Over the years, I’ve gardened by trial and error. I’ve become successful with growing tomatoes, garlic, onions, beans, pepper, squash, zucchini, and watermelon over the years. These items are the staple of my garden for the most part. Today I’m going to share how I’ve managed to achieve large, beefy, and juicy, tomatoes. Some of my heirloom tomatoes weigh up to 1 – 2 pounds each. Here are the steps that I take to grow big, juicy tomatoes:
1. Tilled garden soil – It all starts with your soil. I row garden on a 20 x 30 plot, so I till my garden and I till deeply. Many gardeners use the lasagna method, turned soil method or raised beds because they don’t require tilling. I garden as my grandfather did, so I’m old school. Before the garden is tilled, I add in manure, which can be purchased from your local garden center.
2. Organic compost – I use only organic material in my garden. This is composted leaves that took about 2 years to break down completely. Many gardeners call it Black Gold. I mix the compost into the soil before placing my tomato in the hole and side dress the plant with a nice helping of this compost. If you don’t have organic compost use dried, crushed eggshells in the hole before planting along with a dose of manure. The eggshells provide calcium.
3. Plant deeply – I remove the bottom leaves from the plant. Only the top leaves should be exposed as shown above. You want your plant to have deep roots, so the deeper you plant the better.
4. Provide natural fertilizer – Coffee grounds are an excellent natural fertilizer for tomato and pepper plants. I mix a few tablespoons in with my organic compost, above, and side dress around the entire base of the plant. Coffee grounds attract earthworms, which are great for aerating the soil, and keeps away snails and slugs which are detrimental to your plants. If you don’t have organic fertilizer, purchase Miracle Grow tomato fertilizer and spread around the base of your plants.