Growing Tomatoes, Extending Your Season

I have a tutorial on our Gardening Page on how we plant our tomatoes. I will be adding this segment to it, but for now I’m going to make this as an individual post for today.
By this time in the year, if you’re in the South or hot climates with humidity, your tomato plants might be looking like this about now. They look kind of scraggly. Don’t fret. You have to remember they just put all their energy producing their fruit. We had already been picking some tomatoes off these plants before we took these pic. They will look like they are dying and browning but I have discovered that there are some things you can do to get maybe one more picking or at least help them produce new fruits and new growth up until your first frost. Now let me say this, we live in the South and our summers and warm weather can go well into late October or early November.  So we can try to get as many as possible for our season. This is some things I do come this time of year. I try to keep all the dead leaves pruned off. This will help the nutrients get to the rest of the plant.

Now this is where it gets tricky. I stress keeping the suckers pinched off during the growing process because they take away nutrients from the main stem and branches. Anything in this little 45 degree angle in the fork of a main stem and branch, is a sucker.  During the growing process, these have to be kept at bay and pinched off so they will produce the first fruits. Now, when your plants have produced their first set of fruits like above, you can actually start letting these suckers stay on the plant now to produce new growth and possibly second fruits.  Also, you will need them to replace all the dead leaves and branches you had to prune off.

 

See the new growth and new blooms now? If you take very good care of these plants for just a little longer, you just might get a set of second fruit. You will once again have to baby your plants for the rest of the summer. When you start seeing new blooms, you can fertilize again with a little gentle homemade fertilizer. I use coffee grounds, epsom salt, and baking soda. Equal parts of each. I just sprinkle around the base of the plant and cover mulch back up.

 

Now here is an idea with all those little suckers (no punn intended), do you see all those hairs on the suckers? Well, they actually create roots when you put them into the ground or into some soil. You can actually start a whole new plant. See those rough hairs at the end of this plant at the base. That’s how tough they can get. They will eventually become roots.

Now, one thing to keep in mind. If you live in a climate or zone where your fall season comes early, you might not be able to do this and have an extended season. Since our first frost or cooler weather doesn’t come until October or November, we can extend our season. You can always experiment and  sacrifice a few plants and try this, or take some of the bigger suckers that you  had to pinch off and put in a pot with some soil and take it indoors to grow. It’s worth a try.

I hope you enjoyed this information and hopefully you will play around and have fun in your garden. You never know what you might come up with.

About 4dfarms

I am a wife to an amazingly dedicated, devoted, and loyal husband whom God sent to me. I am a mother to two wonderful boys to whom I'd give my life for. Around here we have homeschooled, we farm, garden, hunt, fish and anything else we want to do. Although I do have Rheumatoid Arthritis. Sometimes its hard for me to keep up. If it was not for my husband and two boys, I could not do some of what I do. They really do help me alot. We work together as a team in my home. We try our best to train up our children in the fear and admonition of the Lord. Yea, they slip sometimes and correction has to be made. Thats life. I want so badly to be just like the Proverbs 31 woman. My grandmother did an awesome job of it and Id like to fill her shoes.
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