are meant to be used to grow seedlings from seed.
You begin by first filling the containers with some soil. We like to use soil which is loose and will let the water run through very easily. That way we can avoid any issues with overwatering.
Place the seed on the top soil and light pack it down with some more soil. Water the soil a little bit. It should be no more than damp for the ideal growing conditions. Keep the containers in a very sunny and warm place. It won’t take too long for the seeds to start germinating.
It’s important that you keep an eye on the growth of the seeds in order to notice whether any issues come up. Keep the soil slightly damp all the time and you should be ready to transplant this seedling by the time summer comes around.
We like to start cultivating these seedlings indoors around February to March. That way we have a lot of time to get them growing steadily and get a good foundation.
How To Grow San Marzano Tomatoes
Once you have grown your seedlings of san marzano it’s time to plant them in some larger containers or on freeland. If you live in a slightly colder place then you should greatly consider planting them in a greenhouse. That way you can avoid the risk of the tomatoes not ripening.
Greenhouses are often used for temperature-sensitive plants to let them grow a bit more safely. Make sure you have some support for the tomato plants that they can learn and grow on.
Make sure the soil is never really drying out too much. Keep it damp just like when you cultivated the small seedlings indoors. Once the plant has started flowering and developed some tomatoes you can begin pruning. We like to prune any of the stems and leaves that are of no use. That means stems where no flowers are growing. These just take up unnecessary energy.
Related Tomato Varieties
There are actually quite a lot of different san marzano varieties out there. Let’s take a look at some of the subvarieties that we have really enjoyed growing throughout the years.
Heirloom San Marzano, This is sort of the original. It has a long-shaped tomato full of sweetness and richness to it. Great to grow in warmer climates where the temperature is high and the humidity low.
San Marzano Scatalone is a later ripening variety that is rich in flavor. It provides plenty of harvest throughout the whole season. The shape of the fruit might be a little bit more pear-shaped compared to others though.
San Marzano Pink does just like the name suggests. Produces a more pinkish fruit that is just as rich in sweetness as the other varieties we mentioned. A great variety for beginners since it’s pretty easy to get a hold of.
San Marzano Plant Care
Once you have a san marzano plant growing at home you also need to care for it. That means looking after the soil mostly. We need to have it growing in slightly damp soil in order to give the best environment for the roots.
But fertilizing the soil is just as important as also watering the soil. The two go sort of hand in hand really. We use manure about once a month to help fertilize the soil. This makes the plants in there very happy as a boost of nutrients is added. Planting tomatoes with the correct distance between plants is vital, learn more here, How Far Apart To Plant Tomatoes For Best Growth.
Best Soil For San Marzano Tomatoes
The best soil for growing san marzano tomatoes has to be slightly loose soil with some sand and clay in it. That helps the roots have an easier time penetrating the soil and establishing themselves.
The reason we need loose soil is also about the way water travels through it. A looser soil is better for drainage. It makes water move away from the roots, which prevents any of them from drowning. Root rot is caused by there being too much water in the soil.
How To Harvest San Marzano Tomatoes
Harvesting san marzano tomatoes are actually very easy. It all really comes down to checking the fruit first. We want them to have some give to them and be a deep red color. That means they have developed enough flavor and are ready to be plucked.
Once you have harvested the tomatoes you shouldn’t put them in the fridge. Instead, leave them outside and they will continue to ripen a little bit more. Tomatoes that are eaten at room temperature compared to cold are so much better.
Let’s summarize a little bit of what we have talked about. Planting san marzano tomatoes is best done in February and March. Make sure the soil is well draining and the room warm and lets a lot of sun in.
Plant the tomatoes on freeland when the temperatures are warm. Keep the soil slightly damp and prune any stems that aren’t growing tomatoes on them to further push energy toward the existing fruit.
Are San Marzano Tomatoes Hard To Grow
From what we have experienced, growing san marzano tomatoes are really not that much harder compared to growing any other variety. It’s all about making sure the climate and environment are right for the plant.
How Many Tomatoes Will A San Marzano Plant Produce
A san marzano plant is one of the better-yielding varieties out there. It can produce up to about 20 pounds of tomatoes quite easily. Compare that to cherry tomatoes where it’s normal to get just half that.
Are San Marzano Tomatoes Bush Or Vine
The san marzano plant grows more like a vine than a small bush. But with that said it can still grow quite a lot of leaves to give off a more bushy appearance. Just make sure you have adequate amounts of support for the plant.
The way that tomato plants grow their roots can be a very interesting fact and also use one to know, that way you can pair it up with other plants that either match or complement the way it grows.
Depending on the way your soil is built up and how to lose it is, the tomato roots can grow about 2 – 3 deep at least. That is if you have healthy soil that also promotes the continued growth of the plant. Below we will take a closer look at the way tomato roots are grown. Growing San Marzano tomatoes are a great addition to any garden, here is our guide, How To Plant And Grow San Marzano Tomatoes.
Different Tomato Roots
There are different ways that the roots of the tomato plant grow. It could either be a long root, also called a taproot. The other option is the more thinly spread-out root system, also referred to as a more fibrous root system.
There isn’t a root system that is better than the other. But if you want to pair your tomato plant with other close plant companion plants then it’s worth knowing these things. The taproot tomato varieties for example are great to have growing next to herbs for example. Herbs like sage and oregano will grow thin and noncompetitive roots that stay mostly at the surface. That way you can get more efficient with the space you have at your disposal.
How Deep Do Tomato Roots Grow
The roots of a tomato plant will grow the deepest if it’s a taproot variety. These can grow as deep as 2 – 3 feet if you have a healthy root system. Often achieved by keeping the soil slightly damp and well fertilized. That will help ensure you have a healthy root system able to continue to grow and flourish.
The fibrous root system will stay much closer to the surface but can still grow a few feet deep in the soil. The roots are thinner and more dependent on each other than just one single main root.
The Structure Of Tomato Roots
There are basically two different structures to the way tomato roots grow. They are specific to the variety of tomatoes that you are growing. Usually, this information will be noted on the package of tomato seeds that you bought.
But to put it simply, there is a taproot which is the structure where there is a single main root growing deep. The other is the fibrous root system where there is a large system and network of roots growing almost like a bundle together.
How To Promote Tomato Roots
The most proven way of getting a healthy root system would be to have healthy soil that the plant is growing. That means properly fertilizing the soil every now and again. We like to use eggshells for this actually.
Eggshells have the added benefit of getting more calcium into the soil. This helps the plants have a better immune system. It reduces the risk of disease and pets starting to take a hold of the plants. In our experience, it makes for a more robust plant able to provide great harvests too.
Choosing The Right Spot For Tomato Plants
You need to be aware of the plane that you are growing your tomato plant in. That means having good soil that will support its growth of it and not hinder it. Slightly loose soil will be the best.
Less hard soil will make it easier for the roots to grow and dig deeper. Roots that are able to better establish themselves will have an easier time also passing on nutrients to the rest of the plant. A soil that is a bit looser will also make it easier for water to drain away. There will usually be some excess water that is not necessary for the plant to take up. Instead, it’s better to let that drain away. Grow lights for tomatoes indoors are great for people in apartments, here we share some good tips, Best Grow Lights For Tomatoes Indoors.
Tomato Roots In Containers And Pots
If you are growing tomatoes in a container, then you will most likely have a root system that is fibrous. That fits better for a restrained amount of soil for the plant to grow in. A taproot would eventually run out of soil to grow through.
So to put it simply, if you know you have a taproot variety of tomatoes then you should stay away from using containers to grow them in. It will do more harm than good in all honesty.
Best Soil For Tomato Roots
The absolute best soil for a tomato plant will be one that is slightly sandy and with some clay present too. It will help create a looser soil where the roots have an easier time really digging down and getting all the nutrients they need and further establish themselves.
But a loser soil also has the added benefit of helping lead excess water away. That makes it less likely that you will experience root rot. An issue where not enough oxygen can reach the roots and they begin to drown instead.
Tomato Root Issues
There are some more common issues than others when it comes to tomato roots. The issue we see the most is about overwatering the soil and causing the roots to start rotting instead. This will eventually have really detrimental effects on the overall health of the plant.
It will give off a smell from the soil that you should pretty easily be able to sniff out. It’s the roots beginning to rot. But there are also diseases that can take a hold of your plant. Signs of that happening could be that the leaves start wrinkling or curling up.
How Deep Do Cherry Tomato Roots Grow
Cherry tomatoes are a great plant to keep in containers or pots, meaning that they have a fibrous root system. They won’t grow as deep as taproot varieties, somewhere about 1 foot or so at most is normal.
If you were to dig up a cherry tomato plant you would see a big cluster of the root network. You can more or less say that cherry tomatoes will fill the container that it’s growing in with the roots.
How Deep Should A Raised Bed Be For Tomatoes
A raised bed that is used for growing tomatoes should be at least a foot deep. If you can manage that then you can grow cherry tomatoes or bush tomatoes in general there. Otherwise, you are better off growing them on freeland instead.
Do Tomato Roots Go Deep Or Wide
There is basically two different systems for tomatoes to grow their roots. Either in a long straight way called the taproot system. But there is also the other one called the fibrous root system. Here the roots are smaller and more like a bundle.
How Far Down Do Tomato Roots Grow
If you have a tomato variety with a taproot root system then you can expect it to grow as deep as 2 – 3 feet at most. That is if you have healthy soil with encourages growth like that.
Some plants are just not meant to be planted next to a tomato plant. They will negatively interfere with each other and create a hostile environment to grow in. Things we just don’t want to have in our garden. Companion planting is all about balance and harmony between the plants we choose to have.
Below we are taking a look at some of the plants that really never should come close to a tomato plant. They don’t work well together and will do more harm than good. If you are an experienced gardener then you might recognize some of these but as a beginner, this might be completely new.
What Is Companion Planting
Companion planting is about creating a balance between the plants you have. More or less we are creating a balanced ecosystem where one plant benefits the nearby ones.
It could be to plant flowers next to trees or plants that need pollinators. That will help make sure you get a good harvest for the season. But some plants aren’t meant to be close to each other. It could be about introducing devastating diseases to a plant that normally doesn’t get them. The roots of a tomato plant are important to care for, here we teach you some good routines, How Deep Do Tomato Roots Grow Normally.
10 Plants To Never Grow Close To Tomatoes
Let’s dive into the plants that shouldn’t be planted next to tomato plants. There aren’t really that many so it should be easy enough to avoid these. There are way more beneficial ones compared to negative ones.
Cabbage plants are not that great of a choice to have next to a tomato plant. They are very space heavy and will spread themselves quite widely. If you haven’t accounted for that then you will quickly notice your cabbage plant will push out the tomato plant. The stem will get twisted and bent and might even break eventually.
So try and keep your cabbage separated from any other plants really to give them the space that they need to grow.
There is a disease that is shared among both corn and tomato plants. It can be devastating to other plants if it surfaces. So the argument for keeping corn as far away from tomatoes is to reduce the risk of this disease starting to grow and develop. It just leads to misery in the garden really if it comes. It makes other plants start wilting and no amount of energy and effort can undo the damage.
Dill can be a negative plant to keep next to tomato plants since it’s pretty hardy and might even push out your tomato plant. Dill is known to grow for two years. The second year it will surface hardier than ever and your tomato plants won’t have a chance to battle against the vast root system that the dill has developed already.
Just like corn, fennel also carries a very devastating disease. But it’s one that affects the root system of the tomato plant. It will cause the roots to almost start burning and eventually they won’t enable to take up any more energy as they begin to die off. This can as you might guess be lethal to a tomato plant. So do yourself a favor and just avoid planting fennel close to tomatoes.
The tomato and potato plants are both members of the nightshade family, which means that the plants both need the same nutrients. So planting potatoes next to tomato plants will just cause you to get unnecessary amounts of competition in your garden. The two will butt heads against each other and you will see a decrease in quality and harvest from the two.
Just like the potato, the eggplant is also a part of the nightshade family. This means that both tomatoes and eggplants need the same nutrients and place to grow in. It creates a difficult environment for the two to be in. But the second negative part about eggplants would be that they are susceptible to blight. Tomatoes are also, so spreading this disease more easily around your garden just seems really unnecessary.
This is honestly not the most common combination. But it should be mentioned that walnuts and tomatoes do not go well together. The walnut tree will intact and start to release chemicals in the soil that will greatly affect the tomato plant. It will eventually cause the roots to be harmed and no longer able to take any nutrients from the soil.
Cauliflower is a very demanding vegetable to grow at home. It requires a lot of time and effort to get right. The plant needs a lot to grow successfully, and one of those things is space. If you plant cauliflowers too close to tomato plants then you will release soon that the tomato plant will get pushed out. It will have devastating effects on the health of the plant.
Broccoli is just like cauliflower, a very demanding plant to grow. It requires quite a lot of space to grow properly. But it also has the possibility of attracting some bugs and diseases that will harm your tomato plant too. So inviting that harm into your garden should just be avoided altogether.
Kale is perhaps one of the hardiest vegetables you could grow at home. Kale, be that green kale or black kale has a really strong root system. This could risk pushing out your tomato plant. But just like cauliflowers and broccoli plants, they also could risk introducing new insects and bugs to your tomato plant. That will harm the leaves and in turn the harvest as well.
What To Plant With Tomatoes To Keep Bugs Away
In general, herbs is the best plant to have to keep bugs away. Basil, oregano, and sage are all really good plants to grow to keep bugs away from tomato plants.
The best part about these herbs is that they are very easy to care for. Watering the soil every now and again is the work that’s needed. They also work well with tomato plants too of course since they won’t be in direct competition with them either. San Marzano tomatoes are great to grow, here is our definitive guide to it, How To Plant And Grow San Marzano Tomatoes.
Why Should You Not Plant Cucumbers Near Tomatoes
The argument for keeping cucumbers away from tomatoes is that the large leaves will shade the lower parts of the tomato plant. If you grow a large tomato variety then you might not experience any issues, it’s more about keeping cherry tomatoes close by when the issues start to appear.
In short, there are some plants that really shouldn’t be planted next to tomato plants. The argument comes down to that we want to reduce the risk of introducing diseases and insects to the tomato plant. But also about not creating a competitive environment where the plants both want the same nutrients.
What Are The Worst Companion Plants For Tomatoes
The worst possible plants to keep next to tomato plants would be both corn and fennel. They increase the risk of some really harmful diseases and pests beginning to appear on your tomato plant.
What Do I Plant Next To Tomatoes
The best plants to keep close by tomato plants are herbs and flowers. They will repel insects and harmful bugs and will instead help attract pollinators like bees.
Can You Plant Tomatoes And Peppers Together
Tomatoes and peppers are great together. They help create a vibrant environment for both of them to grow in. Air circulators are better and reduce the risk that any mold or bacteria would begin to grow on the stems of the plants.
There can’t really be a clear answer for all tomatoes about how much they can produce. A beefsteak variety will produce vastly more tomatoes in terms of quantity from one plant compared to a small cherry tomato plant. But the interesting part might be in the yield per plant you are getting.
Let’s dive deeper into the topic of how many tomatoes you can expect to get from one plant. It shouldn’t deter you from growing certain varieties just because they might yield less than others. The important part is that you grow something you think is tasty and delicious.
How Many Tomatoes Can You Get Per Plant
The average amount of tomatoes you can expect from one plant will be between 10 to 30 pounds per plant. The upper end of that is from varieties such as beefsteak tomato or san marzano. Two varieties are sort of known for producing large quantities of tomatoes for the space and attention they require.
The smaller plants like cherry tomatoes or Sungold will yield smaller harvests. But like we said previously, the flavors you get from these varieties are just as tasty and delicious as the larger varieties. It really is just a preference game when choosing the variety of tomatoes that you want. Either larger and high-yielding plants or smaller and more manageable ones. Some plants should never be planted next to tomatoes, here are some of the worst ones, 10 Plants To Never Grow Close To Tomatoes.
What Are The Best Tomato Varieties
In terms of flavor and getting a good and bountiful harvest then there is no better than the san marzano variety. This one can provide you with great harvests. The flavor is rich and sweet. It might just be the best one for making homemade tomato sauce. All in all a great beginner option since the attention it requires is pretty slim too.
The second favorite we have is the Sungold tomato. This is a yellow variety that has a very sweet and slightly acidic flavor profile. They are the best snack tomato variety we know of. They ripen quickly and early on but continue growing new ones throughout the whole season.
Determinate vs Indeterminate Plants
The difference between the determinate and indeterminate plants is more or less their size of them. The determined tomato varieties were shown in an experiment to be able to yield higher amounts per plant compared to indeterminate ones.
The experiment was done in a greenhouse where the temperatures remained elevated and the water was well kept. But it all really comes down to specific varieties and not the group of tomatoes you are grouping them into.
A plant that might begin to flower very early on in the season will generally speaking get more tomatoes growing throughout the one starting to flower later on. So a cherry tomato plant could outpace a larger beefsteak tomato in theory.
Best Yielding Tomato Varieties
Generally speaking, one of the best-yielding tomato varieties is the san marzano one. It has the capacity to provide almost 30 pounds of tomatoes throughout its lifetime. That means it might be one of the best options compared to smaller cherry tomatoes for example.
The reason we say the san marzano and not beefsteak tomatoes is that this one has a more consistent yield during the year. We have often found that beefsteak tomatoes have all of it coming at the same time, whilst san marzano can provide an almost daily harvest. The roots of tomatoes grow differently and it’s important to know how, here we teach you how, How Deep Do Tomato Roots Grow Normally.
Large Tomato Plants vs Small Plants
We have mentioned the impact the size of the tomato plant has in terms of the number of tomatoes you will get from them. The larger plants often have a really large harvest since they are able to grow more. But the smaller and more bushy tomato varieties are instead yielding a consistent harvest almost every day throughout the season.
We like a mix of both. The biggest advantage of growing smaller tomato plants is the flexibility they offer. We can move them around the garden to get them the best amount of sunlight each day. That normally means the flavor and aroma of the fruit will be so much better.
How To Get More Tomatoes Per Plant
There are many different qualities that affect the number of tomatoes that you can expect to get. Let’s look at some of the things we ourselves can help the plant get and in turn have a healthier plant life.
The soil is incredibly important since that will decide the amount of nutrition the rest of the plant is able to take up. We strive to keep the soil slightly damp in order to prevent the risk of overwatering and damaging the root system instead. That can otherwise have detrimental effects like drowning the roots and causing rot to spread.
This is incredibly important since it will help the tomatoes ripen properly and also lets the leaves perform photosynthesis. That is a vital process where the leaves take up the sunlight and turn it into energy for the rest of the plant to use up. It helps grow the plant and ensures its continuation of the plant.
Getting the most from the soil is very important as we mentioned, but sometimes it’s necessary to give it a push in the right direction. We like to every month or so use some fertilizers to help boost the amount of nutrition the plant is able to get. Too much should be avoided though to prevent harming the roots instead.
This is our secret weapon to make the plant grow even better. It helps with getting bigger and better harvests too. We prune the stems and leaves which are vital to the health of the plant. Stems which has not developed any flowers aren’t really needed. Pruning them will lead to the energy and nutrition of the tomatoes instead of growing new leaves.
How Many Kilograms Of Tomatoes Can One Plant Produce
A tomato plant can produce anywhere between 4 – 12 kg of tomatoes per plant. It will all be determined by the variety though. Plants like san marzano or beefsteak are able to yield much higher weights compared to tomatoes grown in pots, like the cherry tomato.
To summarize this article a little bit we can say that there isn’t a set amount of tomatoes a plant can yield. It will all be decided by the variety. Beefsteak tomato plants are able to produce up to 30 pounds while a cherry tomato one will be about 10 pounds instead.
Making sure the plant is getting a lot of sunlight and also nutrition from the soil will further help you get more harvest from the plants that you have growing.
Can You Have Too Many Tomatoes On One Plant
You can’t really get too many tomatoes on one plant. You might get tomatoes that don’t have time to ripen, but that is often caused by the season-ending early and the temperatures dropping quickly.
Do Tomato Plants Keep Producing
Tomato plants will keep producing all throughout the season if that is the variety you have chosen. But eventually, the plant will grow tired and not develop flowers that turn into fruits.
How Much Does A Tomato Plant Yield
A tomato plant can yield anywhere between 10 – 30 pounds of harvest. But it will be decided by the variety that you have chosen. If you get beefsteak tomatoes for example then you can expect quite a large harvest for the year.
The beefsteak tomato plant might be one of the more demanding varieties of tomatoes to grow at home, but the rewards you will get are well worth it. The size of most varieties of beefsteak tomatoes is quite large.
Below we will give you our full guide to growing and caring for a beefsteak tomato plant at home. It’s a great option for the gardener who wants more of a challenge and also more of a harvest as well.
What Are Beefsteak Tomatoes
The beefsteak tomato is one of the more common varieties of tomatoes. It has an almost balloon-like appearance where the flesh is large and meat-like, just like the name suggests.
Rich in vitamins and nutrition with a lovely sweetness and richness to it. Compared to cherry tomatoes, beefsteak tomatoes are so much sweeter. They are great since a whole one will provide you with almost a full portion. They can weigh up to 2,5 pounds if they have grown well. Some varieties yield more harvests than others, here we share our favorites, How Many Tomatoes Can You Get Per Plant.
Best Beefsteak Tomato Varieties
There are a lot of different beefsteak tomato varieties out there to choose from. They will more or less grow the same way but differ in size and look a little bit. Let’s list some of the ones we have cultivated very successfully throughout the years.
Cherokee Purple, This might be the most flavourful variety of beefsteak tomato out there. Rich and plumb it’s great for beginners to get a taste of what it’s like to grow this genre of tomatoes. The best part is that it’s easy to cultivate and rarely sees any diseases.
Black Krim, Orginitagin from the Black Sea, hence the name. With a darker flesh and an almost salty flavor to it. It’s a unique variety that we really appreciate for the intense flavor and aroma you get from it.
Brandywine, This is a later-ripening tomato variety that has an intense and very flavourful profile. The yields are rather low compared to other tomatoes, but it makes up for that and more with the flavor of it. The Brandywine variety has gotten a reputation though for ripening a little bit irregularly.
How To Plant Beefsteak Tomatoes
Planting a beefsteak tomato is really not that different from any other tomato plant, we want to cultivate them indoors the first month of the year. The way we can grow really healthy seedlings is before planting them outdoors instead.
Make sure you have small containers where there are holes in the bottom. That way we can avoid drowning the roots when watering the soil. Too much water and no oxygen can circulate in the soil.
Plant the seeds just above the soil and lightly tap them down. Cover with soil and lightly water the surface of the soil too. Leave them in a warm place where there is plenty of access to sunlight. It will take a few weeks for you to see the first signs of life. After a few months or until the weather has become warmer you can first start planting the seedlings in another place where they will remain for the rest of the season.
How To Grow And Care For Beefsteak Tomatoes
Once you have healthy seedlings of beefsteak tomatoes then you can begin to transplant them into other places in your garden where they will continue thriving and eventually produce harvests for you.
Choose a place where there is good drainage to avoid damaging the roots of the plant. But look also at the amount of light the plants are getting there. We strive for about 8 hours of sun each day at least. This will help ensure the tomatoes will ripen properly and develop all the flavor we want.
As for caring for the plant during its growth, it mostly comes down to ensuring the soil is kept well watered. We never want it to dry out too much. Instead, we aim for soil that is slightly damp all the time. That will help create the ideal condition for the plants to grow in.
Harvesting Beefsteak Tomatoes
The best way of growing any plant would definitely be to finally harvest the vegetable or fruits from it. It’s really simple to harvest beefsteak tomatoes once they are fully ripened, simply pluck them from the stems.
But the difficult part might be to know when the tomatoes are fully ripened. We like to feel them before picking them. They should have a small give to them if they are ripe, but also a very deep red color, depending on the variety too of course. If it fulfills all these things then that means the plant has developed enough flavor and aromas to be ready.
Tomato seedlings are very fragile and need a lot of attention and care before being transplanted to another spot. We prefer looking at the way they are growing in order to choose the healthiest plants.
One that grows straight without bending or falling over is a sign of good health. Any leaves that are beginning to bend or curl mean the seedling has been stressed. A stressed seedling will have a harder time eventually beginning to grow where you plant it.
Make sure you are keeping the soil slightly damp all the time on top of finding a nice and sunny spot for the seedlings to be cultivated in.
Pests And Diseases
There are unfortunately some different pests and diseases that can affect tomato plants. But they often come when the plant has been stressed and is more susceptible to these illnesses.
A common sign to look for is if there are white spots appearing on the plant. That would be mold from spores beginning to take hold. Looking at the eaves is also important, if they are turning yellow that might be a pest starting to devour the plant.
Maintaining A Beefsteak Tomato Plant
It’s simple to maintain and grow a beefsteak tomato plant once you have transplanted it in the spot it will stay in for the remaining season. If the area is warm and the soil well draining then you have most of the work covered already. Just make sure the soil is never left to dry out too much.
A stressed tomato plant will have a more difficult time at developing flavor and aroma in the fruit. So for the most flavourful beefsteak tomatoes, you should aim to keep the soil slightly damp.
Beefsteak Tomato Plant Flowering
If you are beginning to see your tomato plant flowering then that is a great sign of health. Now the flowers need to be pollinated in order for tomatoes to grow there. This can be greatly helped if you have flowers nearby to attract pollinators.
Beefsteak Tomato Plant Spacing
Spacing between tomato plants differs mostly whether they are small or large plants. Since beefsteak tomatoes are larger varieties they will need about 2 feet apart from each plant to avoid any unnecessary competition.
Beefsteak Tomato Plant Height
Beefsteak tomato plants can actually grow rather tall. Somewhere between 5 – 6 feet at least is not very uncommon. So make sure you have a good structure by which the plant can be supported.
There are many different benefits of using eggshells for the soil where is plant is growing. But the impact will be different depending on what you are growing. Could eggshells really benefit tomato plants in terms of growth and health?
Below we will talk about the impact that eggshells will have on your tomatoes. The addition of calcium will help boost the help of your plant as the element is a vital nutrient. It improves the health and defense system against disease and pests.
The Benefits Of Eggshells In The Soil
As we mentioned before, the addition of eggshells to the soil is calcium. For a lot of plants, calcium is a very important nutrient to get as it will help boost the natural defense system that it has. It reduces the risk that any disease and pests might get a hold of the plant. In the long term, adding eggshells every now and again will provide some very good benefits. Beefsteak tomatoes are great with eggshells, learn more about growing them here, Beefsteak Tomato Plant – How To Plant & Grow This Wonderful Variety.
Are Eggshells Good For Tomato Plants
Tomato plants have a lot of different requirements to it, all from the light exposure and the amount of water it gets. But looking at the soil we need one where there is calcium present. This will greatly help the plant grow and be more robust.
So adding eggshells to the soil will help make it easier for the tomato plant to get this calcium. In calcium-fatigued soil, you might start seeing plants be frailer and more likely to fall over on themselves.
How Should You Add Eggshells To The Soil
Simply adding whole eggshells is not the most efficient way of getting the nutrients in there. Instead, you should try to mix the shells into an almost powder-like texture.
Mixing these eggshells with some soil and then into the soil will be much more efficient. The eggshells will decompose a lot quicker and the roots can start taking them up earlier. You will be able to see the impact it has a lot faster too.
Using Eggshells As Fertilizer
Eggshells don’t really have the same effect as fertilizers would have on the soil. It’s more used as a medicine of sorts for plants to increase their defense system. Calcium seems to be a vital element most plants will want to take up and help with mitigating pests and the like.
Don’t use too many eggshells as you can saturate the soil and cause harm instead. Never replace fertilizers with eggshells either. The nutrition in fertilizers can’t all be found in eggshells. They both have their own benefits.
Making Eggshell Tea
Eggshell tea is a great way of adding a liquid boost to your soil the next time you water it. Mix the eggshells and then boil them in water. This will help bring out the calcium into the water.
Adding this calcium-rich water to the soil will help boost the health of your plants, not just your tomato plants. Don’t add too much, tomato plants like soil that is just slightly damp and not too overwatered.
How Much Crushed Eggshells For Tomatoes
If you have used up a dozen eggs and saved the shells then that’s a pretty good amount to either mix or make tea from. Adding this to the soil about every other month or so will be more than enough to boost the tomato plant’s health. Are you curious about the yield a plant could have, find out here, How Many Tomatoes Can You Get Per Plant?
What Is The Best Thing To Feed Tomato Plants
The best thing to feed tomato plants would be manure. This is extremely rich in nutrients and better than any fertilizers out there. It greatly boosts the health of tomatoes but can also be overused.
Do Tomato Plants Like Coffee Grounds Or Eggshells
In the case of coffee grounds vs eggshells then we prefer eggshells. Especially for tomato plants as calcium is a vital element for the tomato plant to get into its system.
Why Do You Put Eggshells Around Tomato Plants
The reason you are adding eggshells to tomato plants is to increase the level of eggshells in the soil. That helps the defensive system of the tomato plant. It reduces the likelihood of diseases and pests beginning to grow on it.
When you are growing tomatoes at home, you might be thinking about pairing them with some other plants to get the most out of the land you have available. But it should be known that there are some plants that are better than others. It’s all about balancing the needs of the different plants with each other.
Below we will share our list of what we did to be great companion plants with tomato plants. We want varieties that don’t compete with each other. That will create a good balance and harmony in the area you are growing in.
What Are Companion Plants
Companion plants can be described as plants that can be grown together without them starting to negatively impact each other. It could be that the roots of one plant start leaking into and taking over the space of another.
In time this will create a lot of stress for one of the plants, but it also creates a winner and a loser. The goal with companion plants is to basically have two winners instead whilst also making the most of the soil and land available for use.
Benefits Of Companion Plants
Besides having the plants able to grow next to each other it is also possible for the plants to help each other in making the most of it. One plant might take more of one nutrient while the other plant takes another. This creates soil with a life cycle and also means it won’t be imbalanced either.
Sometimes it can even help in increasing the harvest of tomato plants for example. A healthier plant is able to produce more fruit, or even encouraged to do so when it has a great environment to grow in. Eggshells could besides companion plants also help your tomatoes, learn more here, Are Eggshells Good For Tomato Plants?
The 15 Best Tomato Companion Plants
Let’s look at some of the best companion plants to grow with tomato plants. We have come up with this list after many years of growing and cultivating tomato plants.
Often what tastes great together are also great companion plants. This is especially true for the basil plant. This herb is a great match as it can help with repelling insects that might otherwise harm your tomato plant.
It’s also easy to grow and likes much of the same conditions as the tomato plant, a well-drained soil where there is plenty of warmth and nutrition as well.
The marigold plant has some pretty secret advantages to growing it next to a tomato plant. The plant has been discovered to help prevent root-knot nematodes from the plants it is next to. It’s basically a parasite that feeds on the tomato plant and the marigold is able to dispel it.
In the long term, this means that you will have a healthier tomato plant able to grow more flowers which turn into tomatoes. But marigolds are also really easy to care for. They won’t require more attention than watering about once a week or so at most.
Carrots are not only a very tasty root vegetable, they are also a great companion plant and match for tomatoes. The benefit of them is that they help loosen up the soil, naturally down by the way they are growing.
This helps bring more air and oxygen into the soil which in turn creates a healthier root system for the tomato plant.
When we say that beans are a great companion with tomato plants we really mean it. It has the unusual effect of increasing air circulation around the bottom of the tomato plant.
This is very important as it helps prevent the development of diseases and pests. If there is not good air circulation then it could create humid places that attract spores. This could greatly decrease the health of the plant if left unchecked. The best part is that beans are really easy to care for and also help attract more pollinators like bees.
Peas actually have much of the same effect as the beans we mentioned above here. You could grow any variety that you like really. The one we have been using though is green peas. It’s a sturdy plant that doesn’t need too much attention and care.
The pea plant helps with increased air circulation around the plants. It makes for a more hostile environment for spores and diseases to grow in. Which is incredibly beneficial for the tomato plant in the long term.
Using clovers on large amounts of land to increase the level of nitrogen in the soil has been a popular use for the plant. We can do the same by using it as a companion plant to the tomato.
More nitrogen creates a better and healthier environment for the roots to grow in. This has some really great long-term benefits too. It makes the plant have a better immune system and less likely to get the disease. Clovers also have the added benefit of attracting a lot of pollinators too.
Like previously here, what tastes good together often grows good together too. The cucumber plant can help with making it harder for weeds to start growing in the soil. The large leaves help prevent sunlight from reaching the topsoil. This makes it less likely you see weeds growing which could take nutrition and space from the tomato plant otherwise.
Dill is a very hardy plant that can manage through both drought and warmth. But it also grows very well together with tomatoes. It doesn’t expand too much and sort of stays in its own lane when growing. This creates less competition. But it can also help with deterring some bugs and insects that might otherwise start eating from the leaves of the tomato plant.
Oregano and tomato might be one of the combos after basil of course. The same goes for growing them together. The oregano plant grows like a small bush and won’t interact too much with your tomato plant and cause any competition or stress to it.
But it has the added benefit of repelling harmful pests and insects from the nearby area. This lowers the risk that you see spores or molds starting to grow on your tomato plant.
This is perhaps not grown to be eaten. Instead, we plant radishes next to tomato plants to make flea beetles attack the radishes instead of the tomato plant. We are basically sacrificing the harvest of radishes for tomatoes instead. A worthwhile one we think since radishes are both inexpensive to grow and also do not require a lot of care and attention.
Not just for the beautiful aesthetics it provides, but also for the fact sunflowers are very good at attracting pollinators to the area. This will greatly help your tomato plant be able to develop fruits that you can harvest eventually.
Garlic and tomatoes are also a very classic combination, in the kitchen but also in the garden, it seems. The smell of garlic or any onion for that matter will help repel insects from the area. This makes it a lot easier for the tomato plant to grow on its own without the risk of getting attacked.
The borage plant is known to be very easy to care for. But it has a lot of flowers and pollen for the small space that it takes up. This makes the area a haven for pollinators like bees. It further helps your tomato plant as the flowers will have a greater chance of getting pollinated and developing fruits.
Lettuce plants are not that great to grow in direct or too much sunlight. That’s why they are a great option next to tomato plants. The leaves will help make for shadier topsoil where the lettuces are growing. Lettuce plants are also not that competitive and won’t steal nutrition from their neighbors.
Chives have a pretty strong smell to them which makes them a great companion option as they will help prevent insects from getting anywhere close to your tomato plant. It reduces the risk of disease and pests beginning to appear as well. Beefsteak tomatoes are one of our favorite varieties, here is our guide to them, Beefsteak Tomato Plant – How To Plant And Grow This Wonderful Variety.
Bad Tomato Companion Plants
There are bad companion plants out there too. It’s worth knowing what they are as they could otherwise really damage your tomato plant and cause unnecessary stress to yourself.
Cabbage plants take up a lot of space and will make it very difficult for your tomato plants nearby to grow and flourish. Instead, you should completely avoid growing cabbage anywhere near other plants too. Leave them in their own spot to grow.
The corn plant has a disease that can be quite common. It shares that same disease with the tomato plant. So the argument is that you are doubling the risk of it appearing in your garden. It could cause irreversible damage to other plants nearby.
Potatoes are very demanding in the space that they are in. It’s often best to simply leave an area dedicated to growing potatoes. Otherwise, you might run into risks where the root system of the tomato plant gets damaged.
There is a substance in the roots of the fennel that actually makes the growth of tomato plants slow down. So it seems pretty obvious to keep these two as far away from each other as possible.
Since pepper plants are susceptible to blight which can have devastating impacts on tomato plants, it seems unnecessary to invite this danger into your garden at all.
Companion Planting For Pest Control
There are many different plants out there with their own unique positives. As for preventing pests, we like to use beans and peas. It helps create air circulation which makes for less humid places where molds and pests can otherwise grow quite freely.
Planting Tomatoes And Flowers Together
Flowers and tomatoes are great together. The flowers help attract pollinators such as bees. Since they are in the proximity of the tomato plants they will also help pollinate them. Without pollinators, we can’t get any tomatoes to start growing.
Tomato plants can just like any other plant also become overwatered. But fortunately, we can pretty easily spot whether it has been overwatered or not. This is really worthwhile information to know since if a plant is leftover water for too long then you will risk killing the tomato plant.
Below we will start talking about spotting an overwatered tomato plant, all by looking at the leaves, the stem, and the soil too. These are where we will best see if there might be an issue.
What Happens When A Plant Is Overwatered
When a tomato plant gets overwatered then there is too much water in the soil, obviously. But what is actually happening is that the water is blocking out oxygen from reaching the roots. That then causes them to start drowning and no longer able to take up nutrients from the soil.
This process can be pretty quick so it’s important to know the proper watering routine for tomato plants to never even have to face these issues. Choosing the right soil can also help prevent overwatering. If the soil has good drainage then that will help lead the excess water away from the roots. Using companion plants to help others is great gardening, here are our favorites for tomato plants, The 15 Best Tomato Companion Plants.
How To Spot An Overwatered Tomato Plant
Let’s talk about the reason you came to this article, being able to spot when a tomato plant has been overwatered. We look at the leaves, stems, and soil of the plant.
The leaves can start curling, wrinkling or even turning yellow in color when the plant is overwatered. When the issue has gone too far, then the plant will instead begin to have black spots appearing on the leaves too. At this point, it’s pretty hard to save the plant.
The stem might be one of the first things to start looking at. The stem is where all the water is traveling through in the plant. When the roots no longer are transporting any nutrition or water into the rest of the plant, the stem will begin to turn black. It’s a process where the plant begins decomposing and turning back into soil.
The soil is also important to look at. If it’s like a sludgy paste then there is definitely too much water in the soil. Try and aim for it to be slightly damp or just below that in moisture content. Of course it will differ a little bit between tomato plants, but that is a good guideline to follow.
Common Signs Of Overwatered Tomato Plants
There are a lot of common signs that a tomato plant has been overwatered. Let’s take a closer look at these signs.
When the leaves are beginning to turn yellow on the tomato plant then that is normally a pretty early sign that the soil has too much water in it. This can best be fixed by avoiding watering the soil for a few days at least.
Black Spots On The Stem
If there are black spots beginning to appear on the stem then the roots have started drowning from the overwatering. Holding off on watering for quite a few days would be a very good idea here.
Bad Smells From The Soil
If the soil starts smelling bad, then that could be because the roots have been rotting and are currently decomposing. These are really serious issues as roots not getting energy will cause the rest of the plant to die off eventually.
Leaves Hanging Or Rolling Up
Just like the leaves turning yellow, if they are starting to hang or roll up then it could also be because of the soil being overwatered. It’s an early sign so you should try and hold off on the watering for at least a few days to give the plant a bit of rest.
How To Avoid Overwatering A Tomato Plant
Keeping a schedule or routine at least when watering tomato plants is a great way of preventing ever overwatering the plant. We try to check up on the plant at least every other day or so. You might not have to water all the time either. Trying to keep the soil slightly damp at the top level will be the ideal condition for the plant. Unless it’s dryer then that, then you shouldn’t really water the soil. Using eggshells has often been a disputed debate, here we dive a little deeper, Are Eggshells Good For Tomato Plants.
Common Causes For A Wilting Plant
When a plant starts wilting there can be various causes. But some are more common than others. If a plant has been overwatered then that causes stress and eventually a wilting plant.
Too much sunlight also has the possibility of stressing the plant enough to the point where it’s starting to wilt.
Saving An Overwatered Tomato Plant
Whether or not you can save an overwatered tomato plant will really be about how long it has come. If it’s early on and the leaves are turning in color to a more yellow tone, then you can hold off on watering for a few days to give the plant some rest.
If you are growing it in a pot then moving it to a sunnier spot might be a very good idea. That should hopefully help the soil dry out a bit more quickly.
Overwatering Tomato Plants In Pots
If you are using a pot to grow a tomato plant, then we can’t stress enough how great one with holes in the bottom are. These help lead away any excess water from the roots. It’s a real life save and the risk of over watering a tomato plant is very small when using one of these.
Can A Tomato Plant Recover From Overwatering
A tomato plant can definitely recover from overwatering. If you hold off on adding any more to the soil then that will give the plant some time to recover and come back to life.
What Do You Do With Waterlogged Tomato Plants
If a tomato plant has been waterlogged then you should leave it in a sunnier spot. That will hopefully give the plant some time to rest up. The soil will also dry out more quickly, reducing the amount of water there.
What Do Tomato Leaves Look Like When Overwatered
If you have overwatered a tomato plant then the leaves will begin to change. They could turn yellow or even black. But they might also start to wrinkle and curl up.
Planting tomatoes is perhaps one of the goals for a lot of gardeners. It’s incredibly rewarding to harvest your own tomatoes and be able to use them in cooking. It’s the aspect of getting the reward of a lot of hard work and maintenance that really does it.
We have put together this article that will be discussing a little bit about the spacing necessary for tomato plants. There are a lot of different thoughts on this topic and we are here to share our expertise.
What Is Tomato Spacing
Spacing or tomato spacing basically is about getting the necessary amount of space between the plants. It’s important because otherwise, you might have too much competition among your plants in terms of getting either water or nutrient from the soil.
All plants basically have a set amount of space that they will require in order to grow effortlessly and provide a normal amount of harvests. But there isn’t a set amount for all tomato plants, since there are so many different varieties out there. But let’s dive a little bit deeper and look at what we find to be good guidelines. If you are interested in the watering routines of tomato plants, then have a read here, How To Spot An Overwatered Tomato Plant.
How Far Apart To Plant Tomatoes For Best Growth
As we have previously said in this article there really can’t be a set amount of space between tomato plants in order for them to grow properly. Instead, we need to look at the variety of tomatoes to decide the necessary amount of space.
For a dwarf tomato plant, anywhere between 12 – 18 inches apart will be good. It will help provide a healthy environment for the plant to grow in but also has the added benefit of making it easier to prune and harvest the plant too. Too close and you might have a hard time caring for them.
For larger tomato plants that might need some stability then you would want about 1 foot of spacing between them. This will help isolate them a little bit more and create a good environment for growth and encourages more yield too. Less competition means a tomato plant is more able to focus on growth.
What Does Plant Spacing Help With
There are a number of things that spacing helps with when it comes to growing plants, especially tomato plants. Let’s list some of the reasons why we utilize spacing.
More light on the plant
Reduces the risk of disease and pests
Less competition results in a healthier plant
As we said previously, the better your plant feels the more it’s able to produce in terms of harvest. But it also has the added benefit of making it less likely that you will see mold or diseases starting to grow on your plant. This is incredibly beneficial for the long term of your plants, not just for the tomato plants.
There are a large number of different tomato varieties out there as you might be aware. The interesting thing is that all of them basically require slightly different caring routines. But it can more or less be put down to getting the soil right and the placement of the plant. Below are two categories of tomato varieties that you should learn about. If you want to learn about companion plants to tomato plants, then we list some of our favorites here, The 15 Best Tomato Companion Plants.
The determinate varieties of tomatoes are also now bush tomatoes. These are the ones that grow small and have generally speaking smaller tomatoes as well. There are many different varieties of these, all with different colors and looks.
The fruit ripens at more or less the same time on the entire plant, making them very efficient when you want a large harvest in one go. In terms of spacing, we recommend about 12 – 18 inches between the different plants to help encourage more tomatoes to grow.
These are the larger varieties of tomatoes. They can grow anywhere between 6 and 8 feet tall if left to their own devices. In most cases, they also grow larger tomatoes but they will not ripen at the same time as the variety we covered above here.
Best Spacing For Tomato Plants
The spacing changes a little bit between these two groups of tomatoes. This is to help prevent diseases from growing on them and also maximize the amount of sunlight they are getting to further boost the flavor of the fruit.
The smaller variety of tomatoes being the determinate is best kept about 12 – 18 inches apart from each other. This will help the entire bushy plant get sunlight and in turn, also provide you with beautiful and bountiful harvests.
The larger group of tomatoes being the indeterminate ones are instead known for needing more space. Makes sense since they are larger. We have found that about 1 foot will be plenty enough. This also makes it easier to get a support system in place to prevent them from falling over themselves.
Pruning Tomato Plants
There are a lot of different philosophies out there on the topic of pruning tomato plants. But in most cases, pruning should only really be done after you have seen fruit begin to develop. This is to not discourage the growth or development of fruit.
When the plant starts flowering that’s when you know where the fruits are going to develop. So cut away any unnecessary stalks where there is no flowering. This will increase the number of nutrients going to your tomatoes instead of developing new leaves.
How To Space Tomato Plants
If you have already planted your tomatoes then it’s pretty hard to move them around without damaging the plant quite severely. So instead, it’s better to simply leave the plant and do it differently the next year.
But if you have tomato seedlings ready to plant then you need to first figure out whether they will grow tall or small. Smaller plants need just 15 inches of spacing between them, while the larger ones could use about 1 foot.
Tomato Companion Plants
There are so many different plants out there to grow next to your tomato plants. But the ones that we like the most are grown next to larger tomato plants. Using basil for example to help fill up the soil around the plant is very space efficient.
But other herbs like oregano or even parsley are also great options. Chives or garlic are also good options. It’s basically what tastes good with tomatoes and will grow well with tomatoes, that’s our cheat code at last.
Can I Plant Tomatoes 12 Inch Apart
This is definitely enough spacing if you are growing smaller tomato plants at home. There are basically two groups of tomatoes, smaller and larger ones. Larger ones would need about 1 foot or so in terms of spacing between the plants.
What Happens If Tomato Plants Are Too Close
If you have the plants growing too close to each other then you might be running into issues such as not enough sunlight on the leaves and fruits. The risk of diseases traveling between the plants is also higher. Lastly, there is also a higher level of competition for nutrition.
How Far Apart To Plant Cherry Tomatoes
Since cherry tomatoes are a smaller and bushy tomato plant, then it will be enough with about 12 – 18 inches in spacing between the plants. That way we can ensure the growth of the plant, but also boost the number of tomatoes growing on the plant.